Eighteen years ago, terrorists detonated an immense car bomb in front of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and wounding some 300 others. The majority, but not, all were Jewish.
On July 18th, even as Argentina commemorated the victims of this, the country’s deadliest bombing, yet another murderer detonated a bomb as he approached a Bulgarian bus full of Israeli tourists, killing five Israelis, one Bulgarian and himself. The victims were tourists, planning to enjoy Bulgaria’s beautiful beaches.
Attacks on Israeli tourists have been escalating over the past few months. Israelis have been targeted in India, Thailand, Kenya and in the Republic of Georgia. But this was the first incident to have resulted in fatalities.
These victims join a myriad other innocents all over the world targeted for death by extremists, and the numbers are staggering. 20 dead and 100 injured in the bombing of a Bali nightclub in 2005. 164 dead and 308 wounded in the 2008 Mumbai attack. In the 1998 bombing attack on the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, 213 people died and some 4000 were wounded, most of them Kenyans.
Those who plan and execute such murderous attacks on unarmed civilians should know that their acts of terrorism will not bring about their goal of reshaping the world to reflect their own, often twisted and repressive vision of society. Rather, they will reap overwhelming, world-wide condemnation, and the hardening of international resolve to combat terrorism. Those who try to attain their goals by spilling the blood of innocents will find that the end does not justify the means.
The United States condemns in the strongest terms this heinous terrorist attack against innocent civilians. We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their loved ones.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured, and with the people of Israel, Bulgaria, and any other nation whose citizens were harmed in this awful event,” said President Barack Obama. “These attacks against innocent civilians, including children, are completely outrageous. The United States will stand with our allies, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack.”