|Asaf "Blondi" Zur z"l|
Yossi Zur's son Asaf was murdered by Arab terrorists in 2003 when the Haifa city bus on which he was a passenger - the same bus on which Ron Kehrmann's daughter was riding - exploded. Asaf's life is honored on a website established by his family. The following article that appears on the Israel Today (Yisrael Hayom) website earlier this week expresses Yossi's reaction to the decision to free 100+ convicted, unrepentant killers.We can only blame ourselves
Yossi Zur | Israel Today | July 29, 2013
A few years ago, Britain's Channel 4 produced the film "In the Mind of a Suicide Bomber." The movie was filmed in an Israeli prison, and those who had the potential to commit suicide attacks but were arrested before pressing the detonation switch, as well as those responsible for planning the attacks, were interviewed. The movie is illustrative, and not just because of the chilling, unrestrained nature of those who killed or planned to. The confidence they exude is the real danger to us.
One of the terrorists in the movie is Majdi Amru, who was sentenced to 17 life terms in prison for his role in the suicide bombing of Bus 37 in Haifa in March 2003. In the attack, 17 Israelis were killed, among them nine children on their way home from school. One of those children was my son, Assaf. In the film, this serial killer said he was not worried because he was certain he would be released within a matter of years, and indeed that is what happened: Amru was released and sent abroad in the Schalit prisoner exchange. The Israeli government fulfilled his prophecy.
I can only imagine those who recruit terrorists: They walk up to a youngster, whose brain is already poisoned by years of an education system preaching hatred and television shows glorifying suicide bombers, and they promise him, "Even if you are caught, you will be released in a few years." I am sorry to say, those who made this claim tangible, tempting and true have been Israeli governments.
We are aiding terrorism by our actions and lack of foresight. Because while the Palestinian system has taught them that if they die they become holy, that streets and squares will be named after them and that their families will receive financial support -- our governments have taught them that if they are caught, they will spend a few years in prison before being set free. Who are we to accuse the Palestinians of a "revolving door" policy in their prisons?
Domestically, a belligerent system of propaganda operated by the various governments has educated Israelis -- or perhaps it is more accurate to say it has trained them to believe -- that there are no other options. Since the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Nachshon Wachsman by Hamas terrorists, any concern about casualties takes precedence over any military option. What is the conclusion? We must release the prisoners. An economic option, such as a siege on the Gaza Strip, does not look good in the world's eyes, and the silent majority in Israel truly does not believe there is a viable alternative to releasing terrorists.
We are exposed to the barrage of rhetorical propaganda from the government: "Anything to ensure security," "We will respond in the place and time of our choosing," and the like -- we have never wanted for clichés.
Today we are hearing this recycled cliché: "They are not terrorists, they are old, sick and can barely do anything." But they are 50-to-60-year-old men in their primes, after years of resting in prison, eating Israeli food, without the stress of needing to make a living, coddled by international organizations, enjoying the benefits of the Israeli health system, all for free.
We have no one to complain to but ourselves. Through deal after deal we are teaching everyone that releasing terrorists is a logical way to act. It is possible that this is not something that can be stopped or undone, but that does not prevent the outrage at the release of mass murderers who have taken the lives of women, children and men. I only hope that years from now we won't find ourselves, because of these actions, "without a place under the sun."
The writer is the father of Asaf (Blondi) Zur, who was murdered in the Bus 37 terrorist attack in Haifa in March 2003.