Bereaved Sister: We Are Not a Gesture

Israeli and Jewish blood can’t “be sold as a gesture,” says bereaved sister as thousands protest against upcoming terrorist release.

Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski ,

Gila Molcho
Gila Molcho
Yoni Kempinski

More than 3,000 people demonstrated on Monday evening outside the Ofer prison against the imminent release of terrorist murderers from Israeli prisons.

26 terrorists are set to be released on Tuesday, as part of a “gesture” to the Palestinian Authority so that it agrees to continue holding peace talks with Israel.

Attendees at Monday’s protest included family members of the killers’ victims, who will be forced to see their relatives’ murderers being freed, as well as public officials.

Among the speakers were Housing Minister Uri Ariel and MKs Ayelet Shaked, Shuli Moalem and Orit Struk, all from the Bayit Yehudi party. Also speaking was Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, father of Ruth Fogel who was murdered in the Jewish community of Itamar along with her husband, Udi, and three of their children.

Also speaking was Gila Molcho, sister of Ian Feinberg who was murdered in Gaza while working in the European Union building. One of Feinberg’s murderers was released in 2011 as part of the Shalit deal, a second murderer was released in the first release of terrorists three months ago. The next release wave will see a third murderer being released.

Molcho said that Israeli and Jewish blood can’t “be sold as a gesture.”

“We are not a gesture,” she said. “There is no peace process at the moment, and we cannot pay the price. Bibi Netanyahu needs to wake up and realize that our youth is getting a terrible message, that their blood is no longer sacred.”

MK Shaked described the release of terrorists as a “political and immoral folly”, promising that her party will try again to pass a law preventing future releases of terrorists. On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted down a law to that effect that was proposed by the Bayit Yehudi.

"Over the last two days there have been attempts to silence us, but we will not be silent. We will demonstrate, we shall enact laws. And even if we failed the first time, we will do all we can and everything that democracy allows us to do, and enact a law that would forbid releasing killers,” said Shaked, adding, “A country that does not know how to keep murderers in prison should also have the death penalty.”

MK Moalem said that the terrorist release was a “tragedy”.

"We have to get the entire Israeli public, since we are all responsible for each other, to understand that the release of murderers being conducted before our eyes is a tragedy,” she said.

Speaking at the protest, Minister Ariel said that he and the Bayit Yehudi party would do their best to stop the ongoing release of terrorists.

“The Jewish people are all one family, a family that mourns its losses,” Ariel said. “Despite the troubles, we continue on our long path of returning all Jews to the Land of Israel, their ancestral homeland.”

Ariel promised that “we will return to all of Judea and Samaria. We will build Jerusalem. No one can remove us from the land that G-d promised us,” he said.