Gilad Schalit 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
When Noam and Aviva Schalit received the news about Gilad’s imminent release,
Esther Wachsman, whose son, Nachshon was held hostage for nearly a week and
ultimately killed in 1994, felt unequivocal joy.
RELATED:IDF fears terrorists will try to derail Schalit releaseList published of prisoners to be freed in Schalit deal
“I have been involved
with Noam and Aviva for a long time and have been to the [protest] tent on
numerous occasions. I have never had mixed feelings or any doubt about this. As
a mother I wanted this boy to be home with his mother,” Wachsman told The
Jerusalem Post on Friday.
“I realize this is a dilemma and it is very
frightening for those who have been victims of terror but I was there when news
of the deal reached the family and at that point nothing else mattered except
for him to be brought home safely.”
Even as more details about the deal
became public, and information reached the Wachsmans that the man who murdered
their son is among those to be released, she said her feelings towards the
Schalits and their happiness have not changed.
“It was not a shock or any
big news that this man was going to be released,” said Wachsman, her voice
clearly weary. “At least he cannot go home and he must go and live
Wachsman said the hardest part she faces in this whole deal is
the constant harassment she has felt from the media, who have “been knocking on
my door constantly asking for a comment.”
“They have not made it any
easier for us during this hard time,” confessed Wachsman. “I am pleading with
the press. This deal has been signed and sealed and almost
delivered. Please show the Schalit family some respect right
Despite her unwavering support for Gilad’s release, Wachsman said
she is conscious of the families who have not been lucky enough to see their
loved ones returned to them.
“Of course I sympathize with them and I
understand where they are coming from. We lost a very dear friend of ours in the
Sbarro bombing [in Jerusalem in 2001],” she said. “I understand all their pain
but I don’t think that they [terror victims families] should have been
protesting across the road when the news was announced.
“When I think
about the unspeakable experience that this poor family has gone through for the
last five years I know this deal is the right thing. I suffered through only one
week of not knowing where my son was and I am not sure how I would have coped
with five years.”