My beloved son Arik, my own flesh and blood, was murdered by Palestinians. My tall, blue-eyed, golden-haired son who was always smiling with the innocence of a child and the understanding of an adult. My son. If, to hit his killers, innocent Palestinian children and other civilians had to be killed, I would ask the security forces to wait for another opportunity. If the security forces were to kill innocent Palestinians as well, I would tell them they were no better than my son's killers.
My beloved son Arik was murdered by a Palestinian. Should the security forces have information of this murderer's whereabouts, and should it turn out that he was surrounded by innocent children and other Palestinian civilians, then even if the security forces knew that the killer was planning another murderous attack to be launched within hours and they now had the choice of curbing a terror attack that would kill innocent Israeli civilians but at the cost of hitting innocent Palestinians, I would tell the security forces not to seek revenge but to try to avoid and prevent the death of innocent civilians, be they Israelis or Palestinians.
I would rather have the finger that pushes the trigger or the button that drops the bomb tremble before it kills my son's murderer than for innocent civilians to be killed. I would say to the security forces: Do not kill the killer. Rather, bring him before an Israeli court. You are not the judiciary. Your only motivation should not be vengeance but the prevention of any injury to innocent civilians.
Ethics cannot be left to the discretion of anyone who is frivolous or trigger-happy. Our ethics are hanging by a thread, at the mercy of every soldier and politician. I am not at all sure that I am willing to delegate my ethics to them.
It is unethical to kill innocent Israeli or Palestinian women and children. It is also unethical to control another nation and lead it to lose its humaneness. A nation that cannot draw the line is doomed eventually to apply unethical measures against its own people.
My son Arik was born into a democracy with a chance for a decent, settled life. Arik's killer was born into an appalling occupation, into an ethical chaos. Had my son been born in his stead, he may have ended up doing the same.
Let all the self-righteous who speak of ruthless Palestinian murderers take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves what they would have done had they been the ones living under occupation. I can say for myself that I, Yitzhak Frankenthal, would undoubtedly have become a freedom fighter and would have killed as many on the other side as I possibly could.
My son Arik was murdered when he was a soldier by Palestinian fighters who believed in the ethical basis of their struggle against the occupation. My son Arik was not murdered because he was Jewish, but because he was part of the nation that occupies the territory of another.
I know these are concepts that are unpalatable, but I must voice them loud and clear, because they come from my heart -- the heart of a father whose son did not get to live because his people were blinded by power.
From a speech made by the chair of the Families Forum, a group of Palestinians and Israelis who have lost loved ones in the conflict, at a July 27 rally in Jerusalem outside the prime minister's residence.