My husband Jonathan and I originally met in Israel as teenagers in the 1970s.
was from Galveston. I was from Montreal. When the summer was over, he
went back to America and I to Canada. Fast forward to 1990.
brought Jonathan and me back together again, nearly two decades later,
was a terrible tragedy – the murder of two young Israelis, Lior Tubal
and Ronen Karmani, which occurred that summer.
On vacation from
my job as a teacher in Canada, I spent that summer volunteering as an
intern at Israel’s Justice Ministry in Jerusalem. At the ministry, the
work required us to attend briefings.
I remember well the files we were shown at these briefings, which included police photographs of the victims of Arab terror.
vividly recall photographs of mutilated, mangled, burned, hacked-up
corpses, often with limbs missing. There were photographs of atrocities
too horrible to describe.
Suffice to say that because of my work
at the ministry, I was very familiar with the horror of Arab terrorism.
But no matter how much I learned, nothing ever dulls the shock and
horror each time a new terror attack occurs.
And so on the
morning of August 22, 1990, when the news broke that the bodies of two
teenage boys, brutally murdered by Arab terrorists, had been found, it
The boys, Ronen Karmani and his friend Lior
Tubal, were on their way to visit their girlfriends in Givat Ze’ev when
they were offered a ride. They never reached their destination. When
they did not show up, their families became increasingly alarmed and
police began a search of the area where the boys were last seen. Days
later, their broken bodies were found in a valley in Jerusalem. They had
been bound, gagged and stabbed multiple times.
I was overwhelmed
by grief and sorrow. How could this have happened? Why did these two
beautiful young men have to die such a brutal death? I could not calm
myself and could not console myself. I knew I had to do something, but
what could I do to help? All day long, my mind was in turmoil. Then it
came to me.
I remembered reading about an organization that
helped the victims of Arab terror. That afternoon, I made contact. The
director suggested that we meet the next day. As a result of our
meeting, I took on some additional volunteer work for the cause. As we
were saying good-bye, the director handed me an old newspaper and asked
me, “Have you read last week’s paper yet? Here. Take it.” I took the
paper, just to be polite, and tucked it into my backpack.
days later, on a bus from Jerusalem to Haifa, and looking for something
to read, I pulled out the old newspaper and began to leaf through it.
the letters page was a notice: “Please write to Jonathan Pollard. He
derives great comfort from this.” His address at USP Marion was
provided. I did not remember Jonathan and had no clue as to why he was
in prison. But I clipped the notice and decided to write a letter of
encouragement to a Jew in distress. I tucked it into my address book.
returning to Canada, I dashed off a letter to Jonathan, still not
remembering who he was, and mailed it. I wrote a message of hope and
good wishes for the upcoming Jewish New Year.
received my letter, at first he too did not remember me or the summer we
had spent together in Israel as teens, but he had a sense of deep soul
He had only two stamps left for the month and five
letters that needed responses. Jonathan put the others aside and mailed
me two envelopes, one containing a personal letter and the other
information on the case.
I was back at my teaching job in Canada
when Jonathan’s letters arrived and rocked me back. This time it was my
turn to experience total soul identification! The rest is history. We
reunited, married and have been together ever since.
What jolted my memory and brought this story back to mind are the recent headlines about Lior Tubal and Ronen Karmani.
The boys are back in the news again now, all these years later.
to reports, the Netanyahu government has decided to free the murderers
of Tubal and Karmani, who are serving four life sentences.
than two decades after their brutal murder, the boys are now mocked in
their graves by a government which pledged to honor their deaths. Their
lives, abruptly cut off, are now treated with contempt and their memory
dishonored as their murderers are about to jubilantly walk free.
to the disgrace, their families are being forced to relive the horror
and the pain all over again, knowing that their sons’ murderers are
In a recent video, Ronen Karmani’s parents expressed their heartbreak and dismay.
same men who killed Ronen and Lior in cold blood, murdered two other
men as well,” Ronen’s father, Eliyahu, notes, “and they were supposed to
serve four life terms. Nowhere else on earth do you see this, that a
person who got four life sentences plus 20 years is released before
completing a single life sentence. Why? Based on what?”
murdered two helpless children, who fought, who tried to fight them
off,” Ronen’s mother, Mazal added. “They bound them, tied their hands
and feet and gagged them, and dragged them to the valley, and stabbed
them 15, 20 times. They beat them. We found them... we found their
bodies bloated in the sun.”
How is it that 23 years after the
murder of Lior Tubal and Ronen Karmani – and after the senseless and
brutal murders of countless other victims of Arab terror – Israel has
failed to learn the simplest, most elemental lessons of self-respect and
How is it that the State of Israel is the only
country in the world that repeatedly, routinely dishonors its own
citizens as it releases their murderers, unrepentant terrorists, en
How is it that Jewish blood has become so cheap? The
author is the wife of Jonathan Pollard, who is serving his 28th year of
an unprecedented life sentence in America for his activities on behalf