Bereaved parents sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday protesting the invitation of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to speak at the Knesset.
“We have heard that to our sorrow, you have called Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to speak in Jerusalem at the Knesset—as if you liberating convicted terrorists was not enough,” the letter reads.
Bereaved parents protested en masse last month, when Netanyahu released convicted terrorists and murderers back to civilian areas in PA-controlled parts of Judea and Samaria as a precondition to negotiations.
Almagor not only facilitated the protests—which included both a mass demonstration outside of Israel’s Ofer Prison but also a highly publicized demonstration outside of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s hotel room—but also submitted a petition to the High Court refuting the legality of the decision. That petition was ultimately rejected.
“You are now breaking our hearts again,” the letter continues, “by inviting the man who demanded their release, and who raises these terrorists up as nationalist heroes of the Palestinian people.” The letter goes on to deride the move, claiming that it gives PA officials unnecessary and unwarranted status.
The parents also emphasize their dedication to protesting the move, insisting that if Mahmoud Abbas comes to the Knesset, “we will be there in the name of morality and justice.”
“We will block him ourselves, with our bodies,” the statement affirmed. “On the day he gets to Jerusalem, heaven forbid, we will be there to [physically] block the Knesset, just as we did with many other [demonstrators] when Arafat wanted to go to Jerusalem.”
“If Mahmoud Abbas is received by the Knesset, it will be like dancing on the blood of the terror victims who were murdered by his people,” the letter concludes.
“Mr. Prime Minister, you may have renewed negotiations under heavy American pressure, but who made you invite to the Knesset someone who symbolizes for many of us terror, murder and support of murderers?”
The letter was signed by Dr. Aryeh Bachrach—a bereaved father and head of Almagor Forum of bereaved parents; Meir Indor—terror victim and CEO of Almagor; Simcha and Pearl Malik—bereaved parents; Anat Cohen—bereaved sister; Yossi Zur—a bereaved father; and Ron Kerman—another bereaved father.
Ron Levy, (l.), and Revital Seri, (r.), were murdered while hiking near Jerusalem in 1984. Their killer has been freed and will receive more than $100,000 and a military promotion from the Palestinian Authority.
Terror pays in the West Bank and Gaza, where killers recently freed by Israel under pressure from the U.S. are getting six-figure payments and military promotions from the Palestinian Authority.
Issa Abed Rabbo, the longest serving of some 104 Palestinian prisoners to be released, is getting the standard $50,000 the PA pays to freed terrorists, plus another $60,000 and the full cost of his upcoming wedding. Rabbo tied up and shot dead two Israeli Hebrew University students who were hiking near Jerusalem in 1984. Rabbo, now 49, was sentenced to life in prison, but became a hero to some Palestinians for no reason other than killing Revital Seri, 22, and Ron Levy, 23.
The PA has long paid out five-figure sums to terrorists, as well as monthly stipends and military promotions, and also rewards the families of suicide bombers. But the latest examples, especially in light of the Israeli public’s opposition to freeing the prisoners, are triggering a backlash.
“The world thinks it’s funding peace, but instead the Palestinians are funding terror,” said Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon. Their aid money is used to give massive grants to terrorists.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has praised the mother of Rabbo for her “steadfastness” and sacrifices” during her son’s time in prison, celebrated the release of prisoners on the West Bank. He has made winning the freedom of Palestinian prisoners one if his highest priorities, and the U.S. strongly urged Israel to go along with the release as a sign of good faith ahead of peace talks.
Despite polls reflecting the opposition of an overwhelming majority of the Israeli public to the convicted killers being given their freedom, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure from Secretary of State Kerry to make a gesture of good faith, went along with the plan as Israeli and Palestinian officials resumed peace talks in Jerusalem after a three-year hiatus.
The funds paid out to Rabbo and other convicted killers come from the Palestinian Authority’s general fund. The PA gets roughly $600 million in aid every year from the U.S., and hundreds of millions more from its European patrons. The PA says the money is paid out to help the former prisoners adjust to life in the free world, but critics believe it is a government-funded reward program for murder and terrorism.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, (l.), has made winning the freedom of killers such as Issa Abed Rabbo, (r.) a top priority. (AP)
“This is yet another example of the way the Palestinian leadership has squandered its resources,” Jonathan Schanzer, author of the recently released book “State of Failure,” which examines the financial dealings of the Palestinians, told FoxNews.com. “In this case, they are not only misallocating huge sums during a financial crisis in the West Bank, they are transferring their resources to convicted murderers, which is completely unethical. American officials should conduct an investigation into whether these funds were allocated from accounts where U.S. tax dollars were involved.”
Among the other Palestinian prisoners freed were:
Tsabbag Mohamed, 39, a member of Fatah sentenced to life for the 1991 torture and murder of three neighbors he suspected of collaborating with Israel.
Shabbir Hazam, 39, a member of Fatah who, as part of an initiation into a terror organization, killed a co-worker and Holocaust survivor with an ax in 1994.
Yusef Hazaa, 46, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of two hikers, 35-year-old father of five Yosef Elihau, and Leah Almakayis, a 19-year-old National Service volunteer.
Meir Indor, chairman of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, which represents the families of Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists over the past 30 years, tried unsuccessfully to get the Israeli High Court to block the release of prisoners.
“Awarding somebody who killed innocent people such money and giving them the rank in the Palestinian Army of Major General is unbelievable” Indor said.
Netanyahu speaks at the Knesset during a special Yom Kippur War ceremony on October 15, 2013. Photo: Courtesy—GPO
There cannot be peace as Palestinian incitement continues, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset, hours after a Palestinian teen stabbed soldier Eden Atias near Afula Wednesday.
“Surrounding the murderer is an education system, official Palestinian Authority newspapers, mosques and other places in Palestinian society that are full of incitement,” Netanyahu said. “If we want real peace, the incitement has to stop.”
Earlier Wednesday, lawmakers in Netanyahu’s party called for him to stop peace talks.
“The talks are deluding both the Israeli public and the Arabs,” Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said. “We must stop this predictable crash course immediately.”
Danon also called to stop the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely said “the Palestinian Authority’s well-oiled incitement system continues to claim victims.”
“[PA President] Mahmoud Abbas has a tactic of indirectly harming Israel. Jews aren’t killed by PA officials but by the ‘Palestinian street,’ which is fed each day by anti-Israel propaganda. We cannot continue talking peace while the PA is talking terror,” Hotovely added.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni sent her condolences to the soldier’s family and wrote on Facebook that now is not the time for political arguments.
However, she added that “violence will not bring diplomatic achievements. We will fight terror and extremism without compromise.”
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich also said said her heart goes out to the soldier’s family and that she trusts the IDF in its fight against terror.
The Labor leader called on Netanyahu not to use the attack “to continue sabotaging negotiations, which anyway are bruised and battered taking place under the shadow of a crisis with the US.”
Bayit Yehudi MKs also spoke out against concessions in negotiations, with Knesset Finance Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky saying the stabbing “is a direct result of Israel’s policy of freeing terrorists.”
“We make difficult concessions for which we pay in human lives, while the Palestinians only talk,” he stated. “The current situation endangers our sons and daughters while the PA celebrates the release of murderers. This is intolerable and must stop immediately.”
MK Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) said the attack was a result of the IDF not doing enough to stop Palestinians from illegally entering Israel.
“When PA incitement teaches hatred of Jews and calls to destroy us … our security forces must enforce the law and realize that they can prevent the next murder,” he remarked.
Almagor Terror Victims Organization chairman Meir Indor said “we cannot ignore what is behind the recent chain of terror attacks. It is encouraged by the American government, which threatens the obedient Israeli government if they do not release terrorists.”
“The lives of Jews are not as important to [US Secretary of State] John Kerry as the residents of Boston. He wouldn’t have released the Chechen terrorist,” Indor added, in reference to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspected Boston Marathon bomber.
Palestinian Terrorist Kills IDF Soldier at Afula Bus Station
IDF soldier Eden Atias, 19, suffers mortal wounds after being stabbed multiple times by 16-year-old Palestinian at northern city’s central bus station • Northern District Police says teen confessed, said he sought to avenge relatives jailed in Israel.
The scene of Wednesday’s terror attack in Afula (Photo credit: Niv Productions)
Israel Defense Forces soldier Eden Atias, 19, from Nazareth Illit, was stabbed to death by a Palestinian teenager Wednesday in the northern Israeli city of Afula. The Shin Bet and the Israel Police have launched a joint investigation into the incident, which has been labeled a terror attack.
The attack took place around 8:30 a.m. aboard the 823 Egged bus from Nazareth Illit to Tel Aviv. The assailant, identified as 16-year-old Hussein Jawadra from Jenin, who authorities say was residing in Israel illegally, attacked Atias when the bus came to a stop, stabbing him multiple times.
Jawadra then attempted to flee the scene but was quickly apprehended by another soldier and border policeman who were also on the bus. Police forces who arrived at the scene were able to find the weapon used in the attack as well.
Atias, who joined the military in October and was still undergoing basic training, sustained several wounds to his neck and chest. Magen David Adom paramedics rushed him to Haemek Medical Center in Afula where he underwent emergency surgery, and later died of his wounds.
“The soldier was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, suffering from massive blood loss. We administered a series of treatments in an attempt to stabilize his condition, but the injury to his heart was too severe and despite our best possible efforts there was nothing we could do,” Haemek Medical Center Deputy Director Dr. Tuvia Tiyosuno told Channel 2.
Jawadra was taken in for questioning by the security forces. Northern District Police Commander Maj. Gen. Roni Atiya told Army Radio that the teen confessed to the act, saying he sought to avenge relatives who are imprisoned in Israel. “He told us he left his house this morning with a clear intent to harm Israelis because his uncles are jailed in Israel,” Atiya said.
According to Channel 2, the Northern District Police held a security assessment following the attack, after which it decided to reinforce police presence in central locations in the district, to bolster the public’s sense of security.
Atiya said that the police had no intelligence indicating an imminent threat in the greater Afula area. “We have general indications [of threats] all the time. At this time we are unable to determine whether he boarded the bus with the intent to stab someone or whether he was on his way to work. He eventually stabbed the soldier sitting next to him.”
“Palestinian Authority’s Incitement Machine Continues to Claim Victims”
“There was blood everywhere,” Shulamit Twitto, a passenger on the bus, told Israel Hayom. “The soldier was sitting there and there was a huge pool of blood under his seat. I tried talking to him, to see if he was responsive, but he wasn’t.” She added that it was 20 minutes from the time MDA was called until an ambulance arrived.
“I had just boarded the bus and I immediately saw the soldier — he was covered in blood,” a security guard who boarded the bus shortly after the attack, said. “Someone yelled ‘terror attack, terror attack,’ and I was just sorry that I didn’t have a weapon because in cases like these they [terrorists] shouldn’t be allowed to live,” she said.
In a post on his Facebook page, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) said Wednesday that “following the terror attack that saw an IDF solider murdered in his sleep on a bus, as well and the recent terror attacks emanating from the Palestinian Authority, I have asked the prime minister to immediately suspend the terrorists’ release,” pledged by Israel to the PA ahead of the resumption of the peace talks in August.
“The Palestinian Authority’s well-oiled incitement machine continues to claim Israeli victims,” Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said in as statement. “Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] is fostering an indirect tactic of harming Israel. The killing of Jews is no longer perpetrated by the PA’s branches but by the ‘Palestinian street,’ which is fed, daily, by anti-Israeli propaganda. We cannot continue to negotiate peace when the PA clearly pursues terror.”
Meir Indor, head of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, said in a statement that “the hand that held the knife today may have been that of a Palestinian teenager, but he was sent by Abu Mazen and his associates in the PA, who offer released murderers a hero’s welcome in Ramallah. By doing that they are raising another generation of young killers who grow up hoping to become Palestinian heroes.”
The organization said that Jawadra “carried out the attack knowing that no one would try to kill him for fear of prosecution, but he also knew that if he was caught and tried his sentenced would be commuted via another [prisoners’ release] deal. Until then, he would sit in prison and receive a scholarship. Once released, he will receive a hero’s welcome in Ramallah and then a generous pension for the rest of his life. What a great deal!”
Almagor further urged the government “to announce that it will no longer release any terrorists, in order to signal that nothing can be gained from murdering Israelis and rehabilitate Israeli deterrence.”
MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) issued a statement saying, “Only yesterday the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, which I head, warned that the GOC Central Command and the Israel Police are failing to enforce laws against the illegal crossing of thousands of Palestinians from Judea and Samaria into Israel.
“I urge the defense establishment, the IDF, the GOC Central Command and the Israel Police to uphold their duty and prevent such cases. At a time when the PA’s incitement against Jews is increasing, it is up to the defense forces to be even more vigilant. The defense establishment has the ability to prevent the next murder.”
The cry echoed across the busy Jerusalem streets tonight (Wednesday) in a demonstration organized by bereaved families and anti-terror organizations outside of Jerusalem’s David Citadel hotel, where US Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly staying during this round of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Kerry, along with other US officials, has been increasing pressure on Israel to make even more terrorist releases, prolonging the pain of bereaved families. Last week’s controversial and much-debated release of 26 convicted terrorists to civilian areas in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza prompted a last-ditch effort to declare the move illegal under a supreme court ruling. The effort ultimately failed, as did a string of protests outside of Ofer Prison, but the fight to prevent future releases continued tonight through the public demonstration and press conference.
One of the protest participants was Yitzchak Maoz, father of Tehila Maoz, who was murdered at age 18 in the 2001 Sbarro massacre in Jerusalem. “I am here because I don’t want to see any more bereaved families in Israel,” Maoz stated. “A sovereign state cannot treat its own citizens lightly, and to release terrorists with blood on their hands is unjust and immoral.”
Lizzie HaMeiri, organizer of the demonstration and member of anti-terrorist organization Almagor, stated to Arutz Sheva, “We came tonight to protest against the hypocrisy of US Secretary of State John Kerry, on his demands to our government to release murderers with blood on their hands. When the US is notified that among the released terrorists is someone who murdered American citizens they request that the terrorist not be released. Is an American citizen’s blood redder than an Israeli’s? It’s immoral.”
“We ask here for the US not to sell our blood for the sake of negotiations with the Palestinians,” HaMeiri continued. “Israel is not stupid. Negotiations with the Palestinians will lead to more terror [attacks].”
Chairman of Almagor Meir Indor arrived at the hotel to personally deliver a letter of dissent to Kerry, where he demanded that Kerry act according to US policy, which is not to negotiate with terrorists and certainly not to release murderers with blood on their hands.
During the demonstration, Kerry’s motorcade passed; demonstrators tried to approach, only to be stopped by security forces.
Meir Indor, head of the Almagor Terror Victims Association penned a personal letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stating that U.S. law calls not to negotiate with terrorists. Indor attended a demonstration of bereaved family members in front of the hotel where secretary Kerry has been staying during his visit. The protesters chanted “don’t free murderers” and held photos of loved ones lost of terrorist attacks.
Last week the Israeli government released 26 terrorists convicted of murder as part of the Kerry-initiated negations with the Palestinian Authority.
Some demonstrators attempted to approach the street as Kerry’s motorcade passed by and were quickly repelled by security forces.
Bereaved families who lost their loved ones in terrorist attacks protested at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the site.
Kerry, who arrived in Israel for a short visit aimed at moving the peace process ahead, laid a wreath at the site where Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated 18 years ago.
The bereaved families, who were joined by Meir Indor of the Almagor terror victims organization, were protesting Israel’s releasing of terrorists as a “gesture” to the PA. The families had asked for a face-to-face meeting with Kerry but were refused.
Lizi Hameiri, one of the participants in the protest, told Arutz Sheva, “Kerry refused to meet with representatives of the bereaved families, while he pushes for the release of those who murdered their loved ones. Kerry ignored us, even as he left. So we just booed him. The people who were inside told us that he had heard us well, but chose to ignore us.”
As Kerry met at the Rabin memorial with Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and Rabin’s daughter, the demonstrators outside shouted slogans such as “No to releasing terrorists and no to releasing murderers”, “Come and talk with the families of the victims of terrorism,” and, “Our blood is not cheap.”
The Secretary of State reportedly asked what the yelling was about and when one of the hosts explained that it was shouts against the release of terrorists, Kerry simply continued the ceremony, ignoring the demonstrators.
The bereaved families are planning to continue their protest during Kerry’s visit, and will hold another demonstration on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. outside the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, where Kerry is staying.
Protester at last night’s demonstration against the impending prisoner release (Flash 90)
The anti-terror and victim advocacy group Almagor—who recently launched a massive last-ditch effort to prevent last week’s release of 26 convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza—is reportedly appealing to US Secretary General John Kerry this week to stop pushing for terrorist releases as preconditions for negotiations. The group will also protest Kerry’s refusal to meet with terror victims’ families, who have been most affected by last week’s release.
Tonight (Tuesday), at 6PM, a delegation of Almagor representatives and bereaved families will send a written message to Kerry via the front desk of Jerusalem’s David Citadel Hotel, where the Secretary General is reported to be staying. The letter will protest the hypocrisy of US officials for exerting intense political pressure on Israel to release Palestinian Arab terrorists as a precondition for negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas—then refusing to meet with bereaved families to discuss the move and its impact on Israeli security and society. Almagor will then set up a press conference there for the press to record Kerry’s response.
Front of the David Citadel Hotel, where protests are due to take place
Map: David Citadel Hotel (Google Maps)
Those present will include Almagor director Meir Indor who spearheaded legal efforts to prevent the release; two representatives from the bereaved families of Ronen Karmani and Lior Tubol, 17 year-old boys who were kidnapped and brutally murdered on August 22, 1990 by Arab terrorists; and Yitzchak Maoz, whose daughter Tehila, 18, was murdered in the 2001 Sbarro’s massacre in Jerusalem.
Protests will continue against US pressure on Israel to release terrorists tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3PM in front of the hotel on behalf of the bereaved families and in the interests of maintaining Israel’s safety and security.
Almagor has featured prominently in headlines recently for their efforts to prevent the release of convicted Palestinian Arab murderers as “goodwill gestures” to the Palestinian Authority. Another recent campaign by the group saw an initiative to convince officials at Haifa University to prevent their legal officials from providing legal assistance to Arab terrorists, following an expose published by the Im Tirzu student organization.
The Almagor Terror Victims Organization plans to hold protests outside US Secretary of State John Kerry’s hotel on Tuesday, after he declined to meet with them.
“We understand that your duty is to further the interests of the United States in the Middle East, but we object to this being done through the release of terrorists who murdered our loved ones and who are liable to murder other Jews in the future,” reads a letter from the organization to Kerry sent Monday.
The organization asked to meet with Kerry “in the name of justice, morality, and fairness… to express our feelings regarding this matter.”
A State Department representative told Almagor director Lt.-Col. (res.) Meir Indor that while Kerry is sympathetic to their cause, he does not have time to meet with them. However, he plans to attend a ceremony honoring the memory of victims of terror.
Pointing to Kerry’s meetings with his Iranian counterpart and with Palestinian Authority representatives, Indor said: “He meets with people who support terror, but he won’t meet with us.”
“Kerry is putting on a show. On the one hand, he’s going to cry at a memorial ceremony; on the other, he releases prisoners,” Indor stated. “We don’t need ceremonies, we need action.”
“It’s inappropriate for him to pressure Israel to do what the Americans won’t do in their own country,” Indor said of prisoner releases.
Last week, the government released 26 prisoners who committed acts of terror before the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. This was the second of four releases, after which 104 terrorists will have been released to the PA as a goodwill gesture to continue peace talks.
Haifa University should help victims of terrorism just as it assist terrorists, the head of the Almagor terror victims association, Meir Indor, said on Sunday.
Indor was reacting to a report by the Im Tirtzu organization, which found that the legal clinics at Haifa University devote most of their resources to helping non-Jews, with a special preference for Muslim-Arab terrorists.
One of the cases handled by the clinics reportedly involved the demand by a man convicted of cruel acts of rape to receive festive meals on the Muslim holidays, and not just the sweet dessert that prison authorities hand out.
Legal clinics employ the services of law students, who receive guidance from certified lawyers.
“In the wake of the academic assistance of terrorists, we turn to Haifa University and demand that they set up a clinic for victims of terrorism,” Indor told Arutz Sheva.
He stressed that “every victim of terrorism has the option of demanding, in the name of justice, that the law be followed. Therefore, a clinic such as this can help prevent the release of terrorists and be a real help when we turn to the High Court of Justice. Haifa University, you are helping the terrorists? If so, help the victims of terrorism as well.”
Im Tirtzu discovered that out of 20 cases handled by the clinics since 2009, only two assisted Jewish people. In 8 out of 10 cases handled by the Clinic for Prisoners’ rights, the people assisted were terrorist prisoners, most of whom were accused of nationalist murders.
Responding to the report, Haifa University said it was “proud of its ability to create top quality research and excellent academic instruction, in an environment that is tolerant, multicultural and accepts ‘the other.’ Accordingly, the legal clinics, first and foremost, advance a multifaceted social activity in a variety of topics. The clinics provide students with practical experience, and at the same time contribute to the entire Israeli society. This social activity is carried out separately and with no connection to political and ideological stands, and the attempt to paint this important public and social activity in political or partisan colors is misguided and misleading.”
“Among other things, the purpose of the clinics is to enable weakened groups in Israeli society to receive a defense of their rights. Whoever sees this purpose as a sectorial one or political one, of a specific group and not society as a whole – does not understand what a democratic society is. We also stress that the activity in the clinics is not mandatory for students and only students who want to join the clinics’ activity do so,” said the university, according to a report in the Mida Hebrew-language news and commentary site.
Haifa University under Pressure to “End Legal Aid to Terrorists”
After Im Tirtzu movement issued a scathing report claiming that Haifa University legal clinics aid terrorists, university says, “Im Tirtzu are the ones who are crudely injecting politics into academics for the sake of their own publicity.”
A day after the Im Tirtzu movement published a report decrying what it termed the politicized nature of Haifa University’s legal clinics, reactions began flooding in from the university, terror victims and Knesset members.
Ilan Yavelburg, a spokesman for the university, described the report as “manipulative and biased” and deemed Im Tirtzu an “extremist political organization.”
Haifa University’s legal clinics are apolitical, he said, adding: “Im Tirtzu are the ones who are crudely injecting politics into the academy for the sake of their own publicity.”
The report focuses on three clinics in particular: the Clinic for Prisoners’ Rights, the Clinic for Human Rights in Society and the Clinic for the Rights of the Arab-Palestinian Minority. It says the causes chosen by these clinics are part of the “Arab nationalist struggle against Zionism.” These causes, according to the report, include undermining the status of the national anthem, providing legal aid to Arab-Israeli security prisoners and opposing Jewish settlement in Acre and Meron. Furthermore, the clinics use public funds and enlist unsuspecting, well-meaning students towards an Arab nationalist agenda, the report says.
Out of more than 20 legal cases that the clinics have handled since 2009, only two were for Jews, the report stated. In all the other cases, the clinics represented Arabs against the State of Israel (in one case the recipient of legal aid was not even an Israeli citizen). And while out of more than 10,000 prisoners held in Israeli jails only 132 (just over 1 percent) are Arab-Israeli security prisoners, eight out of the 10 cases handled by the Clinic for Prisoners’ Rights involved security prisoners, the bulk of whom are terrorists.
Yavelburg said that most of the specific cases described in the report ended several years ago and that in many cases the courts themselves approached the clinics to offer representation.
“The legal clinics receive thousands of queries each year on a wide spectrum of issues including education, women’s rights, single mothers and more. It is no accident that Im Tirtzu chose to ignore this wide range of activity and to spotlight, in an intentional and biased way, just one narrow issue among many,” Yavelburg said.
Reacting to Im Tirzu’s report, Almagor, the terror victims’ organization, sent a letter to the president of Haifa University on Monday.
“The feeling among the bereaved families and the wounded is sadness, anger and outrage,” the letter said.
“In Haifa, there is a population of terror victims and bereaved families who in the past joined our legal battle to prosecute terrorists who hurt us, and we did not see the University of Haifa offer us its services, which it offers, ironically and unfortunately, to some of these terrorists.
“Therefore we ask you to stop providing legal assistance to the terrorists, or alternatively, to establish a clinic that will achieve justice for victims, according to the victims’ rights law. Today we have no clinic that helps us to face the attorneys of the murderers, as well as government bodies working for plea bargains with ridiculous punishments, to shorten their punishments or to give them improved conditions in prison.
“We hope that in response to this letter you will shut down the track that allows terrorists to receive aid from the university. We would be happy if you would agree to meet with us,” the letter said.
“This is another scandal at the University of Haifa, which under the cover of academic freedom harms the freedom of choice of students and imposes on them a post-Zionist agenda,” MK Yariv Levin (Likud) told Maariv newspaper on Sunday.
Levin called on Education Minister Shay Piron to immediately intervene in the matter and to “defend the students who are led astray by these programs and the support they receive from the University of Haifa.”
Lt. Col. (res.) Oren Tamam, brother of the soldier Moshe Tamam, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1984 by Israeli Arabs, Maariv that “radical left activists and students have worked in recent years to actively help murderers, including one of my brother’s murderers, Walid Daka, with endless appeals to the Israel Prison Service, the state attorney, the courts, and the president. These appeals have allowed him to marry during his time in jail. He was able to study toward a bachelor’s and master’s degree, with funding provided by terror organizations.”