A mother's perspective

By ARYEH DEAN COHEN
August 21, 2008 15:31
1 minute read.

 
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Sherri Mandell, whose son Koby was brutally murdered by terrorists in a cave near his Tekoa home in May 2001, and whose Koby Mandell Foundation helps families who have lost someone dear to them to terror attacks, believes she knows what lies at the root of opposition by Yad Labanim, the Defense Ministry and others to including terror victims as Fallen in Israel's Wars. "I think there's a sense of shame… It's easier to say about a soldier that he died protecting his country... there is a kind of shame involved for the government and for the country, because the country wants to believe that it's fighting to protect, but they've allowed this kind of terrorism to continue… It's also that this country is built on strength, not on weakness, so if you're a soldier, you're using your strength, but if you're a terror victim, you weren't using your strength, we're shown as being as weak as the country. "People want to pretend that it's an aberration," she says. "Israelis find the terror thing to be much more frightening, because it can happen to anybody at any time, whereas a soldier - they were putting themselves in the line of danger. So psychologically, there's a barrier - like, it happened to him because he was there. But terror - the whole country's vulnerable, which is why it's so much harder to come near it."

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