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Bring Him Home

Tzippy Yarom

Hadar Goldin was ambushed and killed during Operation Protective Edge, one of 67 soldiers killed in the last Gaza conflict. Eighteen months later, the terror group still holds his remains while trucks supply Gaza with food, oil, and concrete. His family wonders why the Israeli government isn’t calling in the one bargaining chip that could bring their boy home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

“What are they waiting for?” In the living room of the Goldin family home, a tense silence prevails.ProfessorSimchaGoldin sits on the sofa, a photograph of his son Hadar smiling down on him from the wall. Hadar is no longer here, neither in body nor in spirit, but his smile, his parents say, accompanies them wherever they go. “What are they waiting for?”ProfessorGoldin repeats, offering the one question that no one seems to be able to answer. WhenSimchaGoldin and his family see how the State of Israel helps the Hamas regime rebuild Gaza daily while the remains of their son (along withFirst SergeantOronShaul, who was killed on the outskirts of Sajaiya) remain in the hands of Hamas terrorists, there is no limit to their pain and disbelief. “This issue of rebuilding Gaza is something that can be used as a bargaining chip with Hamas,” Goldin says. “What bothers us is the fact that in the last year and a half, Israel is rebuilding Gaza. The question begs an answer: Why isn’t the construction effort being recognized as the bargaining chip it could be? There are no negotiations on the one hand, and they are rebuilding Gaza on the other.” Goldin, a scholar of medieval Jewry at Tel Aviv University who wrote a book on Jewish martyrdom, is well aware of the practiced response to his outrage. “They will tell you that we have to distinguish between the civilian population and military issues,” he says. “But if the State of Israel is giving Hamas everything it needs in order to maintain a functioning government — even if it’s not exactly what it wants — then what bargaining chip does Israel have left to bring back its dead soldiers?” The question hangs in the air as Hadar smiles down on us from the picture on the wall.

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