I have some friends who have lost children – to sickness or accidents. I am amazed by their ability to put one foot in front of the other, to eat, to talk, to walk, to live. To laugh? Beyond my ability to even comprehend and yet somehow they do.
But what about when your child doesn’t die because of an accident? An illness? What about when your child is taken from you on a sunny day when suddenly the world explodes – her world, and yours? The letter below is written by just such a parent. This is the father of Malki Roth, who was 15 years old, when she joined her friends at the Sbarro Pizzeria in the center of Jerusalem to enjoy her summer vacation – in August, 10 years ago.
A Palestinian woman helped plan an attack. She helped scope out the place, acted the girlfriend of the killer as they joked and fooled soldiers at the checkpoint looking for the typical suicide bomber. And finally, after escorting him to Sbarro…made her escape as he entered, positioned himself between families and teens, and destroyed forever dozens of lives and families. Ahlam Tamimi is her name – the female terrorist who has gone on record as saying that she doesn’t regret her actions and when told that children had been killed…eight children…her response was to smile.
She said she is proud of what she did – and that she would be released, despite being sentenced to multiple life terms. I would have said she was wrong; that Israel would never release this woman. I want to call her so many names – none of them can I write here. The anger chokes…as of now, Tamimi is right. She is about to be released for Gilad Shalit and this is causing the families such incredible pain. Once when their children were killed. Once when Tamimi was caught, tried, and sentenced and they had to live it all again; and now again, when Tamimi is freed and Malki Roth’s family and other victim’s families have to suffer through a moment they prayed would never come, knowing their loved ones are lost to them forever.
I received the following letter and request to sign a petition from Malki’s father and received his permission to reprint it. I hate online petitions – and yet I have signed this one and ask you to please sign it as well. You, members of your families, friends, contacts – anyone and everyone. Please take a moment to sign it – if not for justice, than for Malki and for her parents.
From Frimet and Arnold Roth:
Please pass this heartfelt request along urgently to your contacts. It’s a request to sign a petition, online here:
Under normal circumstances, requests to sign a petition are unlikely to lead to any significant outcomes. In this case, we are hoping to do something important.
The petition asks for the removal of one specific name from the list of more than one thousand terrorists, including hundreds of convicted murderers, to be published by the government of Israel tomorrow, Sunday. That list is the basis of a transaction by which Israel will get back Gilad Shalit, held hostage by the terrorists of Hamas for more than five years. The deal involves Israel throwing open the gates of its top-security prisons and issuing wholesale pardons. My wife Frimet and I have expressed our principled objection to the deal. While others are busy trying to stop it in the courts, we are focusing our energies on one specific person, and getting her off the list.
Her name is Tamimi. An article in today’s New York Times [ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/world/middleeast/israel-prisoner-swap-touches-old-wounds.html ] provides some background:
And there are many articles on the web tonight showing her family and supporters celebrating her impending return to freedom and to a full and active life as a heroine and inspiration.
Even if you do not normally sign petitions, or pass them along to friends, we ask you to seriously consider signing this one. Once again, it’s online here:
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/remove-ahlam-tamimi-from-the-list-of-terrorists-to-be-f.html Time is very limited. We really only have until Sunday (16th October) to get a significant number of signatures. If we succeed, we can then put pressure on the Prime Minister’s Office and the Justice Ministry and publicize this in the media.
Finally, allow me to mention that Keren Malki, the not-for-profit we created in our daughter’s memory in 2001, does very work in our murdered daughter’s name for the benefit of families raising a special-needs child. Your support for that work will be much appreciated. More at www.kerenmalki.org Thank you for reading this far. Together with our friends and their friends, we hope – despite the odds – to do something constructive in the face of the terrible transaction being done with the terrorists of Hamas.