Beyond Images Challenging myths and presenting facts about Israel 
ATTACKING COEXISTENCE: the bombing of the bus to Haifa University
London - published on 6 May 2003
Beyond Images Ref: 57

Click to Printclick here to print page

On 5 March 2003 a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a passenger bus approaching Haifa University in Northern Israel, killing 17 people and seriously injuring dozens more. The following letter, addressing a key issue, appeared a few days later in The Times newspaper in England.

“The bombing of a university bus in Haifa requires particular assessment. Haifa is the best example in Israel of an integrated society in which Arabs and Jews live peacefully together, sharing the same services.

If you visit a hospital the patients, doctors, nurses and support staff are Jewish and Arab. If you take a bus, the driver is likely to be Arab, as in this case, and some of the passengers too. The University of Haifa has among its 13,000 students a high proportion of students and faculty from the Muslim and Christian communities. Its museums and galleries and the multi-lingual library are open to the public, including children, Arab as well as Jewish.

I am informed that in addition to the deaths of two employees who worked at the campus, three of our students are among the injured. To strike at a bus bringing such people to a university which is a symbol of coexistence, at which future leaders of the Arab community are educated, is more than an expression of calculated hatred. It is an attack on the idea of coexistence itself.”

  • from Joseph Shub, British Friends of Haifa University