Frimet Roth

The Sbarro bomber is free as a lark thanks to Netanyahu

Frimet Roth and her daughter Malki some months before Malki was murdered

Responding to last week’s murder of Meir Tamari, a young husband and father of two, in a terror shooting attack [“Victim of West Bank shooting attack named as 32-year-old father of two Meir Tamari“], Prime Minister Netanyahu, quoted on this Israel government site, offered predictable condolences and assurances.

He concluded with this promise to arrest and punish the perpetrators:

“Our forces are now pursuing the terrorists in order to settle accounts with them – and they will be settled soon. As we have reached every terrorist and settled accounts with them until now – we will do the same this time.”

Most Israelis probably accepted that as, at worst, a hackneyed statement. But certainly not an infuriating one.
However when parsed, as it ought to be, it is clear that Netanyahu was circulating a bald-faced lie. His boast “as we have… settled accounts with them until now – we will do the same this time” flies in the face of his past actions.
Here’s why.
The sad passing on Wednesday of Chana Finer Nachenberg, the 16th victim of the 2001 Sbarro Pizzeria bombing, should remind everyone of that lie. Yet it is my husband and I and only a handful of others who have noted it.
Our daughter, Malki, at 15 years old, was among the Sbarro victims. Her absence relentlessly torments us to this day.
The chief orchestrator of that Hamas bombing, Ahlam Tamimi, was freed by Netanyahu in the 2011 Shalit Deal – at the urging of his wife, Sara as he himself explained [“PM says wife convinced him to go ahead with Schalit prisoner deal” Israel Hayom] to the German news magazine BILD in 2012. It was Sara, says Bibi, who urged him to execute the Shalit deal and release 1,027 convicted and unrepentant terrorists.
They included Tamimi whom Netanyahu handed her to Jordan’s King Abdullah II under the guise of “exiling” her as he termed it in his address to his constituents.
In truth, he was returning her to her family and to the home in which she was raised in Jordan’s second-largest city, Zarqa.
There – and in Amman where she has resided since 2011 – she has enjoyed a high-profile life replete with TV interviews, hosting gigs, award presentations and all the coverage a proud mass murderer could wish for.
A minor kink in her glorious life has been her indictment by the US Department of Justice (under seal in 2013 and then unsealed in 2017) and the subsequent American demand for her extradition by her protector, Jordan’s Abdullah.
The US says consistently that since 1995
Jordan and the US have been parties to
a valid and binding extradition treaty.


The demand is based on a valid extradition treaty dating to 1995, signed and ratified by the US and by King Abdullah’s father, King Hussein. The State Department has asserted numerous times [here for instance] that the treaty continues to be in force, valid and binding.

But not to worry, King Abdullah has navigated his way around all that, has ignored the demand, has declared the treaty “not ratified” and has won a cadre of supporters in the U.S. Congress on both sides of the aisle.
Abdullah’s Jewish admirers, who are numerous and include influential individuals and large, prominent organizations,  have also assisted his rejection of the demand. Their continued regular, reverential meetings with him and their silence on the subject signal to him that they are fine with his evasion of justice.
Who cares whether the mass murderer whom he is shielding slaughtered Jewish children – eight of them?
Finally, King Abdullah’s position regarding the extradition demand has been buttressed by none other than Netanyahu. Informed sources have quietly suggested to my husband and me that our prime minister, off the record, has urged Jewish leaders not to touch the Tamimi matter – and not to pressure the king to comply with the U.S. government’s demand.
Is this a man determined to settle scores with terrorists? Actions speak louder than empty condolence messages.
Clearly, justice for murderers of Israelis is not on Netanyahu’s list of priorities.
About the Author
A Jerusalem-based freelance writer, law graduate and commentator on the challenges facing people with special needs, Frimet Roth together with her husband Arnold co-founded The Malki Foundation ( in 2001. It provides concrete support for Israeli families of all faiths who care at home for a special-needs child. The Roths' daughter Malki was murdered at the age of 15 in the terrorist bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria. Her personal blog, under the title "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly", is at The views expressed here are personal.
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