Daily Israel Report

Prime Minister Heckled by Bereaved Familes at Memorial Event

Bereaved father shouts down Prime Minister, after urging him not to speak at Memorial Day event.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 5/5/2014, 1:23 PM

PM Netanyahu speaks at ceremony
PM Netanyahu speaks at ceremony
Flash 90

Family members of Israeli terror victims heckled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as he got up to speak at the official ceremony remembering victims of terrorism at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem.

One father broke down in tears before sitting back down, after protesting the Prime Minister's decision to free convicted terrorists.

Several victims of terrorism and their families had urged government officials - including the Prime Minister - who had voted in favor of the recent release of nearly one hundred convicted terrorist murderers as a "goodwill gesture" to the Palestinian Authority, to avoid the commemorations.

Bereaved parents Ron Kerman and Yossi Zur drafted a letter to the Prime Minister, calling on him not to speak at the ceremony.

"Please save us and other families of the victims of terror from your speech this year [on Memorial Day]," the letter reads. "Please do not come to the ceremony on Har Herzl and please do not speak." 

"Since last year's ceremony you released murderers three times," the letter continued. "Three times that you tore at our hearts and ripped at our flesh! If we were really that important and you really joined us in our grief, you would have had the ability to prevent us from suffering once again for nothing." 

"We've heard plenty of cliches, slogans and hollow promises in your speeches," it fired. "You do not mean a word of it and we no longer believe in you and any word you say." 

"Your words will fall on deaf ears [. . .] let go of us and let us unite in peace and dignity with our loved ones," it added. 

"From a moral point of view, I would advise the ministers who voted in favor of [releasing terrorists] not to come to the cemeteries [for the memorial ceremonies]," Meirav Osher, whose father Avi Osher was murdered by an Arab terrorist in 1991, told Arutz Sheva.

"They have no right to be there. You freed the murderers and we do not want to hear or see you. Leave us alone because you betrayed us and we are now walking around with terrible feelings. Do not come to the cemeteries. You aren’t wanted there," she declared.

Netanyahu began his speech by referring to that letter.

"I read your letters and will discuss the matter later in my speech," he said.

Indeed, the Prime Minister ended his speech by explaining why he made the "difficult decision" to free terrorists despite his previous stance opposing such releases, and despite Israel receiving nothing in return.

He said it was his "responsibility as Prime Minister", within the context of "the complicated reality in our region" to do so as part of diplomatic efforts.