Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Sasha Alterman
Heroism: Australian Style

By: Gad Nahshon

Sasha Alterman is a new hero in Israel. She is a 15 year old Australian young Jewish lady who came there last July to participate in the Macabee Games in Ramat Gan. Alterman today is fighting for her life in an Israeli hospital located at Petach Tikvah. She already was operated on ten times and she will have to undergo eight more operations. No one can say for sure that she will survive. She is a new hero.

Alterman is a victim of a terrible event. During the opening ceremony of these Games in the City of Ramat Gan, a bridge collapsed and many Australian athletes fell into a polluted, small river, known as Hayarbon. Three people died because they swallowed the polluted water. Some survived but poor Alterman is still fighting for her life. The water that she swallowed inside the river damaged her brain and therefore she had to be operated on time and again. Her mental status is also very poor.

Sad to say most Israeli's do not care much. They view it as an Australian problem. Only in the beginning of December did the Israeli's manage to find those who will face a trial. Furthermore, Australian Jewish leaders had to press Israel to find those who are responsible for the collapse of this bridge. Of course, no one is guilty, yet. Of course, typical to the Israeli leaders or officials, no one is responsible. Only God is the bad guy.

Well, it is time to build a new bridge for our unity with the Jewish community abroad. We should even erect a huge sculpture near the scene of this crime of apathy. If you visit Ramat Gan, whose Mayor is Tzi Bar, you should visit the stadium and in front of the special entrance gate for the participants, you see the expression of regret of the good Israeli citizens. You can see the special non-stop candles express the memory of those who died. There is a sort of impoverished steady memorial display. You also can read on the wall the graffiti which calls on the Israelis never to forget these victims, these athletes who came to participate in the Macabee Games.

It is a bridge over troubled water. Now Israel must build a new bridge in order to repair our relationship with our brothers and sisters, the Jews. One piece of graffiti especially caught my eye: "We the victims are calling on you, Israeli's, please forgive us because we made a mistake and we fell into the Hayarbon River, forgive us..."

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