The parents of abducted yeshiva students Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel met on Thursday with President Shimon Peres in his official residence and heard him say that the whole world should become involved in the return of their sons and in the fight against terror.
Peres embraced the parents as they entered the reception hall and listened intently as they shared their anxieties with him, telling him how difficult it was to go day after day, hour after hour without knowing what had befallen their boys.
Peres wanted to meet them because their tragedy was not theirs alone, he said, but one of national proportions.
“The whole nation is united with you and is praying with you for the boys to come home safe and sound,” he said.
Referring to the efforts of the IDF and the security forces to trace the missing boys, Peres promised that they would leave no stone unturned and that no limits would be placed on their quest until the boys were found.
Concerning widespread indifference around the world to Israel trying times, Peres said that the leaders of the world must come out in a loud and clear voice to condemn terror in all its forms and to use all means at their disposal to eradicate it.
Terror is not only an Israeli problem, he emphasized. “It is a problem that affects the whole world.”
Peres disclosed that when he goes to the United States next week, he plans to raise this issue with President Barack Obama and the leaders of Congress, intending to urging them to shout out against terror.
Just as economic sanctions were imposed on Iran, he said, so, too, should sanctions be imposed against every manifestation of terror, whether they fall on Hamas or Hezbollah.
“They must be punished.
There is no room for forgiveness or leniency,” said Peres.
In addition, he continued, voices must be raised to tell children living in places wherever terror rules that the result of terror is catastrophic not only for others but also for them.
The parents of the three boys wished Peres well on his trip and told him how much they valued the nation’s support, which has issued spontaneously from all sectors of society regardless of religious, ethnic or ideological differences. They also told him how much they appreciated what the security forces are doing.
They added that it was very meaningful to have been invited by the president of the state to share their worries and to talk freely about their sons. In the course of conversation, they explained how the boys got their names, what they like and dislike and the hobbies that attracted them.
Peres, no less than other Israelis, has been strongly affected by the kidnapping and speaks about it at every opportunity.
His meeting with the parents lasted some 90 minutes, which is quite a bit longer than Peres usually spends with guests.