Obama-Netanyahu to Meet on Anniversary of Bombing

Washington, Feb. 21- President Barack Obama and Netanyahu will meet next month on the sidelines of the AIPAC policy conference in Washington, on the ninth anniversary of a particularly brutal Hamas bombing of an Israeli bus that killed 17 people and wounded 53.

The parents of Asaf Zur, Tal Kehrmann, and Yuval Mendellevich will never forget the date March 5. Their children were among the victims of the Haifa bus bombing.

The bomber detonated an explosives belt packed with 37.4 pounds (17 kilograms) of explosives, killing Zur, 16, Kehrmann, 17, and Mendellevich, 13, along with 14 others. Twelve of the dead were under 21 years old. Nine, including the three boys, were on their way back from school.

Since the tragedy, the families of the three have been vocal in advocating for Israel’s security and drawing attention to the glorification of terrorists by Palestinians.  The date of Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu has prompted Yossi Zur, Asaf’s father, to write to the American president.

“Ever since that attack our lives have changed completely, changed in every possible way. Mainly in our daily struggle to keep ourselves sane and alive for our children and in keeping such atrocity from happening again to our remaining children or any other child in Israel,” Zur writes.

In March 2010, when Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel coincided with the Palestinian Authority’s plans to commemorate notorious terrorist Dahlal Mugrabi, Kehrmann, Mendelevich and Zur wrote an Op-Ed in theLos Angeles Times on the culture of hate in the Palestinian society.

“Israelis want a genuine peace with our neighbors. But as long as Palestinian society glorifies terrorists and murderers such as Mughrabi and the ones who killed our three children, we cannot believe that Palestinians are ready to live in peace with us,” they wrote.

Zur said in the letter to President Obama that he hopes the U.S. will confront the danger of Iran’s nuclear weapons program with the plight of his family in mind.

“I am writing to you this letter in order to ask you to hear out my prime minister and to help him, help us to remove the devastating danger that we face. Hear his story with the face of Asaf in your memory, with the faces of all the killed children, men and women of our country,” he writes. “Our country can’t live with a nuclear Iran, our country can’t exist with such a threat.”


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