Bereaved Parents Decry Politicization of Fallen Soldiers’ Memory

YERUSHALAYIM -

A group of parents of fallen Israeli soldiers distanced themselves on Thursday from other bereaved parents who have recently engaged in a verbal brawl with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud MK’s over their failure to effect the return of the soldiers’ bodies from Hamas.

“We ask everyone to lower the flames and not to encourage the division and humiliation that cause harm to the memory of our sons,” they wrote in an open letter quoted by Ynet.

The letter follows an angry confrontation between some of the parents — notably Leah Goldin, whose son was killed in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014 — and Netanyahu in a Knesset hearing a few days ago. Goldin rejected the prime minister’s claim that he is doing all possible to return the bodies, and accused him of trying to turn the parents into “enemies of the people.” Likud MK’s intervened on Netanyahu’s side, and the hearing broke down into shouting and then sobbing followed by silence.

“We are also a group of bereaved parents from Operation Protective Edge. We see it as our duty to announce that we do not speak for all bereaved parents, and all that can be said is that some parents think one way, and some think differently.

“Unfortunately, the political inclinations of some of the parents are being heard in the context of our sons’ deaths. So far, both bereaved parents and elected officials have tried to keep the memory of the fallen out of the political fray. This delicate line has been broken recently.”