David Blumenfeld -- Laura's
father. At the time of the shooting Rabbi Blumenfeld was visiting
Israel's holocaust museums in his capacity as executive director for the
New York Holocaust Memorial Commission, which was planning a museum in
Manhattan near the World Trade Center. He himself had no interest in
avenging the attack. During visits to his daughter during her year of
reporting in Israel he would tell her, "My revenge is that I'm alive
and I keep coming back."
Norma Grill -- Laura's mother.
When David Blumenfeld called his estranged wife to tell her he had been
wounded he came away from the conversation feeling that she didn't care.
Laura came to understand that the shooter's bullet grazed her father's
head, but her mother's response pierced his heart.
Omar Khatib -- The gunman.
During his trial in an Israeli court, Khatib bragged about the shooting
as well as his involvement in two terrorist murders. When Blumenfeld
tracked him down in prison, she began corresponding with him via letters
smuggled in and out by his family. Neither he nor they knew that she
was the daughter of one of his victims.
Grand Ayatollah Abdul Karim Musavi Ardebily
-- Former chief of Iran's judiciary under Ayatollah Khomeini. Blumenfeld
traveled to Iran for a rare audience with the grand ayatollah. She
stunned him by asking if a Jew could seek blood money for being shot by
a Palestinian. "In Islamic Iran, there was no more hated nation than
Israel," she writes.
Israel "Smitt" Siman Tov -- An
Israeli burglar and drug addict who taught Blumenfeld the rules of
revenge in the outlaw society in which he lived. "In my world, if I'm
helpless, I'm dead," he says. "If someone crosses me, I don't forgive
Amnon Lipkin-Shahak -- Israel's
military chief of staff. Shahak told Blumenfeld she didn't have the
intelligence or the resources to find the gunman. Dismissively he asked
her, "What are you going to do, go to Ramallah and catch him?"
Benjamin Natanyahu -- Former
prime minister of Israel.Blumenfeld questioned Netanyahu about his older
brother, who died while leading the 1976 Israeli raid on Entebbe
airport in Uganda to liberate 105 Jewish hostages seized by Arab
hijackers. It became clear that the Prime Minister never wondered about
the man who killed his brother. For him revenge was not a personal
issue. "The Netanyahus' revenge borders stretched far beyond mine,"
she writes." They would defend and avenge their entire population. I
would redeem my family, but no one beyond that."
Vitka Kovner -- A Lithuanian Jew
who survived the Holocaust and helped to organize a revenge plot that,
had it been successful, would have made her one of most notorious mass
murderers of all time. In 1945 she and 50 other Jews called the
Avengers conspired to poison Germany's entire water supply. The goal was
to kill six million Germans, one for every Jew slaughtered during World
Anez abu Salim -- A Bedouin
hashish smuggler who got revenge on his three unfaithful wives in a most
Rafi Eitan -- A member of
Israel's General Security Services and part of the team of Mossad agents
that kidnapped Adolf Eichmann, architect of the Nazis' Final Solution,
from his home in Argentina in 1960.
Isolde Raith --A German tourist
shot in April 1986 by the same gang that attacked David Blumenfeld.
Julian and Liz Marsh -- The
adopted parents of Paul, a young British tourist shot and killed by
Khatib's compatriots six weeks after the Blumenfeld attack.
Isaac Ben Ovadiah -- Director of
Arabic programs for Israel Radio. Ben Ovadiah's wife, Zehava, was an
Israeli businesswomen murdered by Khatib's terror cell. An
eighth-generation Israeli who had opened a business in Arab East
Jerusalem after the Israelis conquered it in 1967, she was, in essence,
a fixer for the Palestinians. When she died, Arab clients offered to
have her murderer killed.
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