The Bus on Jaf­fa Road: A Sto­ry of Mid­dle East Ter­ror­ism and the Search for Justice

  • Review
By – November 6, 2014

Award-win­ning jour­nal­ist Mike Kel­ly takes read­ers on a hor­ri­fy­ing trip through the sad events of Feb­ru­ary 25, 1996 and their after­math. On that day, two Amer­i­cans, Sarah Duk­er and Matthew Eisen­feld, board­ed the num­ber 18 bus in Jerusalem to set out for a vis­it to Jor­dan. A few stops lat­er, a young man got on the bus and det­o­nat­ed a sui­cide bomb con­cealed in a duf­fel bag, killing Sarah, Matt, and twen­ty-four oth­er pas­sen­gers. Kel­ly looks at these events in depth, putting them in the con­text of the Oslo Peace Accords and the attempts by Iran­ian-spon­sored jihadist orga­ni­za­tions to sab­o­tage them. He looks at the lives of the young Amer­i­cans and inter­views the man who built the bomb, now in prison in the Negev. He then fol­lows the efforts of the vic­tims’ par­ents to gain some jus­tice in the mat­ter by suing the gov­ern­ment of Iran. The Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion had passed anti-ter­ror­ist leg­is­la­tion that encour­aged them. They won mil­lions of dol­lars but saw only a small frac­tion of the amount. The author looks at both the per­son­al and polit­i­cal aspects of these events, pro­vid­ing some insight into the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion in the Mid­dle East today. This is a com­pelling sto­ry that will inter­est read­ers who fol­low cur­rent events.

Read Mike Kel­ly’s Vis­it­ing Scribe Posts

From 9/11 to Jerusalem’s Jaf­fa Road

The Eyes of the Bombmaker

The Boy with the Duf­fle Bag

Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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