February 28, 2005
"Tearful comrades-in-arms bid farewell to bombing victims"
- by Tsahar Rotem, Yuval Azoulay and Eli Ashkenazi
Excerpts from story - *MILITARY IDF* victims:
"Israel Orbach delivered a fiery eulogy, [*PROUDLY*] explaining that he had served in the same unit as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon[!] and Mossad chief Meir Dagan[!]."
"The tough reservists from reserve Company "B," who lost four of their friends in the suicide bombing on Tel Aviv's promenade"
"Shamir Shushan, who joined the reserve company some eight years ago, remembered Rubenov as the "engine" that kept the company together"
""As far as we are concerned, the families of those killed are now part of the [IDF] company"
[I'd bet that most of the Tel Aviv disco victims were in the Israeli military, as they would have been of military service age. I'd tell Israelis exactly what Israel tells the Palestinians: Don't put your *combatants* - or your racist colonialist armed-to-the-teeth *MILITARIZED* apartheid state - around your civilians!
You know, the *Paletinians* that Israel kills - most of them *civilians* - all have families, friends, and life stories too!]
Aryeh Nagar, 36: "His friends described him as being very devoted to the army"
Ronen Rubenov, 28: "had come to the Stage club for a surprise party for a friend from reserves."
Itzik Buzaglo, 40: "was planning to meet friends from Itzik's reserve unit."
Yael Orbach, 28: "Isael Orbach delivered a fiery eulogy, explaining that he had served in the same unit as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mossad chief Meir Dagan."
See http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/545685.html below
Dark glasses were unable to conceal the tears shed yesterday. The tough reservists from reserve Company "B," who lost four of their friends in the suicide bombing on Tel Aviv's promenade on Friday night, could no longer hold back their pain.
Alongside the open grave of Aryeh Nagar, 36, in the small cemetery in Kfar Sava, company commander Eran Cohen wept openly: "An eternal Peter Pan who never had enough of life," he eulogized his comrade-in-arms.
Dealing with four funerals in a single day is a near-impossible mission even for such a tightly knit reserve company. To make sure that the group was appropriately represented at each of the funerals, arrangements regarding which member would attend which funeral were made beforehand.
Kobi Ohayun, 30, of Jerusalem, was responsible for putting together the teams for attending each funeral. Ohayun was also one of the first who turned up at Ichilov Hospital after the attack, to begin compiling a list of the missing and injured. Yesterday, he pulled the list of mourners out of his pocket: "As far as we are concerned, the families of those killed are now part of the company," he said.
Ohayun attended the funeral of Yael Orbach, 28, in Kfar Sava, and then hurried to Holon, where Ronen Rubenov was buried.
The Kfar Sava cemetery was awash with tears yesterday. First to be buried there was Orbach, with hundreds accompanying her on her final journey. Orbach was to be married to Ophir Gonen in three weeks' time, and the couple was at the Stage club on Friday night to celebrate the 30th birthday of their friend Yaron Gravesky. They had brought wedding invitations with them. The suicide bomber detonated his explosive close to the couple, killing Orbach instantly and leaving Gravesky seriously wounded.
Israel Orbach delivered a fiery eulogy, explaining that he had served in the same unit as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mossad chief Meir Dagan. "This girl is the descendant of King David," he said, calling on his former comrades to avenge her death. "If they don't, I will."
A few hours later, the funeral procession for Nagar began, attended by both current and former members of the reserve company. Everyone spoke of Nagar's fresh spirit, and his emotional and physical strength.
Gravesky, whose birthday celebrations were violently cut short by the attack, attended the funerals of Orbach and Rubenov, and also visited the wounded at Ichilov Hospital, some of whom insisted on attending Rubenov's burial. "It was heart-wrenching to see them arriving in wheelchairs and crying over his grave," he said.
Shamir Shushan, who joined the reserve company some eight years ago, remembered Rubenov as the "engine" that kept the company together: "He was very dominant, and always maintained good ties with all the soldiers in reserve duty and in civilian life. If something had to be organized, Ronen was clearly the one to do it."
At the funeral of Itzik Buzaglo on Moshav Mishmar Hayarden, Rafi, the bereaved father, addressed his words to his son's comrades. "I am strengthening you, too. Itzik spoke about you and the company constantly. He would say to me: `Dad, what a bunch of guys, real friends.' Now, we have to be strong."
Hundreds turned up yesterday to console the family, and the more they spoke about Buzaglo, the clearer the picture of his character became. Family members, friends from the moshav and friends from the reserve company all spoke again and again of a man who served as a fine example of leadership and doing deeds for others.
Tsahar Rotem, Yuval Azoulay & Eli Ashkenazi