Home Visit: February 11th, 2007
By Sara Bedein
On July 27th, 1994, Tzipporah Alon was serving as personal assistant to
Israel's ambassador in London. An Arab terrorist managed to drive through
the British security on Palace Green Street while carrying 75 kg of
explosives hidden in her trunk. The terrorist pulled up in front of the
Israeli Embassy, got out of the car and activated the explosives. As a
result of the explosion, 14 people were injured inside the embassy.
Tzipporah was on the phone with the Israeli ambassador at the time the
explosives went off. At the sound of the deafening explosion, she
instinctively looked up to the ceiling in the direction of the explosion.
What she saw made her mouth drop open in astonishment and within seconds the
second floor came crashing down on her together with the elaborate light
fixtures, causing glass and shards to go down her throat and into her body.
As a result, Tzipporah has sustained irreversible damage to her throat and
pharynx and cannot swallow solid food to this day.
Two years after the terror attack, Tzipporah became pregnant and her doctors
strongly advised her to abort because of her medical condition that had
worsened with time. Unwilling to abort, Tzipporah gave birth to a beautiful
son, S., who was born with various special educational challenges.
Today, 13 years following the terror attack, Tzipporah lives with her
husband and four children in Jerusalem. Though she has undergone a number of
operations to remove the glass from her throat and body, there are still
tiny shards that couldn't be removed. She still can't swallow solid food,
living on soft food and liquids alone. As a result of this condition, other
medical issues have evolved. Tzipporah's muscles are deteriorating, and
though she persistently pursues new medical treatments both conventional and
alternative, she can no longer lift things, take care of her home or get
around without assistance.
Though Tzipporah was delivered a cruel blow, her spirit of helping others is
still very strong. She makes phone calls to other terror victims and tries
to help them with words of encouragement and useful tips. On days that she
feels strong enough she also visits them. Tzipporah voices no bitterness
about her serious medical condition, as she matter-of-factly talks about her
difficulties in taking care of her children and home due to her mounting
A number of years ago, Tzipporah, who is so accustomed to helping others,
contacted us at the Koby Mandell Foundation and hesitantly asked us if her
son could come to Camp Koby. Since then, S. has not missed a camp and he
eagerly looks forward to each and every one of them.
Tzipporah said she felt honored and much encouraged by the home visit.
Albums were brought out showing Tzipporah in elegant evening wear being
presented to the Queen of England, fancy elaborate invitations to London
society functions were carefully pasted into the album as were many pictures
taken of Tzipporah posing with various V.I.P's. Today little is left from
those glamorous years, when Tzipporah was in the thick of things, an active
productive woman with an important job to do and a host of secretaries and
personnel. Tzipporah is alone in her house most of the day, barely managing
to get around. Her three older kids are in the army and S. returns home from
his special Ed school in the late afternoon.
While Tzipporah was very grateful for the home visit, I left her home filled
with admiration for this very courageous and special woman.