Tragedies collide

Posted: March 9, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Gaza, Gilad Shalit, Hamas
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IDF officers salute the caskets of Goldwasser and Regev

IDF officers salute the caskets of Goldwasser and Regev

The Jerusalem Post reports on two demonstrations in front of Prime Minister’s office: one is a tent, set in support of a deal that would secure release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Demonstrators are Shalit’s mother, father and rest of the family, together with others, who joined their demonstration, trying to force PM to act.

On the other side is a smaller, less organized demonstration, by relatives of those murdered by Hamas terrorists, especially those, whose release Hamas demands.

From morning until late in the night, Noam and Aviva Schalit sat in a white tent surrounded by dozens of supporters.

Large banners demanding their son’s release were plastered all around the tent. One sign noted that Schalit had been in captivity for 987 days.

But across the corner, in front of the Restobar – the site of the former Moment Café, where 11 people were killed by a suicide bomber on March 9, 2002 – sat two bereaved parents with exactly the opposite request.

In the name of their children, who were among the 17 people killed in a suicide bombing on bus No. 37 in Haifa on March 5, 2003, Yossi Mendellevich and Ron Kehrmann asked Olmert and any other Israeli prime minister to refuse Hamas’s demand to release prisoners, particularly those involved in serious terrorist attacks against Israelis.

They sat on folding chairs, in a mostly empty corner, behind an old sign with pictures of terror victims that was pasted onto the steel traffic fence.

Tragedies of both sides are grave and unbearable. But we should guess the hearts of the politicians are stiff and unable to comprehend emotion.

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