Thursday, June 26, 2014

Haimaot - The Mothers : EyalGiladNaftali

It's been two weeks. I haven't written about it yet...until now. I guess the shock was still there ... waiting for good news.

Haimaot (the mothers) broke through their shock, refusing to wait for the good news, instead taking matters into their own hands. Boldly speaking out - first on the media, then to the United Nations Council on Human Rights in Geneva, then to the Knesset - they have been an inspiration to all Israel.  Not only is their strength apparent in the midst of their terrible ordeal, but also their courage.

Traveling to the UN, a den of iniquity filled with snakes and vipers, who but a mother would have the strength to sit through the vilest of accusations against Israel, and still speak out for the truth, still plead to the world for the right of her child to come home from school - the right of any child -and still to leave no stone un-turned in the quest to save her/their children.

Racheli Frenkel, the mother of Naftali, spoke from her broken heart with simplicity and courage. She had no agenda but the cry of a mother for her child.  I heard her voice crack once. I think I would have completely lost my composure, but she paused one second to steady herself, and then continued on. I was amazed at her courage.

How could these mothers not have heard the terrible things said both before and after their plea. I heard them. I boiled with anger. I cried at the unjust lies being hurled at Israel and for their humiliate and mock them.  I had to turn off the computer twice while waiting for the boys' mothers.

Not only was there the vilest of lies before, but the audacity of mockery after they spoke. "What kidnapping?" it was said. "I never heard of it".  Outright lies about thousands of Palestinians kidnapped and killed by Israel. The outrageousness of it all is hard to take. I have been appalled that some would suggest we have fabricated the story.

Yet, these three mothers persist, seemingly impervious to the abhorrent things that were and are being said, kept, and continue to keep right on going, not stopping until their boys are home, safe in their beds at night.

After the UN they took on the Knesset. Bat-Galim Sha'ar, mother of Gilad, spoke forthrightly about the responsibility of the government to do the right thing. Shocked that the operation was being scaled back, shocked that the government had made a "deal" with the hunger - striking prisoners, Sha'ar challenged them to do the the right thing, and to do everything. She told them the families would not accept "irresponsible" government decisions.  Full text of her speech, which was very moving, can be found here.

It can be said that any and all mothers would do the same. Mothers of other kidnapped sons have cried out and pleaded with the government and with the world. We must respect any effort of any parent to find their lost child...and our hearts have always been broken.

What is different, what is unique with the mothers of these boys, and their families, is that they are not asking the government to appease the enemy, to make deals to bring the boys home (all of which can nevertheless be understood and never judged), but these families are asking for the IDF, for the government to be bold, to stand strong and do the right thing. NO to the terrorists, no to "deals".

I was a supporter of the deal for Gilad Shalit, for a lot of reasons, but never for the release of prisoners for some insane "piece" negotiations with those who want to kill us.  The truth be told, Israel has always traded prisoners for our soldiers or their bodies, if they did not survive. This is no different....except for that one thing. This time it is being demanded that they be returned for the right reasons, and NOT for the deal of released terrorists. These mothers are demanding that our government, and even the world, stand up finally for what is right and just, and expect it to happen.

They have encouraged us, we who should be encouraging them.

It is time we stand strong as a nation. These are all our boys, our sons, our brothers, our friends. As it is said, the other Rachel, who wept for her children she did not have, because of her tears and her righteousness, merited the return of Klal Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael.

Please G-d, for the sake of these mothers, and for the same reason, bring Eyal, Gilad and Naftali home, alive and well.

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