The poster Zvika Krieger ’06 bought from Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem this summer serves as a reminder of his trip. But after seven died in a suicide bombing at the cafe –in one of two attacks in Israel Tuesday –Krieger also sees the poster as a memorial.
Krieger and about 50 others gathered on Cross Campus at 9 p.m. Wednesday night to remember the victims of Tuesday’s two attacks. The first of the attacks occurred at a bus station near Tel Aviv and the other at Cafe Hillel, a restaurant located in a neighborhood in Jerusalem where some Yale students lived this summer.
Students held candles, read psalms and biographies of the victims and sang the Israeli national anthem as a sign of support and solidarity, said Michael Marco ’06, a vigil organizer.
“One of the most important goals beyond making a statement in support of victims and against terrorism is the fact that we can stand together as a community and comfort each other in difficult times,” Marco said.
The main goal of the vigil was to provide a place for Yale students to express their emotions, said Nelson Moussazadeh ’05, co-president of Yale Friends of Israel. Rather than standing for a political goal, Moussazadeh said he hoped the vigil would focus on helping the Yale community cope.
“It’s a great way for people to express their frustration with the situation without going out on a political limb,” Moussazadeh said.
Krieger said the vigil was important in his dealing with the news of the bombing in an area that he called home for the summer. Krieger’s close family friends, David Applebaum and his daughter Naava, were victims of the bombing at Cafe Hillel.
“I definitely think the vigil will help. What makes this bombing so traumatic is that there are so many Yalies who lived within a few blocks of the cafe [during the summer],” Krieger said. “The only way I can deal with the trauma is to be with the people who can understand my pain.”
Because some Yale students lived in the area of the bombing and frequented the cafe where the bombing occurred, Krieger said he feels more Yale students will become more aware of the situation in Israel.
“People see headlines, people read textbooks, but if they know that their roommate could’ve been killed yesterday, they realize the scope of the violence and terrorism Israel is faced with,” Krieger said. “At times people can become numb to what’s going on in the Middle East. The vigil makes this real for Yale.”
Yale Friends of Israel plans to hold vigils if other attacks occur, organizers said. The group sponsored several similar vigils last year.
“Can we stop it? No. I think it’s important at least to come out against it,” Marco said.
Krieger said the memorial will remain on cross campus through the Sept. 11, 2001 memorial events today.
“I think it’s poignant that the vigil will be up on Sept. 11; it reminds us of how much still needs to be done,” he said.