Last night's terror struck close to home. The boom of the blast at Cafe Hillel on Emek Refaim shook the windows of our house and left no doubt that we were hit again -- this time in our own neighborhood. Our son, Yossi, was on the phone with his brother, Momo, asking when he would be back so they could watch another DVD episode of "24," the addictive series about terrorism. Momo was crossing Emek Refaim, which is two blocks from our house, and they both heard the blast. Momo, 16, a trained paramedic with Magen David Adom, took out his plastic gloves, which he keeps in his school backpack, and began to run the block to the cafe to help with the injured. Yossi ran out the door with my wife, Jane, to go get Momo. (For more on the bombing, see page 24.)
The bombs that ripped through crowds of Israelis and foreign workers in Tel Aviv this weekend may have saved Yasser Arafat from making some tough decisions.
Internal and external pressures have been building on Arafat to allow comprehensive reforms of the Palestinian Authority -- reforms that effectively would undermine the PA president's grip on power.
But after Sunday's deadly attack by the Al-Aksa Brigade, a terrorist group from Arafat's own Fatah movement, Israel refused to allow Palestinian officials to attend a conference on PA reform in London or congregate in Ramallah to consider a draft of a Palestinian constitution.
Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that there is no need for Palestinian officials to travel abroad to conferences when they have the power at home to end terrorist attacks, but don't use it.
Unintentionally, however, the Israeli moves may have allowed Arafat to dodge a political bullet, at least temporarily.