Koby Mandell Foundation protests freeing terrorists

30 demonstrators fill sidewalk in front of PM’s Residence; "I think it’s time for Netanyahu, cabinet to show a spine."

Seth and Sherri Mandell protest 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Seth and Sherri Mandell protest 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
“My son Koby Mandell was murdered 12 years ago near our home, and his murderers have not been found. And I have to tell you that that’s a relief. In all likelihood, if they had not already been released, they’d be released now. In fact, my other son wrote an article thanking the government for not finding his brother’s killers,” said Seth Mandell, founder of the Koby Mandell Foundation, at a Monday evening demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem.
At 5 p.m., 30 protesters assembled on Aza Road in front of the residence to demonstrate against the announced release of 104 Palestinian prisoners as a precondition for peace talks.
The demonstration, conceived by Mandell’s wife, Sherri Mandell, earlier that day, was announced on Facebook Monday morning under the billing “Demonstration Against the Release of 104 Terrorists.”
The demonstrators, a mixed group of native Israelis and American immigrants, congregated on the sidewalk in front of barricades, chanting “Release will not bring peace!” and “Bibi, Bibi, shame on you!” “Why the world thinks that it’s okay to give in to the Palestinians just so that they’ll come to the negotiating table, I can’t answer,” Seth Mandell told The Jerusalem Post.
“Bibi was faced with three options: He could have frozen settlements, done this, or talked about ’67 borders. On a strategic level, he was probably right that this was the lesser of the evils. On a moral level, I’m not so sure – I think he was wrong,” Mandell said. “I can tell you that if he announced a settlement freeze, there’d be a lot more people here at this demonstration.”
A woman in the front row of the crowd called press cameras to attention, asking, “Does anyone in the world really believe that releasing murderers will lead to peace?” Moments later, the crowd broke into a spontaneous Hebrew chant, “Israel, wake up!” “I respect the prime minister, and I’m sure he’s dealing with lots of pressure… but I don’t understand how we expect to get anything when the other side has given nothing, and all we do is keep giving,” said protester Ilan Adler. “If it’s a choice between giving back prisoners and a freeze, neither has worked. I think it’s time for the prime minister and the cabinet to show a spine, and to say, it’s not our job to bring people to the table.”
But Amos Fried, a neighborhood attorney and friend of the Mandell family, was less charitable.
“Netanyahu is yellow-bellied, spineless, on the verge of betrayal. What a horrible thing to do. It makes no sense. It’s the most immoral position to take, and no country in the world would be expected to do anything as abhorrent and non- Jewish as this. There’s no idea more outrageous than this,” he said.