Dr. Leah Goldin, mother of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin whose body has been held by Hamas since the counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge in 2014, is furious at Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's handling of everything related to the release of the Israelis being held by Hamas in Gaza.
She is not impressed by the reports that the Prime Minister discussed the issue with the UN Secretary-General on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
"I have met the UN Secretary-General twice already and he knows the situation. This is the report we also received from the military secretary in a WhatsApp message. The question is whether there is an Israeli demand from the UN to abide by its laws? I do not know what practical level things have reached," Goldin said in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
In recent days she has been watching painfully the reports regarding the search for another prisoner, Ron Arad. "This is a very painful reminder to everyone in the State of Israel. This is the most well-known and first case in which Israel abandoned a person held captive by the enemy."
At the same time, Leah Goldin noted that "the case of Hadar and Oron [Shaul] is not at all similar to Ron Arad. No one really knows where he is. Hadar and Oron are 100 km from the Kirya base in Tel Aviv. There is talk on the radio about an agreement with Hamas and the issue of prisoners has not been discussed at all. This is an outrage - we went to war with the same enemy in the same place - they make an agreement with the enemy and do not demand the return of the soldiers. The rift is much bigger than that of the Goldin family - it is a national rift that tells us - 'soldiers are worthless.'"
Responding to the Prime Minister’s claim that he is unwilling to release terrorists as part on an exchange deal, she said, "I am not asking Bennett to release terrorists. [My husband] Simcha sat down with him and suggested all kinds of international levers that could be used against Hamas. He goes on and on about releasing terrorists. The soldiers must not be abandoned and if an agreement with Hamas is signed without returning the boys - it will be a stain on Bennett forever."
Seven years after her son was captured, she still believes he will return. "The word 'despair' is not in our lexicon. It is time to stand tall and do what we know and need to do. As Hadar said: 'There is desire, there is understanding and there is ability.' For us, the reality is that there is understanding, there is ability but there is no desire. All the mothers who enlist and will enlist their sons and daughters in the IDF should remember this. Do not forget that they went out to defend the State of Israel by order of the nation and fell into the hands of the enemy - and we must bring them home."