An apology to the victims of terror

It’s nearly 3:00PM Israel time on Sunday afternoon July 28th, and I’ll admit I have spent the last two hours sitting in my Jerusalem office, refreshing my browser, to catch the latest news on whether or not my government has once again capitulated to Islamic terrorism, by approving the release of 104 pre-Oslo Arab murderers with Jewish blood on their hands. 

As of this writing, while Prime Minister Netanyahu seems to be struggling to gain approval for this reprehensible decision, it looks like it will in fact pass.

As he explained in a public letter to the nation last night, somehow releasing hardened terrorists, while difficult, is in his words “for the good of the country.”

Ironically, while Israel is deliberating whether or not to set terrorists free, as a gesture of goodwill, in order to return to the negotiating table (we’re not even talking about ‘promises of peace,’ we’re talking about letting these savages go in order to gain access to holding meetings with a PA leadership, which still to this day incites it’s people against Israel and the Jews), the Egyptian military on the other hand, is doing what should be done –  seeking justice  by eliminating the terrorists in their midst.

While releasing more terrorists threatens the future security of all Israelis, the most painful and cruel aspect of this whole concept is for those families who will have to suffer seeing those who have murdered their brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, set free before serving out their term.

I had the gut-wrenching opportunity to hear from the families themselves this morning at a demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s office, where the fateful cabinet meeting was being held.

Luckily, I just bought my first pair of sunglasses in many years, and I was able to avoid looking at these bereaved families in the eye, knowing full well what was being deliberated in an office building just several meters away.

The atmosphere was more like a shiva house (house of mourning) than a rally, with the victims’ family members holding placards with photos of their lost ones.

I know all too well from meeting with countless victims of terror over the years, that while their pain and suffering never truly ebbs, the emotions brought on for those whose loved ones’ murderers are set free, are almost on par with what they experienced on the day they received the dreaded news to begin with.

While their loved ones are never to return, there is a sense of relief when justice is served with the apprehension or liquidation of the terrorist. But once that person is again roaming the streets freely, the immense pain from the injustice returns in an instant.

Without refreshing my browser and just posting this entry without knowing the Cabinet’s final verdict I would like to say to the victims and their families as a fellow Israeli and as a fellow Jew:

I apologize for what you are going through, and I am sorry for not looking you in the eye.








About the Author
Joshua Hasten is the International Spokesperson for Gush Etzion. He is host of the weekly “Israel Uncensored” radio broadcast on The Land of Israel Network, as well as an international Middle East Correspondent in print and on television. Joshua is also a sought-after speaker around the world. His workshops and lectures on pro-Israel advocacy have impacted thousands. Joshua was the CAMERA organization’s 2009 Letter Writer of the Year, and is a member of the Judea and Samaria Speaker’s Bureau. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, he resides in Gush Etzion, Israel.
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