| Relatives cry for the victims of the bomb attacks in Istanbul. (Reuters)
Jerusalem, Nov. 15 (Reuters): Israelis pained by car bombs that ripped through two synagogues in Turkey today said the blasts would make Jews feel more vulnerable everywhere.
The car bombings in central Istanbul — the latest in a series of attacks on Jewish targets around the world in the past 18 months — killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 250 during Sabbath celebrations.
“As a Jew I find it very painful,” said Shelly, 56, a British-born Israeli living in Jerusalem. “There is a feeling of increased vulnerability since the attacks are aimed at a specific population I am a member of.”
The graphic accounts of the bombings on Israeli radio stations soured a sunny Sabbath day in Jerusalem, which has grown only too used to militant attacks during a three-year-old Palestinian uprising.
“It is as if it happened here,” said Shirli Shem-Tov, 50, whose sister-in-law is among some 25,000 Jews living in Turkey. “We were in contact with her and she is fine.”
Jewish sites have been targeted in recent attacks blamed on militants linked to al Qaida — notably in Casablanca in May, a Tunisian synagogue bombed in April 2002 and Israeli tourists in the Kenyan seaside city of Mombasa last November.
Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer issued a statement condemning the bomb blasts as did numerous world governments. Israelis have ties to Turkey not only because of its Jewish community and because it is more friendly than most states in an often hostile region, but also because tens of thousands go there each year on package holidays.
Shem-Tov said she would not be put off holidaying at Turkish resorts by the bombs, though.
“I won’t think twice. I go from my home near Tel Aviv to visit Jerusalem which is also a target,” she said.