Sara’s mother was murdered with 3 other women who were slain at a bus stop in Jerusalem in March, 1991.
A few months ago, I opened the daily Yediot Aharonot Israeli newspaper and I was stunned to read a headline article written by Nahum Barnea and Shimon Shiffer, both of whom are known as credible journalists, in which they wrote that in any permanent agreement with the Palestinian Authority, killers with blood on their hands will be freed by Barak. Next to their article were pictures of six Palestinian killers that the Palestinian Authority demands their release.
One of the pictures that appears there is our killer, the killer of my mother, Mustafa Abu Jallala.
At the moment that I saw that picture I relived the murder.
My mother, a small and simple woman stood at the bus stop waiting for a bus that would take her home from another day of work and suddenly, a monstrous man of six foot appeared out of nowhere flailing a long knife. He killed her and all of our family. A full life was taken in one moment, the life of a simple family was changed from one extreme to another and will never be the same from what it was before the murder. Whenever I feel the pain of the murder, and the sorrow for the loss of my mother, I imagine him, the murderer. Getting off a bus with the other freed murderers, with great satisfaction and with victory on his face, holding up the V sign with his hand, saying, I’m victorious, I murdered, I was freed and now I can even do it again and become a leader of my people.
And I ask you, I ask my people, and I ask our Prime Minister, how are we supposed to feel when the value of justice slips from our hands? How are we as a family to feel when our minimal human rights were taken by a murderer, who instead of rotting in prison to his last day, might in fact be freed very soon. We hear every day about human rights that we all agree are a very important principle in a just society, but I ask where exactly is the right of a murder victim, of the victim of a person who was precious to us who is now buried deep in the ground. Where are the victim’s rights when the murderer is allowed to go free?
Where are the rights of us as a bereaved family, whose life after the murder has anyway become difficult? Where are our rights when the murderer of our mother is freed?
Ever since the article in Yediot appeared, we have witnessed 150 prisoners freed, amongst them people with the blood of the wounded on their hands, (as if they did not intend to kill) and also amongst them, those who murdered Arabs who cooperated with Israel. (As if there is any difference between human blood).
Last week we were witness to the freeing of another 26 prisoners, amongst them was the murderer of a taxi driver, Yehezkel Mizrachi. My heart and the heart of all my family go out to his grieving family. We are slowly coming to the realization that this is about to happen to us, and this must never happen.
I feel a moral obligation in memory of my mother to carry out this fight, My mother did not have the opportunity to defend herself. As I think of my mother, I cannot sit idly and not fight this basic injustice.