LOS ANGELES – Parents of a pregnant New Jersey school teacher killed in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem condemned the act and called on the United States to support Israel's defense efforts.
"In order to make a political point, terrorists murdered our only daughter and her future child," said Alan Hayman, reading a brief statement Thursday at his Hollywood home as his wife, Shifra, wept at his side.
Judith Shoshana Greenbaum, 31, of Passaic, N.J., was among 15 people killed when a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated a nail-studded explosive inside a crowded pizzeria early Thursday.
"She was there to learn in the eternal home of the Jewish people," her father said. "Israel must act to preserve the lives of its citizens and we hope that President Bush will support Israel's efforts to defend itself and its own people."
Islamic Jihad and Hamas, militant Palestinian groups that have been carrying out bomb attacks against Israel for years, both claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Greenbaum, who was four months pregnant, was finishing up a six-week visit during which she had been taking graduate classes in education. She was to have returned to the United States on Monday. Her husband, Shmuel, already had left.
"Now everyone's going to start feeling what happened in Israel," the couple's friend, Abraham Baruchov, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "This brings it home."
The Haymans will miss their daughter's funeral in Israel on Friday because they couldn't make plane connections that would get them there in time. They will attend a memorial service later to place a stone at her grave, said Rabbi Marvin Hier, executive director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Hier condemned the bombing as the work of "maniacs."
"The terrorists knew that families eat there," he said. "So who are they attacking? Women and children. ... That's who their war is against."