web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Terror Victims’ Rights


Now that Gilad Shalit is home, it is time for Israel to have a national discussion about the price of redeeming captive soldiers and the rights of terror victims.

There is an American law, originally called the Koby Mandell Act, that established an office in the Justice Department with the aim of keeping American citizens who are victims of Palestinian terrorism informed and empowered. Perhaps Americans, leveraging that law, can help Israel start the discussion about passing a bill in the Knesset that demands that terror victims’ families be accorded rights in the judicial process.

Sadly, Israel has not paid enough attention to the families of terror victims whose murderers were released. Since Shalit’s release there has been little discussion in the media about those families.

There is an official Israeli government list of released killers but all it says is the name and date of birth of the killer, when he was arrested and what is referred to mysteriously as the solution: where they were sent after their release. The official list says nothing about who was killed. The official list disregards the victims.

As a mother I understand the Shalit family’s insistent campaign to release their son and I would have done the same. But as a citizen I believe it is the job of the government to insist there is also justice for the victims’ families.

The victims’ families must have a voice in any future discussion of prisoner “exchanges.” They are the ones who are traumatized when terrorists are released to celebrate in the streets, to mock the pain of bereaved families, to murder again. All you have to do is view the TV clip where you see the smiling face of the woman who planned the Sbarro suicide murderer when she learns the number of children she killed, and you see the chilling price of this release.

No family should have to go through the hell the Shalit family went through – but at the same time, the government must protect the rights of victims. It is time to pass a law in the Knesset that institutes a terror victims’ rights program in Israel, advocating for the rights of terror victims and their families. There is already a victims’ rights program for criminal law. It is time to extend that protection to terror victims, even in matters of state security.

Further, we need to discuss how Israel can continue as a society where justice is jettisoned so quickly. As a result, the Dutch orphans of the Sbarro attack feel they have to leave Israel because the memory of their parents’ deaths, and the deaths of three of their siblings who were 14, 4 and 2 when they were murdered, is mocked and diminished.

As the mother of Koby Mandell, who was murdered by terrorists, and the co- founder of the Koby Mandell Foundation, which assists families who are bereaved by terror, I work with many of the families whose murderers were released in the recent prisoner “exchange.” We run ongoing support groups for the mothers and summer camps for over 400 bereaved children.

I want to tell you the stories of terror victims’ families so that you will understand the need for families to be included in any future decisions: The pain of the families at seeing their loved ones’ murderers free is indescribable. And the fact that government didn’t inform them before, didn’t prepare them in any way, is reprehensible.

Avichai Levi and Aviad Monstour were 10th graders, murdered in June 2005 on a Friday afternoon. Aviad was on his way home carrying a cake to celebrate his parents’ anniversary. They were both shot at a bus stop. Nechemi Sagron was injured in the same attack. Three months later, the same terrorists killed Yosi Shok, near Beit Hagai.

About the Author: Sherri Mandell is co-director of the Koby Mandell Foundation (www.kobymandell.org), which runs programs for bereaved families in Israel. Her book "The Blessing of a Broken Heart" won a National Jewish Book Award in 2004.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Terror Victims’ Rights”

  1. Jonathan Gold says:

    Sadly, the feelings of terror victim families have been given a low priority in Israel. Yasher Koach to Mrs. Mandel for bringing this to light. Not for publication.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Sherri Mandell
Dalia Lemkos, HY"D Is this the image you think of when you hear the word "settler?"

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

Now that Gilad Shalit is home, it is time for Israel to have a national discussion about the price of redeeming captive soldiers and the rights of terror victims.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/terror-victims%e2%80%99-rights/2011/11/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: