Terror Victim’s Families Make Plea to PM

“Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13)

Merkaz Harav Funeral
Memorial service for the 8 students who were killed in an attack in the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem. March 07, 2008. The families of the slain have sent a plea to PM Netanyahu not to give in to terrorist demands (Photo: Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

Two recent occurrences have the families of terror victims in Israel up-in-arms against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The first issue is that Israel has been recently pressured by the Chinese government not to join America in a lawsuit against the Bank of Chinese for allegedly funding deadly terrorist activity.The lawsuit was filed in 2007 by Jewish American citizens Yekutiel and Sheryl Wultz, after their 16-year-old son, Daniel, was murdered the previous year in an Islamic Jihad terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. According to the Wall Street Journal, it was the Israeli government who urged the Wultz’s to file the suit and take advantage of tough new US anti-terror laws. The Israelis had promised America intelligence proving the link between the Bank of China’s money and Islamic terror,  to aid in their prosecution. However, trade between Israel and China have been on the rise since May and it appears that Israel seems to be backtracking on their commitment to America regarding the lawsuit.

In a letter, signed by the families and rabbis of the eight young high school and post-high school yeshiva students, murdered by an Arab gunman while studying Torah in the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva library in 2008, the Prime Minister was reminded of his address to the families of the victims, one year after the attack.

“As you know, some of those families suing the Bank of China are the families of those killed in the terrible attack… on the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. On that accursed day eight young, innocent students were murdered,” they wrote.

“At the [first] memorial of the attack you came to Merkaz HaRav and addressed the gathering crowd [saying]: ‘A year ago a major disaster befell the people of Israel. Eight of our sons fell as martyrs while studying Torah. They fell at the hands of murderers who, if they had the chance, would have murdered us all. They tried to cut down our spiritual strength and that is why they came here. In the course of the last year, we have seen that they failed. We received additional proof of this several months ago, in an operation against terror in Gaza. The entire nation of Israel enlisted, including yeshiva students, who also paid a price. To the families, I say: accept this day as a consolation, and I believe that with our joint strength, we will overcome all of our enemies, in the future as well, and achieve peace for our land and our city.’

“Today, 4.5 years after that speech, we ask the honorable prime minister not to surrender to the Chinese demands,” the families wrote. “We are confident that in the overall national view of things, you see yourself as heading the nation and the families in the fight against terror, even in the face of heavy pressure from a foreign country, and [contradictory] interests – important as they may be.

“In friendship and respect, we ask that you stand firm in the war of the Nation of Israel against terror and to make clear to the Chinese that the state of Israel will not be dictated to in this matter.

“We call on Your Honor to come out with a clear statement that the State of Israel will give the required assistance to the families, as was promised by your office, so that they can receive justice vis-a-vis the terror organizations and their accomplices.”

The letter is signed by Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, Dean of Merkaz Harav Yeshiva; Rabbi Yerachmiel Weiss, Dean of the Hgh School (Yerushalayim Yeshiva for Youths); Rabbi Elyashav and Moriya Avichail, parents of Segev Pniel RIP; Rabbi Tuvia and Tzofiya Lifshitz, parents of Yochai RIP; Rabbi Tzemach and Elisheva Hirshfeld, parents of Yonadav Haim RIP, and Naftali Moses, father of Avraham David RIP; Dror and Avital Eldar, parents of Yonatan Yitzhak RIP.

The issue has certainly been exacerbated by the recent announcement by high-ranking Israeli ministers that they will release approximately 80 Palestinian prisoners as a sign of good will to kick-start the peace process.

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