Yona Yahav
Yona YahavYoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash 90

The family of IDF soldier Moshe Tamam, who was brutally murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists in 1984, expressed their shock on Wednesday night after Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav decided to continue funding the controversial Al Midan Theater.

The Arab theater, which had its funds frozen by Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) last month, has stirred controversy by staging a play that glorifies Walid Daka, the leader of the four-man terror cell that abducted and murdered the 19-year-old Tamam.

"This is not just an attack on our sensibilities, but is an immoral decision according to which the public must fund those who encourage murderers, view them as heroes and aim to stage sympathetic plays for them," stated Tamam's family.

Referring to two recent victims murdered by Arab terrorists since Ramadan began last month, they noted, "in days in which the entire country is mourning for the victims of the glorification of terrorists and of incitement, the Haifa Municipality is basically inviting the staging of plays written by the murderers of Danny Gonen and Malachi Rosenfeld, which will be funded by the Israeli public."

"This is an immoral decision and we hope that the entire public will continue to shout out for life, until this injustice is corrected."

The play "The Parallel Time" is based on Daka's writings; the terrorist uses an internet connection in his jail cell to communicate with the outside world and disseminate his plays, keeping in constant contact with the director of the play.

Yahav said Wednesday that the play fell under the framework of "free speech," and that the only potential problem was that Al Midan exhibited a political message in support of the Arab Balad party, which is now part of the Joint Arab List. He said that since the theater had promised not to perform propaganda for the party there was no reason not to fund it, and replaced the funding withdrawn by Regev with money from his own city budget.

Regev's crackdown on the theater last month, as well as on Arab actor Norman Issa who refused to perform for "settlers" in the Jordan Valley, led to a protest by leftist artists who Regev dismissed as being "petty bores."

Back in 1984 Tamam was abducted and murdered by Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) terrorists from Baka al-Gharbiya as he hitched a ride with them on his way to the town of Havatzelet Hasharon. The abduction didn't occur in Judea or Samaria, but rather in the coastal region between Haifa and Tel Aviv.

After holding him captive for several days the terrorists murdered Tamam by mutilation, gouging out his eyes before cutting off parts of his body starting with his genitals and then shooting him.