As Parents Mourn in Thai Hotel, Muslims Recruit Outside

By Ran Ezer

Published July 28, 2006, issue of July 28, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

BANGKOK – Tsion and Michal Sa’adia were vacationing in this Southeast Asian city last week when an official from the Israeli Embassy in Thailand tracked them down in room 1243 of the Bangkok Palace Hotel.

Before Israeli envoy Idit Shamir, first secretary deputy chief of mission, could deliver the message, Michal was fearing the worst about her son, Liran, a staff sergeant in a special Israeli army unit. “Just tell me he was only injured,” the mother said as she ran out of her room toward the embassy staffer.

Her son, in fact, was dead, killed in Lebanon during the fighting with Hezbollah.

In sharp juxtaposition to the tragic scene, a local activist named Mustafa Chigag showed up in the street out front of the hotel where the couple was staying, accompanied by Muslim volunteers. He and his companions addressed the many Muslim guests of the hotel, inviting them to a lecture justifying the fight against Israel in Gaza and in Lebanon, raising donations for the Jihadists and telling all Muslims to join the holy war.

Suaib Dido, one of the leaders of the Indonesian Islamic Youth Movement, announced last week that more than 200 Islamic militants — including 43 Thais, one Singaporean, 57 Filipinos, 36 Malaysians and 72 Indonesians — already had signed up to fly to the Middle East to fight Israel.

“This is purely a fight to help our brothers in Palestine and Lebanon,” Dido said.

The Thais and Malaysians already had started their journey to the Middle East, according to Dido’s announcement published by news agencies in Indonesia. Earlier this month, Abu Bakar Bashir, the Indonesian-based spiritual leader, also issued a call for Muslims to head to the Middle East. His call followed Israeli operations in Gaza.

As Muslims in the region recruited militants to fight, the Sa’adias were mourning the death of their son.

After receiving the terrible news, the parents stayed in their room accompanied by friends from their city who had joined them on their tour. The hotel room door was kept open, in accordance with the Jewish mourning tradition. Tsion, the father, started crying first and later supported Michal, the mother, whose tears did not stop. The Sa’adias said that Liran recently had the option to change units, but insisted on being posted with his old team.

According to his loved ones, Liran may have felt that something bad was going to happen, as he recently had called many family members as if to say goodbye.

As for his parents, they said that they had a bad feeling since the first day of their vacation. Liran told them at that time that he was being sent to Lebanon. Tsion started sitting on the floor like a traditional Jewish mourner some time before Liran’s death, without even knowing why.

The fastest way home was a Royal Jordanian flight Friday night, July 21. They arrived the next morning at 4 a.m. in Amman, where a representative of the Israeli Embassy in Jordan accompanied them on a plane back home. The Israeli government paid all expenses.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.