Tuesday, February 27, 2024


February 24 was International SCN2A Day.

What is it? [source]

SCN2A is a sodium ion channel gene located on chromosome 2. It encodes the alpha subunit of the voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav1.2) mainly located in the brain. These channels play an essential role in a cell’s ability to generate and transmit electrical signals. A change in the gene can alter the function of the channel and affect the way neuronal impulses are conducted.

Associated Medical Conditions [source]:

Autism Spectrum Disorder; Autonomic Dysfunction; Cerebral Palsy (spasticity, hypotonia); Cortical Vision Impairment; Epilepsy; GI Dysfunction (Reflux & constipation); Intellectual Disability; Movement Disorders (chorea, ataxia, dystonia); Neuropathic Pain; Sleep Disorders; Speech and Language Deficit; Urology problems (infections & urinary Retention)

This clip is part of an effort to raise awareness of this syndrome and promote research into new targeted treatments:

SOURCE: https://www.facebook.com/reel/429612772833118 

And here is my drawing of our Haya, who is diagnosed with SCN2A, as she looked about three months ago. (Click to enlarge.)

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Remembering Malki's Birthday

My daughter Malki was a talented
classical flautist. This photo is from 2000.
I imagine that few shared our reaction to the Hamas invasion of October 7.

While most were shocked and blind-sided by the horrors and cruelty inflicted on Israelis that day, we were somewhat prepared, having been introduced to Hamas barbarism a little over 22 years ago. 

During the years of the Second Intifada, between 2000 and 2005, Hamas along with Fatah and Islamic Jihad waged a campaign of heinous murders against innocents. Some 1,083 civilian Israelis, among them 124 children, perished.

True, the attacks were often several days apart and the numbers of Hamas invaders never neared the thousands who attacked us at once on last month's Black Shabbat.

But the planning, cunning and bloodthirst were identical.

Our precious Malki, who would have celebrated her 38th birthday today, perished in the Sbarro bombing of August 9, 2001.

Hamas' first female operative, Ahlam Tamimi, orchestrated that attack meticulously. She later boasted of her several preparatory visits to Jerusalem's city center to scout for a suitable target. 

She found that on summer afternoons, the Sbarro pizzeria at the major intersection of Jaffa and King George Streets met those criteria. She chose it as her target because it was frequented by "religious Jews," she told an interviewer from the Center for Near East Policy Research.

Hamas provided her with a "weapon" - another Hamas operative, ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Masri, carrying a guitar case containing a 10 kg. bomb riddled with nails and screws to intensify the injuries.

She escorted him through Jerusalem's streets to that intersection where she parted from him. Her last instructions to Al-Masri were to wait 15 minutes before detonating to allow her ample time to make a safe getaway.

And so, our precious angel - a generous, artistic, musically gifted girl - left this world along with six other children and nine adults.
Tamimi boasts of her "success" to this day from her refuge in Amman, Jordan. She has been protected there by King Abdullah II since her release in the now infamous Shalit Deal - the same one that freed Hamas' current chief Yahya Sinwar

She says she has never regretted what she did and that if given another chance she would do the same again ["Tamimi: I have never regretted what I have done", Ammon News (Jordan) October 23, 2011]

Malki was a U.S. citizen, as were two other Sbarro victims. Hence Tamimi was indicted under seal by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013 (and unsealed in 2017). Her extradition has been demanded under a valid 1995 treaty of extradition between Jordan and the United States signed, ratified and lauded by Abdullah's father King Hussein.
Abdullah has thumbed his nose at the U.S. demand for extradition. Despite our tireless efforts, no one with power or influence is at all interested in tackling this travesty of justice. In 2022, President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering support to Jordan as a key ally and a force for peace in the region. In fact Abdullah is still referred to by the U.S. as its partner in the fight against terrorism.

Today, as is our custom, my husband and I intend to visit Malki's grave. With a son-in-law now fighting in Gaza against the very same Hamas that murdered the sister-in-law he never met, our world looks bleak indeed.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

CNN, Hamas and the Queen of Jordan

Screen Capture via YouTube
Queen Rania - wife of Jordan's dictator - has become quite a fixture on CNN. Her apologetics for Hamas, while infuriating, ought to be heard by all.

It is important to realize that CNN is directly enabling Hamas in this war by repeatedly providing this woman with a platform. 

Couched in sacchariny words, a soft voice, a winning smile, Rania's hateful message sounds convincing. And it is clearly one that CNN's veteran presenter Becky Anderson and CNN itself welcome. They referred to it hours later and re-aired her choicest morsels. 

Just dismiss the facts as "insulting", "outrageous" and "audacious" and you're a star at CNN.

  • "For the Israelis to claim that they are trying to protect citizens, citizens is, you know, honestly, it's an insult to one's intelligence. When 1.1 million people are asked to leave their homes or risk death, that is not a protection of civilians."
  • "Of course, the use of human shields is criminal, but even if one side uses it, puts a civilian in harm's way, that civilian is still entitled to full protection under international humanitarian law... 
  • "I find it really outrageous when Israeli officials audaciously dismiss Palestinian casualties as human shields."
  • "If we want to make sure that we never have to be in this situation again, we have to ask ourselves how we got there."
How we got there? Needless to say, the barbaric atrocities of October 7 barely get a mention from Rania. For her, Israel alone is the culprit.
  • "You know, I think the world is just screaming when how many more people have to die before our global conscience awakes? Or is it forever dormant when it comes to the Palestinians.."
Actually, the world is now screaming about the Palestinians. It's the Israeli victims who leave it unmoved.

So it should not surprise anyone that the kingdom headed by this royal couple is harboring an active Hamas operative, Ahlam Tamimi, who, in 2001 murdered 16 innocents in a Jerusalem pizzeria. The US Department of Justice unsealed charges against her in March 2017.

Our child, Malki, was one of the eight children among her victims. 

Jordan's refusal to extradite Tamimi under a valid 1995 extradition treaty with the U.S. is a clear indication of where its sympathies lie. Hamas could not ask for a more effective spokesperson than Rania.

Bear in mind that she, alongside her husband, rules a state that is considered a close ally of the U.S. and enjoys its largesse of more than a billion and a half dollars annually from American taxpayers.

Isn't now the time for the U.S. State Department to end this charade of "shared ideals" with Jordan - a blatant Hamas supporter?

Monday, November 6, 2023

Appeasement: Gaza, Jordan and my child's killer

Ahlam Tamimi has been an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist since March 2017
[A version of this post was published by Times of Israel under the title "Jordan, the Hamas terrorist it harbors – and Gaza" on November 2, 2023]

The red flags were everywhere. 

That is irrefutable. Journalists, starting with the intrepid Zvi Yechekieli and Ohad Chamu, now replay the chilling footage of and by Hamas which they disseminated on Israeli news stations prior to October 7. Sometimes many years before.

They are as stunned as we all are that those red flags were ignored.

The recent expose ["How Years of Israeli Failures on Hamas Led to a Devastating Attack", Ronen Bergman, Mark Mazzetti and Maria Abi-Habib, New York Times, October 29, 2023] cites myriad other unheeded alarm bells sounded for years by experts on Hamas.

Instead a policy of appeasement was pursued by our leaders.

Hamas was deemed both a weak movement and the lesser of any other evils liable to fill a void left by its eradication. 

Image Source: AP
So confident were Israel's leaders in our superior capabilities that one year ago we stopped eavesdropping on Hamas' internal phone  conversations. It was assessed to be a waste of time and resources.

Had that eavesdropping continued, October 7 would not have happened.

Even among Israel's masses, warnings about Hamas were sounded.  

My husband and I were among those who took up the cudgel after suffering from Hamas' blood-thirst two decades ago. [See for instance "In Israel, Swap Touches Old Wounds", Ethan Bronner in the New York Times, October 14, 2011

In the Sbarro massacre of August 9, 2001, Hamas robbed us of our child, Malki.

Eight children were among the 16 victims. That was, for Jerusalem, the equivalent of New York suffering 170 victims based on today's population figures. 

The Hamas operative who orchestrated that bombing, Ahlam Tamimi, selected her target after carefully scouting the Jerusalem city center. In her testimony to Israeli law enforcement officials, she explained that she chose a business and hour when the site would be laden with religious Jewish women and children. 

We pleaded with then-prime-minister Netanyahu not to release this particularly evil murderer in the Shalit Deal which he ultimately carried out at the urging of his wife, Sara (as he later revealed in a published interview with a German magazine.) 

The 12th anniversary of that infamous "deal" was marked two weeks ago and prompted a scathing piece by Nadav Shragai in the Hebrew daily Yisrael Hayom on October 19, 2023, summarizing its background and its consequences. See אם כל חטאת (ב'): המחיר הבלתי נסבל של עסקת שליט

Tamimi was freed along with 1,026 other terrorists, hundreds of whom were convicted murderers and most of whom were sent to the West Bank. Tamimi herself went to Jordan, where she was born, raised and educated. Most of her immediate family is from there.

Many of those let loose in the Shalit Deal are today central figures in Hamas' elite, with one, Yahya Sinwar at its helm. Another releasee, Ali Karachi, oversaw the October 7 horrors. Overall, more than half of those freed in the Shalit Deal returned to terrorism shortly afterwards.

Source: Yisrael Hayom
As Shragai details, caving in to the Israeli consensus and ignoring the warnings of experts was a catastrophic move by Netanyahu and his cabinet. (Out of 29, only 3 dissented.) 

It lay the groundwork for numerous subsequent Hamas terror attacks including the October 7 massacres and kidnappings.

Because our Malki, along with another Sbarro victim, was a US citizen, charges against Tamimi were unsealed and announced by the Justice Department of the United States in March 2017. (They had been sealed, meaning kept secret, since being signed off by a federal judge in July 2013.) 

A third American victim died years after the bombing, having never regained consciousness, on May 31, 2023.

King Abdullah II's regime has refused to comply with the US demand to extradite her. It has been intransigent in its non compliance despite a treaty signed and ratified by both countries in 1995 and recognized as valid by the US.

We have been beseeching the State Department to pressure Jordan to comply. But to no avail.

Not even American Jewish leaders have raised their voices to urge her extradition, despite our repeated pleas to them.

And we have learned from unnamed sources, that the Israeli government as well, has been opposed to pressuring Jordan to extradite her.

We are baffled.

Today, when Israel is risking the lives of its precious young soldiers to eradicate the existential threat of Hamas, one active operative, Tamimi, is free and safe in the arms of the US "ally", Jordan.

As a brazen vocal inciter to violence against Israel, Tamimi is as dangerous a terrorist as those Israel is fighting in Gaza. Yet she can be easily silenced without any loss of life. A mere unequivocal demand (threat?) to King Abdullah, and the deed is done.

Why, six years after her indictment, must we still wait?

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Remembering a special father and his special daughter

Ruti and her father Arik on the right (Image Source)
Stories of heroism by victims of the October 7th invasion by Hamas abound. 

It is essential that we publicize them - intensively. 

Those precious men, women, children and infants have already been deleted from the minds of far too many politicians, journalists and decision makers around the globe.

Earlier this week, former Israeli PM Naftali Bennett was interviewed by a BBC anchorwoman who focused - as most of her colleagues now do - on Gazan casualties. He called her out for omitting any mention of Israel's massacred innocents.

Her icy response: "I began by talking about the hostages".

Bennett responded: "I'm not talking about the hostages. I'm talking about the babies that were murdered."

And so I will also attempt to counter that outrageous trend by sharing the life story of two Israelis, Arik and Ruti Peretz, whose precious lives were cruelly ended by Hamas at the Re'im music festival.

They were unlike most of the other young, vibrant, attractive attendees. 

Arik was a father in his late fifties. 

Ruti, his 17 year old daughter was profoundly disabled. He was an inspirational father for all of us raising adult children with disabilities.

And his daughter Ruth was so similar to my Haya in the extent of her disabilities.

Arik and Ruth's bodies were found and identified twelve days into this war at the site of the festival.

Her half-sister revealed that Ruth suffered from CP, was Ensure-nourished via a G-tube, had a brain shunt and used a motorized wheelchair.

Despite all those impairments, her father would bring her to countless dance festivals both here in Israel and abroad. With rare determination, he would tackle every obstacle posed by her disabilities to enable her to attend and enjoy those events.
Avi Nissim, a trance singer who performed at many of those festivals, recalled: "Arik is a hero of Israel, the most wonderful father in the world. He dedicated his life with total devotion for his beloved daughter Ruth. Ruth proved to everyone that life can be celebrated even with severe disabilities. They did not pass up any party." He added: "Ruth would spin around in circles with the wheelchair and be immersed in the music. I would watch her from the sidelines with astonishment and excitement."

The photos below of the pair at those festivals make that abundantly clear.

Share and remember their story of love, sacrifice and devotion snuffed out by vicious blood - thirst and Jew hatred. [Source of images below]

My husband and I have learned how quickly Hamas victims are forgotten by the rest of the world. Our Malki, whom Hamas stole from us in the Sbarro massacre of 2001, has taught us that painful lesson.

יהי זכרם ברוך - may all their memories be a blessing.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

BFF of the United States... and a terrorist's haven

Image source: Quds Press
Think of a place where a boastful mass murderer can galvanize a hall full of fans with no fear of interference from officials, law enforcement or political opponents.

Jordan might come to mind. 

That's where Ahlam Tamimi, who orchestrated the 2001 Sbarro terror atrocity in Jerusalem and who has been an FBI Most Wanted ("Conspiring to Use and Using a Weapon of Mass Destruction Against a United States National Outside the United States Resulting in Death and Aiding and Abetting and Causing an Act to be Done") since March 2017, played a key role as celebrity presenter at an Islamic Movement Festival earlier this month.

The festival is part of Jordan's commemoration of Palestine Cultural Week. 

The event took place in Al-Baqaa, Jordan's largest refugee camp, home to some 100,000 people designated by the UN as Palestinian refugees. The details (in Arabic) are here.

In her incitement-laden speech (not the only one she delivered in the same week of events), Jordan's celebrated bomber reportedly praised the unity of "a large number of young people [who] confront the danger facing the Palestinian cause through the Jenin Brigade and other forms of valiant resistance."

It's hard to think of any other treasured US ally that would allow such a thing to happen. But it's long been the case that in Jordan, the perpetrator of one of most horrific terror bombings in Middle East history gets to mount podiums as guest of honor. 

And the fact that this hideous woman managed to murder three American citizens - and calls the murders "a crown on my head" - doesn't change a thing.

Celeste Wallander, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, described the special relations this way in a well publicized speech some months ago:
“Jordan has always been, and remains, a strong partner. Jordanian cooperation is not only with our armed forces but also with many countries, regionally and internationally. Jordan is a partner you can rely on, as it thinks in a way that enables it to move forward. We are proud of this partnership.”
* * *

Within the framework of that partnership-to-be-proud-of, Jordan's favorite daughter, Tamimi, did again what she has relished doing most since 2011: stoked her admirers' venomous hatred for Israel and Jews.

Her extradition to the US to stand trial for the murder of three US citizens, among them my child Malki, has been demanded by Washington's Department of Justice since 2017. This stems from the extradition treaty signed and ratified by both countries in 1995. 

While King Hussein lauded that treaty after signing it, his country now claims it is invalid for entirely technical reasons that Jordan could and can fix, assuming they are real. The United States view is that it has never stopped being valid, effective and binding and there is no invalidity. 

It continues to be listed in the authoritative State Department Treaties in Force document (at page 245).

Jordan relies on the self-made flaw to refuse the US extradition request in the Tamimi case (it has extradited multiple terrorists under the treaty before Tamimi). 

Despite this intransigence, Jordan's government remains buttressed by the US and generously funded with billions of dollars annually.

Demanding the prescution of this mass murderer has proven over the years since 2012 to be a lonely fight. My husband and I have learned that an evil woman, indicted more than a decade ago and termed the most wanted female fugitive in the world, can evade justice with relative ease.

* * *

But what has most galled and confounded us is the failure of the leadership of the American Jewish community.

With very few exceptions, America's Jewish organizations have either shrugged us off or insisted that they are already tirelessly fighting the good fight "for years". In some cases, they argue that the ways they do that cannot be divulged. Not even to us, the parents of one of the victims. Tamimi meanwhile stays free and very active, protected by the safe arms of Jordan.

Were they to actually act and pressure the State Department to pursue Tamimi's extradition as the law dictates, the goal would likely have been achieved by now.

During these gravest days in the Jewish calendar, the Ten Days of Repentance, my husband and I beseech those in power to finally look into their consciences and act.

My smiling Malki's photo stares at me every evening from a bookshelf in our living room, breaking my heart, prodding me to continue this struggle.

I simply cannot ignore her.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Revering a master of delusion

[Source: Jordan Times, September 18, 2017]
This post is triggered by developments announced a few days ago. See "AJC calls on Justice Department to pursue Ahlam Tamimi extradition" [Jewish Insider, July 13, 2023]. The call by one of America's most important Jewish organizations is a significant event.

The Jordanian dictator - otherwise known as King Abdullah II - is a master of delusion.

His victims include the entire spectrum of American influencers: politicians, journalists, Democrats, Republicans, Jews, non-Jews. All revere and praise him as a progressive leader.

But for me it is the leaders of major American Jewish organizations whose reverence is the most repugnant.

It impedes their interest in fighting for justice for the three Jewish Americans murdered in the 2001 Sbarro terror bombing in Jerusalem spearheaded by Hamas operative and Jordanian citizen, Ahlam Tamimi. 

The charges against her were initially signed off in a US Federal court ten years ago this week. But they were kept sealed and secret at that time. 

They became public much later, on March 14, 2017. Here's the official Department of Justice announcement: "Individual Charged in Connection With 2001 Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem That Resulted in Death of Americans"

Among the sixteen victims was my daughter Malki, 15. She was just one of eight Jewish children targeted by Tamimi and her bomb. Though Tamimi, as the AJC's letter last week explains, faces terror charges in Washington, she is kept safe by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
[Source: Jordan Times, February 3, 2023]

Despite this, key executives of numerous major American Jewish organizations continue to meet formally with Jordan's ruler. 

Two photos - one at the top of this post and another on the right - are among many my husband and I have found online via Arab sources - showing the meetings they frequently attend (annually and sometimes more often than that) at King Abdullah's invitation.

With one or two exceptions, they do so without ever publicly demanding that Tamimi, whom Abdullah harbors, is extradicted to Washington despite her indictment by the United States. The extradition treaty, signed and ratified by Abdullah's father in 1995, and in effect from then onwards, doesn't move him one iota.

Nor does it move any of those influential Jewish leaders.

They are all under the spell of the "king's" stardust.

Shame on them all.