Keren Malki, the Malki Foundation, a non-political, non-sectarian, not-for-profit organization, honors the tragically short life of a girl dedicated to bringing happiness and support into the lives of special-needs children

This site, and the work of Keren Malki (the Malki Foundation), are dedicated to the memory of

Malka Chana Roth Z"L 1985-2001

Malki's death a tragic waste, relatives say

AAP General News (Australia)
08-10-2001
By Sharon Labi

SYDNEY, Aug 10 AAP - Melbourne-born Malki Roth was a talented flautist and an outstanding student with a passion for working with children with disabilities.

The 15-year-old was among 18 people killed when a Palestinian blew himself up inside a kosher pizza parlour in the heart of Jerusalem.

She was so badly injured in the overnight blast it took hours to identify her remains.

Her grief-stricken father Arnold Roth had the dreadful task of calling family members around Australia in the early hours of this morning.

"I have tragic news," Arnold Roth told his mother, brother and other relatives in Melbourne.

Her Australian family were in shock today, describing Malki's death as a tragic waste.

"She was very giving, very loving and lot of fun," Malki's aunty Sue Roth told AAP.

"That's how we're going to remember her.

"It's such a waste of life of an innocent kid."

Mrs Roth said the news had not hit Arnold when he rang the family early today.

"He said it hadn't hit him and it was a disaster of catastrophic extremes," she said.

Malki was the fourth oldest of the seven Roth children and the last to be born in Australia before the family moved to Israel 12 years ago.

Her youngest sister was born with severe disabilities and the family decided to raise her at home.

"Having that child at home... opened all the kids up to the needs of the handicapped and those less fortunate than themselves and Malki, of all of them, went out of her way to help," relative Charles Leske said from Melbourne.

Malki would ride the bus from her Jerusalem home to what's known as settlements and spend time with children with disabilities to give their family some time out.

"She had a deep and profound love of kids with disabilities," Mrs Roth said.

"We're just devastated. Her grandmother's blaming herself (because) she wanted them home. She felt their lives were maybe in jeopardy.

"I feel disbelief that that can happen and that this person (the suicide bomber) is going to be held in such high regard while we mourn for the loss of this life.

"She was a great personality. She had an incredible sense of humour and really enjoyed being with her friends."

Malki also led a youth group and was due to leave for a camp this Sunday.

But a meeting with her best friend on the corner of King George V Avenue and famous Jaffa Street ended her short life.

"They knew there was a problem because the first name that was aired on Israeli radio was the name of Malki's best friend so they suspected whatever happened to the friend had happened to Malki," Mr Leske said.

Her brother, Shaya, a member of the Israeli army, identified her remains.

Arnold and his wife Frimet (Frimet) Roth met in New York and when they married, agreed to spend their first years in Melbourne before making "aliyah", or emigrating to Israel.

Moving to the Jewish homeland is considered the most righteous act a Jew can perform.

Arnold was a solicitor in Melbourne but now works in Israel's budding high-tech industry.

He contacted The Melbourne Age today and issued a photograph of his daughter in the hope she would not simply become another statistic in the bloody Arab-Israeli conflict.

Malki has not been back to Australia since she left at age three.

But she has touched the hearts of many here, with the entire Australian Jewish community mourning her death.

"The Australian Jewish community offers its sympathy to the family and grieves with them," Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Nina Bassat said.

AAP sal/mo/jc

KEYWORD: MIDEAST AUST BACKGROUNDER
2001 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.
 





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