The UN has taken a forceful stand against Islamic terror across the world, but has been silent about terrorism in Israel. Even worse, just a few weeks after the murder of Dafna Meir, the UN expressed its “understanding” of Palestinian terrorists, not the victims.
Dafna Meir obm was killed in her own home by a 15-year-old Palestinian terrorist in front of her 17-year-old daughter Renana and three other children. The terrorist admitted that Palestinian incitement motivated him to kill.
OneFamily believes that the world needs to understand the human cost behind the attacks, the real suffering and loss experienced by the victims and their families. Even if the wounds heal, the trauma lasts a lifetime. And in the case of the Meir family, the loss of a wife and mother affects every member of the family every single day.
That’s why OneFamily financed and organized Natan and Renana’s trip to New York to address the UN’s Security Council, the most powerful body in the international community, at the invitation of Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon. Natan and Renana held a press conference before the Security Council session and sat one row behind Ambassador Danon during his testimony.
“Three months ago, my mother was murdered. A Palestinian teenager came into my house, and killed her in front of me and my siblings,” Renana said. “It is hard to express in words how deep the pain is, how unbearable the longing is for my mother, and how this longing breaks the heart and the soul.”
Natan offered a message of hope despite his monumental loss. “I want to say to the international community-Let us build bridges instead of fences. Let us encourage instead of condemn. Instead of incitement, let us create love.”
One day earlier, he told reporters, “With a pained and bleeding heart, we have come to ask for the international community’s understanding for the victims of Palestinian terrorism.”
During his speech, Ambassador Danon noted that Palestinian incitement was to blame for the family’s suffering. “Today Natan and Ranana Meir sit here behind me, in the Council,” Danon said. “The culture of hate and Palestinian brainwashing is responsible for the murder of too many Israelis, and it is directly guilty in the murder of Dafna Meir.”
While he was speaking, the Ambassador received news about the bus bombing that took place in Jerusalem and told the Security Council about it, leading to a dramatic exchange with the Palestinian delegate. Twenty one people were wounded in the bombing, including two in serious condition.
Bringing Natan and Renana to the UN to tell their story is part of OneFamily’s efforts to help prevent more victims from joining their ranks and to assist the emotional recovery of those already suffering.
“The UN can play a constructive role in their recovery if it shows the same level of outrage and empathy that it shows to all other victims of terror across the world,” said OneFamily Chairman Marc Belzberg said. “But instead, it condemns terror everywhere except in Israel. In Israel, it expresses “understanding” for the terrorists, not the victims.
“This is directly responsible for encouraging more terrorism against Israelis, more wounded and more people killed,” he added. “It also hurts the people who have already been wounded or lost loved ones, who should be embraced by the world. Their feeling of being abandoned makes their pain deeper and harder to heal.”
The Meirs’ appearance at the UN was the culmination of a five day trip to New York that started with a visit to the Niagara Falls and continued through the sites of Manhattan, including museums and some rest in Central Park. They also made an emotional visit to the Freedom Tower with Jeffrey Morgenstern, his wife Tzila, and his father Harvey Morgenstern. Jeffrey and Harvey lost their sister and daughter Nancy in the 9/11 attacks on New York.
“My father doesn’t talk about it to anyone and does not come to this place,” Jeffrey said. “This was the first time he shared his feelings with a non-family member. It was a very special and powerful moment.”
Marc Belzberg said it was important to bring the Meirs’ story to a wider public because understanding Israel’s challenges can only come though the stories of those who have suffered.
“We believe that Natan and Renana’s perspective on terror is important to anyone who wants to understand what is happening to the people of Israel, and especially to those who want to put an end to this horror.”
Text of Natan’s and Renana’s statements to the UN:
Nineteen years ago today I met my wife Dafna – the mother of my children – for the very first time.
Three months ago, on Sunday, January 17th, a 15-year old Palestinian came into my home and stabbed my dear wife to death in front of our children with a knife.
In my life, I always try to find ways to sanctify life and to practice faith, tolerance, and love.
I believe in my heart that our Creator gave the children of Abraham the opportunity to live together in our holy land.
I will be patient even if it takes generations.
In my heart, I have love for my Arab neighbors, and I know that most of them want to live together in peace, in the land that is holy to us.
I want to say to the international community-
Let us build bridges instead of fences.
Let us encourage instead of condemn.
Instead of incitement, let us create love.
Politics alone is not enough.
Meetings between hearts, between people- these are things that will lead to true peace.
I ask you leaders of the world to spread faith, tolerance and love. These are the fertilizers needed to grow the flower of peace.
Thank you and shalom.
I have never intentionally harmed another person.
It has never occurred to me to mistreat another human being just because she looks or thinks differently.
I have never taken out my frustrations on people who haven’t done anything to me.
I was not raised that way.
I was raised to love the other. To respect all people, to love unconditionally, and to see each and every person as a human being.
Three months ago, my mother was murdered. A Palestinian teenager came into my house, and killed her in front of me and my siblings.
It is hard to express in words how deep the pain is, how unbearable the longing is for my mother; and how this longing breaks the heart and the soul.
And in spite of this, it would never occur to me to hurt another person.
I do not hate or support hatred. No amount of frustration justifies hurting another person.
With broken hearts we came here today to ask for your help.
Help us by being patient. Help us create peace through love.
Help us all to see that there is good in everyone.
The following media outlets have covered the Meir’s visit to the UN: