The war on terror must not be delayed by "even one day," Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said Monday at a ceremony marking 10 years to the Dolphinarium discotheque bombing.
The Tel Aviv terror attack claimed the lives of 21 people, almost all of them teenagers, after a suicide bomber detonated himself at the beachfront club. The city's Shevach Mofet School was especially hard hit, with seven of its students perishing in the massacre.
Bereaved mother speaks at ceremony (Photo: Yaron Brener)
In a memorial ceremony held Monday at the school, Sharansky recounted the difficult moments following the attack.
The government convened that Saturday with almost all officials opting for a military operation in Jenin, Sharansky said, but added that another consideration tipped the balance in favor of restraint: The desire to maintain global support for Israel.
"Then came the terror attack in the Sbarro restaurant, at Café Hillel, and more and more attacks, until the attack in Netanya on Passover eve. Then, the plan (Operation Defensive Shield) was finally executed, and our soldiers put an end to the second Intifada," he said.
Sharansky then stressed what he characterized as an important lesson: "in the war on terror, we must not wait even one day."
Addressing the students and alumni in the audience, the former minister said: "We sought the strength to keep building homes, comfort families, and reinforce the Land of Israel – and this is what you're doing…you are a model for the entire State of Israel. You are the strongest answer."
Also speaking at the event, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said that the murder of the teenagers was a reminder of the difficulties faced by Israelis.
"Not all our dreams have turned into reality," he said. "Peace is still but a dream."
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