Yesterday, Pallywood took Manhattan. A hard copy forgery of the New York Times circulated through the City, in a lavishly funded smear campaign designed to leverage the paper’s brand to defame Israel. While the anonymous production team of this colossal waste of money undoubtedly high-fived, the real news of the day was happening in Washington, DC., where a group of heroic survivors of Palestinian terror testified publicly before the Congressional Subcommittee on National Security of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on seeking justice for American victims of Palestinian terrorism in Israel.
The hearing and written witness testimonies can be viewed here.
Navigating the onset of PTSD, a loved one taken, life altering injuries – this is the stuff nightmares are made of and this is the reality that too many people are forced to live with. Three brave souls, who have suffered tremendously from Palestinian terrorism, stood up for all of us today. They testified publicly about their ordeals and the experiences they have had seeking justice and support from The United States Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT).
While the testimonies were short, each was powerful and demonstrated how every story and experience of terror is unique. It’s important to victims that we learn their stories. I found them riveting.
In 2003, Sarri Singer boarded bus #14 in Jerusalem. A Palestinian teenager wearing a bomb underneath his clothing calmly boarded it, while only two people stood between Sarri and the terrorist. He gave no indication he was on the verge of murdering 16 civilians and injuring over 100 others, including everyone standing and seated around her. This teen was on a Palestinian soccer team, and the eighth player on the lineup to commit an act of terror. Not one parent disbanded the team, as one-by-one their sons blew themselves up into smithereens.
Sarri has since devoted her life to empowering victims of terror to help and support each other. She created an organization, Strength to Strength which is linked to a global network helping victims of all races and religions cope in the aftermath of an attack. These organizations and the people they assist do not differentiate between Israeli victims and victims of Jihad in other parts of the world and neither should we.
Peter Schwartz’s wounds are fresh. On November 19, 2015, his nephew Ezra Schwartz z”l was murdered, horrific news so deeply felt by the American Jewish community, that even the New England Patriots held a moment of silence. Ezra was in Israel learning and volunteering on his gap year before starting Rutgers University. By all accounts, he was a popular, well rounded guy, who had the brightest future ahead of him. Ezra and a group of friends were volunteering at the memorial park built in memory of the three Jewish boys kidnapped and killed in 2014, Naftali Frenkel Zt”l, one of the victims, was an American citizen as well. The Palestinian terrorist who murdered Ezra and two others had planned to kill as many Jews as possible to celebrate his birthday. He planned this attack for two solid years, raising $10,000 for weapons. With the assistance of his brothers and at least one friend to execute the operation, he managed to corner Jews trapped in a traffic jam and spray them with bullets.
Malka Chana Roth z”l was a kind and pretty 15 year old girl. She played the flute and guitar, and was known for her care and concern for others. Malki stopped off at Sbarro for a slice of pizza on her way to a planning meeting for camp and was killed when a suicide bomber detonated himself. 15 Israelis were murdered and 107 others were injured in just that one attack. Ahlam Tamimi, Shirley Temper’s aunt, was one of the Palestinian terrorists who planned the operation. She beamed with joy upon learning that she had murdered eight children, rather than just three.
Arnold Roth, Malki’s father, wants to raise public awareness of the incitement and enabling from the top-down that results in terrorism. Palestinians are taught that terror is a legitimate career option, with high earning potential, and the terrorists are held in the highest esteem. Murder is seen as a redemptive act, rather than a crime against humanity. At the same time, words such as “terror” are being removed from our lexicon. Although the OVT can be supportive, Arnold has noticed subtle changes, such as the brochure no longer stating victims’ rights, and he is more informed by Facebook and Twitter than official channels.
As is the custom, Arnold commemorates Malki with charity projects and acts of kindness, and similar projects take place all over Israel in memory of victims. You can learn more about Malki and the issues by visiting here and The Malki Foundation.
Since 1993, at least 64 Americans and 2 unborn babies have been killed, with 91 more wounded by Palestinian terrorists.
The OVT, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary on May 6, 2015 was asked how many of the terrorists were indicted, extradited or prosecuted.
Zero: Zero indicted, zero extradited, zero prosecuted.
Zero victims have found justice.
The OVT was asked how many terrorists have been indicted, extradited or prosecuted in other overseas attacks. An exact number was not given, but it was stated as a significant number.
As Rep. Ron DeSantis said – when it’s zero to 64, you gotta wonder what’s going on.