On May 23, 2002, Eli Federman was guarding Studio 49 nightclub in Tel Aviv and saw a car racing toward it. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade member Amer Shkokani intended to crash into the nightclub with several bombs.
The elite Golani Brigade veteran quickly reacted and prevented a massacre: “Instinctively I threw three people aside, took out a pistol with my other hand, and fired a shot. The terrorist fell into the car as it blew up. After the explosion, I shot some more bullets at his head.”
Every day in Israel, shomrim (guards) like Federman are exposed against unseen enemies. Tanks or platoons do not reinforce them, and several have died defending their countrymen.
On March 29, 2002, Haim Smadar was guarding a supermarket in Jerusalem during Passover. The husband and father of six usually guarded a school, which was closed for the holidays.
Al-Aqsa member Ayat Akhras attacked the supermarket that Friday, murdering Smadar and high school senior Rachel Levy. Twenty-eight people were injured, and many more would have been murdered if Smadar had not prevented Akhras from entering farther into the store when she blew herself up.
On November 4, 2002, recent Argentine immigrant Julio Pedro Magram was guarding the entrance to the Arim Mall in Kfar Sava, northeast of Tel Aviv. He noticed a suspicious man and blocked him from entering the mall.
The Islamic Jihad member blew himself up, murdering Magram and 15-year-old Gastón Perpiñal, another recent immigrant from Argentina. Approximately 70 people were wounded.
Alexander Kostyuk immigrated to Israel from Ukraine 1997 and requested combat duty upon arrival, serving in the Border Guard. On April 24, 2003, the 23-year-old was guarding Kfar Sava’s train station.
Al-Aqsa member Ahmed Khaled Khatib approached the station wearing a leather jacket, which Kostyuk found peculiar given the warm climate. He asked to see his ID, and Khatib detonated an explosives belt, murdering him and wounding thirteen.
On May 19, 2003, 22-year-old Kiryl Shremko showed up for his first day of work to guard the Amakim Mall in the northern city of Afula. He had recently served in the Armored Corps.
That was the same day Islamic Jihad member Hiba Da’arma went to the mall. She blew herself up when Shremko’s metal detector beeped, murdering him and two others, one of whom was Muslim Hassan Tawatha. Seventy were wounded including Shremko’s partner, Hadar Gitlin.
On October 4, 2003, Mutanus Karkabi was a husband who had been guarding Maxim restaurant in Haifa for eight months. That day, a lawyer from Jenin named Hanadi Jaradat blew up Maxim and murdered 21 people including Karkabi and one-year-old Noya Zer-Aviv. Sixty were wounded. (In January 2004, Israeli ambassador to Sweden Zvi Mazel interfered with an installation at Stockholm’s Museum of Antiquities that depicted Jaradat floating over red water, titled “Snow White and the Madness of Truth.” The “artists” were Gunilla Skoeld Feiler and husband Dror Feiler, an Israeli-born Jew who moved to Sweden in 1973.)
Israel has many memorials for those who have died defending the country. Where is the memorial for the shomrim?