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In Memory of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, murdered 50 years ago in a Jerusalem supermarket bombing

In Memory of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, murdered 50 years ago in a Jerusalem supermarket bombing

The deaths of Eddie and Leon changed the lives of their families forever. And decades later, would change mine.

On February 21, 1969, a bomb planted by Rasmea Odeh and her co-conspirators from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine exploded in the SuperSol supermarket in Jerusalem, killing Hebrew University students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.

A second explosive, timed to explode when first-responders arrived, was defused before it exploded.

The Supersol bombing shook Israel, and is remembered to this day even among the thousands of terror attacks that have taken place since.

Many housewives brought bouquets of flowers today to the employees of Supersol, Israel’s largest supermarket, but the bright spring colors could not overcome the evidence of grisly destruction wrought by a terrorist bomb last Friday. The two victims of the Supersol bombing, Leon Kaner, 21 of Netanya, and Edward Jaffe, 22, or Kiron, a Tel Aviv suburb, were buried Sunday side-by-side as thousands stood by. They were friends, room-mates and students together at Hebrew University. They had been buying canned food for a botanical field trip when they were blown to bits.

The deaths of Eddie and Leon changed the lives of their families forever. And decades later, would change mine.

[Graves of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner Jerusalem, photo by William Jacobson]

I’ve written about the bombing, the Joffes and Kanners, and the guilt of Rasmea Odeh dozens of times here.

It became for me, the 2017 story that defined my years, the conviction and deportation of terrorist Rasmea Odeh:

My coverage helped to set the record straight, and that was successful in large part. While the anti-Israel activists never were swayed, my coverage helped provide the resources for others to tell the true story….

But my Rasmea Odeh coverage was not so much about the destination of deportation, but the journey.

That journey brought me into contact with the families of Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.
I visited them in Israel, and also visited and said prayers at the graves of Edward and Leon, who are buried side-by-side on the edge of Jerusalem….

The case become so much more than about Rasmea Odeh – it was about how people survived terror and thrived. The heartache always was there, but so was life.

This video of Eddie’s mother Roslyn, made two weeks before her death, is a reflection how the families were affected:

I can’t summarize in one post the saga of the lies of Rasmea Odeh and her supporters, but you can read and hear all about it in The Lies of Rasmea Odeh and Her Supporters Exposed.

Eddie and Leon would be in their early 70s now.

Their memories are a blessing.


[Thanks to IsraellyCool for reminding me of this 50th anniversary date.]


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Thank you for the remembrance, Professor. We cannot forget these innocents, even if the goose-stepping jihadists and their enablers/allies in the media and amongst Leftist “celebrities” and Leftists, at-large, want us to.

Further — what does it say about the moral probity of contemporary Leftists — brimming with hatred for Jews and for Israel — that they would venerate and canonize the vile terrorist who was responsible for these murders? We all know that Leftists are fact-averse, and, that they are primarily driven by self-congratulatory and vain sanctimony, and, simplistic rubrics that they apply, wholesale, to every situation. Israel is militarily powerful; Arabs are not; ergo, Arabs must be “victims.”

The contrived myth of Arab “Palestinian” victimhood must be combated at every turn. This is an incredibly successful propaganda effort that has allowed the Left and the jihadists to vilify Israelis and Israel, while simultaneously promoting perpetually belligerent and supremacist jihadist Muslims as allegedly exploited “natives,” whose land has allegedly been “stolen” by the allegedly “white,” “colonial” usurper-Jews. The factual point that Jews were living in the Middle East millennia before the ideology of “Submission” was ever created, needs to be reinforced.

Their memories are a blessing.

Yes, they are, but the translator of the document read to the Odeh jury should not have included that sentiment in the translation. Wearing my professional translator hat, in idiomatic Modern Hebrew, ז״ל simply means “the late”, and that is how it should have been rendered; had it been, her first conviction might not have been overturned.

I recall that event.

Thank you for pursuing this, professor. I do not have the skills to do anything about cases like there is, I can only get angry when average ordinary people minding their business are killed by a murderous cult, and the act finds tacit and sometimes open approval of agitators and influencers. Outside of this blog I don’t believe I have ever heard of that case.

theduchessofkitty | February 22, 2019 at 12:20 am

Thank you, Professor, for all you do.

JusticeDelivered | February 22, 2019 at 9:15 am

Maybe the 100,000 to one rule should be applied here? How about compounded interest, or maybe use the inflation index to enhance punishment? That would be 10.44, or about 2 million.

Palestinians will not stop this madness as long as consequences are low. Nearly seventy years and they are still operating in the same way. From what I can tell, Palestinian population in 1950 was about 1.3 million, today it is about 5.1 million. What can be done with five million incurable psychos?

It is stories like this that bring me to this site daily.

Thanks Clarice Feldman for turning me on to LI years ago in one of your American Thinker articles.

My heart breaks for Eddie’s mother. Her final video farewell moved me to tears. God bless this family.