49 Families of Terror Victims to Boycott Official Ceremony

The families, who lost loved ones to terrorism, explain that they are protesting the Prime Minister's willingness to release terrorists from jail.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz ,

Victims of recidivist terrorists
Victims of recidivist terrorists

Forty-nine bereaved families have announced that they are not participating in official Memorial Day ceremonies in honor of those killed in acts of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic terrorism. The families, who lost loved ones in terrorist attacks, explained that they are boycotting the events in protest of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's willingness to release terrorists from jail as part of a potential exchange with Hizbullah and Hamas.
"I do not want to see any more new bereaved families." - Ben-Tzion Ben-Shoham

Ben-Tzion Ben-Shoham, whose sister Limor was murdered in a terrorist bombing almost five years ago, warned that the terrorists would continue their attacks on Israelis once released. He accused the public of ignoring the danger inherent in a prisoner exchange in the urgent desire to bring home kidnapped soldiers Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

"I do not want to see any more new bereaved families. There are too many already," said Ben-Shoham.

Other bereaved families disagreed with the boycott and said they would attend the memorial ceremonies and voice their objections there. A father who lost his son, daughter and son-in-law in a terrorist attack said that for him, the Memorial Day ceremonies are about remembering and honoring his children. Families can pressure the government in other ways, he added.

The Almagor terror victims' association recently published figures showing that no fewer than 177 innocent citizens, mostly Israeli Jews, were murdered in recent years by terrorists released from Israeli jails. Scores of other Israelis were seriously wounded in 30 separate attacks by recidivist terrorists as well.

Almagor Chairman Meir Indor said that he would not boycott official Memorial Day ceremonies, but he noted that not all organization members feel the same way.

According to statistics from the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi), Arab terrorists have killed 864 Israelis and wounded more than 14,000 others since the Palestinian Authority launched the Oslo War, also known as the "second Intifada," in October 2000. The number of terrorism fatalities represents half of the 1,635 citizens who have died in terrorist attacks since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.