Bereaved parent tells nation 'this is our homeland'

Tzvika Shahak, who lost daughter in terror bombing, speaks at Remembrance Day event, tells audience "We have no other country."

May 9, 2011 14:51
2 minute read.
Israeli soldier holds a rose for Remembrance Day

soldier with rose. (photo credit: NIR ELIAS / Reuters)

Tzvika Shahak, who lost his daughter Bat-Chen in the Dizengoff Center suicide bombing in 1996, said on Monday that he's had to live with the pain every day of his life since that day.

Speaking at an official Remembrance Day ceremony for people who have died in terror attacks, the the chairman of the Terror Victims' Association said he took it upon himself to try to help families of terror victims regain some parts of the lives they had before they lost their loved one.

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He said that terror victims need our help and support and that "the state has a commitment to its citizens even after their deaths."

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"Given the challenges that await us in the future, only if the citizens remember these tragedies can we overcome them," Shahak said."Within the Israeli ethos, we know it is important to remember that this is our homeland, we fought for it, and we must protect it. From this place were will not leave, because we have no other country."

Shahak finished his speech by saying that the country is waiting for the return of Jonathan Pollard and Gilad Schalit.

Earlier in the ceremony, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: "We give this answer to those who go after our souls: We will strike you. We will strike you with all our determination."

Speaking about recent terror attacks in Israel, Netanyahu said, "In the recent weeks, the murderous terror struck us again. The Fogel family, Udi and Ruti and their three children, Yoav, Elad and their baby, only-3-months-old, Hadas, all of them were killed by hateful murderers who still sleep in their beds.

"There was Daniel Viflic, who was killed when Hamas fired missiles against tanks, and hit a school bus. And just two weeks ago, another name was added to the list, Ben-Yosef Livnat. He was murdered on his way to pray at Joseph's Tomb. All these people died for just one reason. Because they were Jews. And also some non-Jews were murdered because they were with Jews," Netanyahu said.

The prime minister told the audience, "The purpose of terrorism is to instill fear, to break you, and our answer to this, as it was always, is to refuse to succumb to fear."

At the end of his speech, Netanyahu wished a speedy recovery to those who have been injured in terror attacks.

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