Twenty-six terrorists were released from an Israeli jail last night. These 26 murderers left the families of the victims with a hole in their heart and a lifetime of pain. It’s a kind of pain that follows you everywhere and stays with you for years, even in the happiest of events.
I lost my father to a suicide bombing during the second intifada. And while the terrorists being released had nothing to do with my father, their release has hit home and is an unbearable turn of events.
But more importantly for the victims, there is a need to prepare them for the fact that those who murdered their loved ones are now free. Even more disappointing than the release is the fact that the Israeli government has failed to do this. Most of the families heard the news from friends or by surfing the web, not from the government or through psychologists deployed to help prepare them for this torturous day.
It is accepted that when a soldier is hurt or killed in battle, a group of psychologists and government officials, will go to the parent’s home to tell them the news. So why is the release of a murderer not equal to this? It is a second loss for the family and they need, now more than ever, the government’s full attention to help them recovery. It is like sitting shiva for a second time.
After speaking with many victims of terrorism over the last few days, and based on my own experiences through my organization, One Heart, which I founded to help victims of terrorism, I know all too well that this event touches the hearts of many, and the help that the Israeli government needs to provide is even wider. The release of these 26 terrorists causes a new pain to the thousands of Israeli victims of terrorism. One cannot imagine what we see when we close our eyes, and recent events have only brought those to the forefront once more.
A release should be well thought out and looked at from many angles. After all, for many victims, today it feels like our loved ones have been killed all over again.