A bomb attack was the last thing on Consul-General Shai Bazak’s mind as he heard
a loud noise Monday afternoon while his car drove by the Boston
Israel’s consulate in the city had closed early in honor of
Patriots Day, and Bazak was on his way to pick up his children from their
pre-school and take them home.
The noise he heard did not appear to be
threatening and his phone did not ring, as it might in a dangerous
Many cellphones in the area lost reception, including his and
his driver’s. His wife could not reach him, nor could the consulate’s security
For a second, he said, his wife and the security officer were
terrified. But the communication blackout lasted only a few moments before his
cellphone rang and the consulate’s security officer told him that two bombs had
exploded close to the race’s finish line.
“It took time to believe that
it was a bomb attack,” he told The Jerusalem Post by phone.
“Boston is a
very quiet and calm place, especially when we come from Israel with all its
All day, he said, he had watched young people outside
his office window head to the marathon to enjoy a fun sporting event that at the
last moment turned into a horrific tragedy.
At the time of the blasts,
members of his staff had just left the consulate, located a short distance away
from the finish line. None of them were injured or near the site of the
explosions, he said.
His wife had thought of heading downtown to see the
marathon, but luckily at the last moment had changed her mind.
largely on the consulate’s posting on social media sites, Bazak said, “We have
not heard of any Israelis who were injured.”
In the hours following the
attack, he added, he had been swamped with concerned phone calls – many coming
from Israel – and emails from friends, colleagues and the Foreign
“It is a weird feeling to be in Boston and to get worried phone
calls from Israel asking if I’m fine,” he noted.
At present, police are
still investigating the explosions and have not yet determined if it was a
terror attack. Nor have they linked it in any way to any group or individual who
might also want to target Jews or those connected to Israel, Bazak
Still, the Jewish community and the consulate are on alert and
security has been increased, he said. “But it’s precautionary,” he
Should the Boston Marathon bombing prove to be a terror attack, it
would be the first one on United States soil since the September 2011 attack on
the Twin Towers in New York City, Bazak said.
Terrorists in 2011 also
attacked the Pentagon in Washington and took over another plane before
passengers and crew fought back, resulting in the crash of the aircraft in
The consulate, Bazak said, is scheduled to be open this
week. It also still plans to hold its scheduled Independence Day event on
Tuesday but it has changed its program from a celebration to one of solidarity
with the victims of the bombing, Bazak said, with people speaking about the deep
relationship between Boston and Israel.
“We will hold a moment of silence
and say a prayer for the victims,” he said.