Powered by WebAds

Friday, October 28, 2011

Video: Rare interview with the surviving members of the Schijveschuurder family

On Tuesday, Israel's Channel 10 showed a rare interview with the surviving members of the Schijveschuurder family, whose parents and three siblings were murdered in the Sbarro suicide bombing. There is now an internet version of the interview, and I have it for you. The interview is in Hebrew, but an English summary will follow. This is not easy to watch.

Let's go to the videotape.

Here's an English summary (which someone who saw the program live sent me):
The programme began with a little biographical detail about the family - olim from Holland. It then moved on to the actual terror attack itself. The three older boys, Ben Tzion (who now lives abroad), Meir and Shvuel were not present. Ben Tzion and Meir were both in the army and Shvuel (who was 16.5 at the time) was on his way back from the Kleizmer festival in Tzfat.

The programme documented their search (alone - no outside help) for the members of their family in various hospitals. As Meir did not have any ID proving his connection to one of his sisters, he was not allowed to see her as she lay dying in the operating theatre, but minutes later was asked to identify her body. He - an 18/19 year old - ended up organising the funerals all by himself. Hevra Kadisha even had the gall to demand money from him (20,000 shekels - later returned) for two burial plots, stating that he could only have three.

He and his older brother took care of the younger surviving children (the youngest was 8) in the family home with no outside help. At some point the social services tried to take the two younger girls into care, but they objected. Afterwards the girls were sent to live with a distant relative in Switzerland for about a year, but were very unhappy there and came back to Israel. Later they were sent to live with another distant relative in Israel, but that didn't last long either and Meir and his wife took them in, whilst also raising their own young family.

Shvuel seems to have 'fallen between the chairs' perhaps most of all... [I deleted something here. CiJ][H]is attempts to get that help from Bituach Leumi have been rejected.

The programme ended with a 'right of reply' statement from Bituach Leumi which the presenters said they had fact checked and found to be lacking on certain points.

Apparently there is a serious problem with people who, as children, lost both parents in terror attacks. (A lady orphaned by the Ma'ale Akrabim attack briefly mentioned similar problems). The system does not cater for them properly ans seems to work on the premise that they will be taken care of by the extended family, but in this case there was not much extended family to help. There is an attempt ongoing to try to change the law, but it is clear that this family has already sustained far too much damage because of the system's shortcomings.

On top of all that, of course, they now have to deal with the insensitivity surrounding the release of their parents' and siblings' murderer.
There's more about this.... But I've given you enough to think about for now.

Labels: , ,


At 3:06 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

I wonder how many of these kids have been identified and approached by the organization whose event we saw in summer '06 in Hagoshrim. It was a weekend event held at Hagoshrim (like a Club Med) for kids who lost their family in terror attacks. Mosh Ben Ari played a live concert for them at the outdoor band shell. Absolutely lovely. The next day we left there and visitied Tzfat... and, on the northern border, the soldiers were kidnapped and the rockets started flying. We were always hoping that those kids had gone home by the time the rockets started. Hagoshrim, with its WiFi in the lobby area, became a headquarters for staff, press, etc. There wasn't Facebook back then because now you might be able to set up a fan page with a paypal button for this type of family.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

G-d has heard their cries and all those who neglected and mistreated the orphans - those who did not fear G-d - they will pay the price.

I'm ashamed of how they have been treated. It not an easy thing to see our nakedness uncovered before Heaven and see our sins exposed in broad daylight.

And he who has sinned and not repented - let him be stricken from the Book Of Life!

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Moriah said...

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that change darkness into light, and light into darkness; that change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!"

Isaiah 5:20


Post a Comment

<< Home