Op-Ed: Open Letter to PM from a Bereaved Parent
Ron Kehrmann, father to TalRon Kehrmann is Tal’s father. Tal was 17 years old. She was killed in a terror attack together with 16 Israelis on board bus #37, March 5th 2003.
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
I have decided to turn to you via this open letter due to the urgency and time-dependence of its contents.
Just last week, another group of murderers were freed with your approval.
Those murderers. who have killed and will continue to murder us without mercy, will flesh out the ranks of the terrorist organizations in their relentless war against the citizens of Israel.
This is the second time that a stroke of your pen has freed murderers who kill us just because we live in Israel. In an instant, you have broken the Israeli governments' word to the families of the victims, promises made at the freshly dug graves of their loved ones.
When we stood at the open graves of our dear ones, we believed the solemn promises of ministers who declared that justice would triumph and that their murderers would never again see the light of day.
Yet every day for years now I am afraid that I will discover another instance in which this promise has been trampled upon by the government of Israel, while a sharp knife pierces our flesh – except that now, it is you, Mr. Prime Minister, who is twisting the blade deep into my heart. Besides the reopening of the wounds, there is the terrible pain that accompanies the feeling of estrangement and the coldhearted abuse of our loved ones and ourselves.
You have demonstrated insensitivity towards the feelings of your people and of the bereaved families, for those who paid – and those who may have to pay – the highest possible price for our country. For those who have to live with the unbearable and heavy weight of memory every day and every hour.
By freeing these murderers you are insulting the memory of all the victims, murdered because the governments of Israel were incapable of protecting their lives.You are trampling on morality, justice and the values upon which generations after generation were educated. For some time, you have closed your ears and do not relate to the feelings of your people.
I myself suspect that the feelings of the Palestinian Arabs take precedence to those of your own people and the bereaved families. Speaking from the position of a father whose daughter Tal, a high school student on her way home to the Carmel, was murdered, I feel like your punching bag! My family and I, along with the other bereaved families, have turned into a laughingstock. You have used the freeing of murderers for political gains too many times, while all the while, my bereaved friends are being worn away to nothing under your immoral decisions.
In the book you wrote, you gave advice on ending terrorism. This was during the period when Israel served as a shining example for the entire world, blazing the way to victory in the war against terror. Today you are at the head of the nation and terror hits us day after day. It seems as though Israel is giving in to terror while other countries refuse to negotiate with terrorist organizations, let alone free terrorist murderers.
You have chosen to pay with a non-negotiable coin – freeing murderers. Since the last time prisoners were freed there have been tens of terrorist acts against Israel and three Israelis unfortunately paid with their lives.
This is the time to stop! This is the time to contemplate whether the light that we glimpse at the end of the tunnel is not the light of a locomotive speeding towards us – that will in the end kill everyone who stays in its path.