|On the Algemeiner website today|
Here's an extract:
DN: I understand a group of bereaved families have joined together. Tell me a bit about this group. Who are they? What do they do?
AR: The Bereaved Families for Peace and Justice group [website] is an ad hoc collective of concerned individuals. Four of us, friends and acquaintances from past years, formed it in the last few weeks to give a voice to the immense frustrations that welled up when we saw with horror that the decision to free the terrorists into the arms of the Abbas people looked it was becoming real. We only managed to reach out to a relative handful of other bereaved families in the short time between deciding to write to Secretary Kerry and the delivery of that letter to the State Department. I think we will have many more families, victims of the terrorists, when we do this again in the future.
I don’t know how it appears to people looking on from afar. But all of us are ordinary people with lives, with families, with jobs, with the usual problems and challenges. What brings us together is not politics, not a shared outlook on religion, not a common mission to solve the Arab/Israel conflict. We share a deep pain, each in our own individual ways, and a deep sense that injustice is being done over our heads and if we don’t speak out, then no one else will.
I keep discovering again and again when I meet with individuals in different countries who have had to confront life after terrorism burst into their lives… Your readers might be surprised to know how much I have discovered that I share with an Irish Catholic father whose son was murdered. Or with a Basque woman whose brother ‘s life ended in a car bombing. I don’t mean this figuratively, by the way. It’s literally true that we share so much, to our mutual surprise. The language and religious and cultural and age barriers matter less, it turns out, than the struggle to cope with living after a terrorist picked out your son or daughter or brother and pulled the trigger.
My sense is that if you had to distill a single shared sentiment out of all the pain and anguish of terrorism’s global victims, it would be something like the following imagined message: This happened to me, and until we all learn to identify the terrorists and their supporters ahead of time, it’s going to happen to you too, and yes, I know you don’t want to hear this from me. Terrorism is not just a crime or an accident. It’s a social pathology that is growing more powerful every day.