Naama Issachar's mother: I will physically block Putin from entering President's Residence

Yaffa Issachar writes to Rivlin that the state dinner for Putin at the President's Residence is a 'national & personal humiliation.'

Sara Rubenstein ,

Naama Issachar
Naama Issachar
Courtesy of the family

Yaffa Issachar, the mother of Naama Issachar, the Israeli backpacker who is serving a 7.5 prison sentence in Russia for a minor drug charge, told President Reuven Rivlin on Saturday night that she intends to physically block the entrance of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the President's Residence.

Putin is scheduled to visit Israel in two-and-a-half weeks to attend the International Holocaust Remembrance Forum and the unveiling of a monument to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad during World War II.

"Mr. President, it's been publicized in the media that you intend to host a number of distinguished statesmen led by Russian President Vladimir Putin for dinner at the President's Residence," Yaffa Issachar wrote to Rivlin.

"It is inconceivable that you, the President of the State, will grandly receive the Russian President - who is holding my daughter Naama as a political bargaining chip - in the President's Residence.

"Naama, who went on a trip to India with her friends and was marked from the first moment as a strategic asset for political blackmail against Israel, has already endured a ten-month nightmare that I don't wish on anyone in the world.

"Mr. President, when the entire State of Israel saw how Naama was being held inside a glass cage for seven hours like a lion in a zoo, I expected you as a proud President of the State of Israel and its citizens, to clearly announce to the Russian delegation that you have no intention of grandly hosting the man who stands behind her imprisonment in order to be used as a political bargaining chip.

"How can you host the Russian President in the President's Residence, the symbol of Israeli statehood and unity, when you're aware that he's holding Naama as a hostage?

"Therefore I would like to inform you that I intend to arrive directly from Moscow that evening to the entrance of the President's Residence and physically block the entrance of the Russian President and his delegation to the President's Residence of the State of Israel.

"My only request is that you don't instruct your security personnel - who are the same age as Naama and whom any one of them could have ended up in a Russian prison just like Naama - to prevent me from fulfilling my duty as a mother and citizen of the state of Israel - who considers the state dinner at the President's Residence with the presence of the Russian President as a personal and national humiliation," Issachar concluded.