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August 15, 2013 8:48 am

Israel Shows Mercy to Released Prisoners, Ignores Families of Victims

avatar by Jacob Kimchy

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Families of terror victims protest in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon at the Defense Ministry's headquarters. Photo: Orit Zehavi, Tazpit News Agency.

Twenty-six terrorists were released from an Israeli jail a couple nights ago. These 26 murderers left the families of their victims with holes in their hearts and destined to a lifetime of pain. It’s a kind of pain that follows you everywhere and stays with you for years, even at the happiest of events.

I lost my father to a suicide bombing during the second intifada. And while the terrorists being released had nothing to do with my father’s death, their release still hits home and is an unbearable turn of events.

Even more disappointing is the fact that the Israeli government has failed to prepare the victims’ families for the release. Most of the families heard the news from friends or from surfing the Internet, not from the government or through psychologists deployed to help prepare them for this torturous day.

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It is accepted that when a soldier is hurt or killed in battle, a group of psychologists and government officials will visit the parents’ home to tell them the news. So why is the release of a murderer not equal to this? The event is like a second loss for the family and they need, now more than ever, the government’s full attention to help them recover. It is like sitting a second “shiva.”

After speaking with many victims of terrorism over the last few days, and based on my own experiences through One Heart, an organization I founded to help victims of terrorism, I know all too well that this event touches the hearts of many. And the Israeli government should be doing something to help.

The release of these 26 terrorists causes new pain to the thousands of Israeli victims of terrorism. The government cannot imagine what we see when we close our eyes, and recent events have only brought that pain to the forefront once more.

A release should be well thought out and looked at from many angles. After all, for many victims, today it feels like our loved ones have been killed all over again.

Jacob Kimchy lost his father, Rami Kimchy Z”TL, in a suicide attack in Rishon L’Tzion, Israel. Kimchy heads the victims-of-terror organization, One Heart Global.

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