March 14 is my birthday. But since last year, the day has gained secondary significance in our home.
On March 14, 2017, my husband and I along with the parents of Shoshana Hayman Greenbaum were invited to meet officials of the US Department of Justice and the FBI at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
Several of those representatives had periodically spoken to us, ever since PM Netanyahu decided in 2011 to free 1,027 convicted terrorists including our daughter’s murderer. We had pleaded with him to exclude from that list Ahlam Tamimi, the chief orchestrator and a perpetrator of the 2001 Sbarro bombing.
Tamimi had confessed to, and been convicted of, the murders of 15 people, eight of them children. She had been sentenced to 16 life terms. But Mr. Netanyahu, in a move far more immoral than any of the offenses of which he is now being accused, ignored us.
On October 18, 2011, at his instruction, Tamimi was released along with 1,026 other terrorists – more than half of whom were convicted of murder or attempted murder – in order to retrieve Gilad Shalit.
Last year at that meeting in the King David Hotel, we received what I naively believed would be a wonderful birthday gift: the news that Ahlam Tamimi was being indicted by the US for the murders of two Americans in the Sbarro massacre. Those victims were the pregnant 31 year old only child of the Haymans. And our 15 year old child, Malki.
But within minutes, it emerged that the “gift” was a curse, a source of yet more heartache. We learned then that the US had demanded Tamimi’s extradition from Jordan to stand trial on US soil only to be met with a flat refusal by King Abdullah’s regime for various bogus reasons.
Jordan had signed an extradition treaty with the US in 1995 and subsequently released several Jordanians to US custody in accordance with that same agreement. In the case of Tamimi, a woman of near-iconic stature in that country, Jordan behaves as if none of that ever happened.
Since March 14, 2017, we have discovered another painful reality: the United States appears unwilling to risk jeopardizing its friendship with Jordan’s King Abdullah. It has avoided pressuring the king to buttress with actions his incessant chirping about “fighting terrorism”.
He is lauded by both the US and Israel for being a staunch enemy of terrorists while harboring Tamimi, a mass-murdering Hamas agent.
Through her Al Quds TV talk show, which she hosted until shortly before her US indictment, she has been brazenly inciting Muslims to the murder of more Jews. In speeches she has delivered throughout the Arab world, she has boasted of her “accomplishments” and urged her fans to emulate them.
So as on every birthday since Mr. Netanyahu’s infamous Shalit Deal, I pray and wish for the day that my Malki’s murder will receive the just end it demands – Ahlam Tamimi behind US prison bars for life.