London soccer club hosts relatives of Israelis killed in terrorist attacks


(JTA) — A London soccer club hosted 15 young Israelis from families who lost loved ones to terrorist attacks.

The visit last week to Wembley Stadium hosted by the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club was organized by OneFamily UK, an organization that supports bereaved families of fallen soldier and terror victims. The Hotspurs have been the target of anti-Semitic taunts because they are perceived to have a large Jewish fan base.

London-area Jews in Mill Hill and Totteridge put up the Israeli teens during their weeklong visit.

“A terrorist chose our family’s house because he heard voices of laughter and joy emanating from inside,” said Shmuel Solomon said at a meeting with local Jews after the Wembley visit. Earlier this year, Solomon lost his father, sister and brother in a West Bank attack in the Halamish settlement.

He said he considered skipping the trip to Britain because it has only been four months since the attack, which also severely wounded his mother.

“But now I am certain that I did the right thing,” Solomon said. “I made new friends here, and together we laugh and cry and speak about everything. There’s a spirit of victory here. We triumphed because we chose life.”

Other participants included Raanana and Raaya Teharlev, whose brother Elchai was killed in a car-ramming attack in April at the Ofra Junction in the West Bank. Elchai Teharlev, 20, was from Talmon and served as a combat soldier in the Israeli army.

The sisters were joined by Dror Karman, whose brother Tal was killed in 2003 by a suicide bomber on a bus from Haifa, and Eliran and Sahar Degorker, whose brother, Master Sgt. (Res.) Barak Refael Degorker of Gan Yavneh, was 27 when he was killed by a mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

Recommended from JTA