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Weisman’s widow spoke in court

Updated: Feb 7


Avraham Weisman; Photo credit: Honenu
Avraham Weisman; Photo credit: Honenu

February 10, 2019, 11:42 On Sunday, February 10, at the Ofer Military Court, a deliberation took place at which both sides presented claims for the penalty in the trial of the terrorist who murdered First Sergeant Tuvia Yanai Weisman, Hy”d. Weisman was murdered in a stabbing attack on February 18, 2016, at the Sha’ar Binyamin branch of the Rami Levy supermarket chain. Weisman’s widow, Ya’el, spoke during the deliberation and demanded that the court impose a life sentence on the terrorist. Weisman’s father and brother also spoke. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family as victims of terror and assisting them with realizing their rights, was also present. Ya’el Weisman spoke before the judges: “Due to my fragile emotional balance and my attempt to remain sane, I carefully considered whether or not to come to the courthouse and scratch at the painful, bleeding wound that refuses to heal. And to speak. The feelings are difficult. Standing here and speaking in front of the murderer who, with the wave of an arm took the life of my Yanai, and at a very planned moment, as far as he is concerned, turned my life upside-down. “However after the previous hearing, at which one of the terrorists who murdered Yanai did not receive the maximum penalty that could have been handed down to him, I decided that I could no longer be silent. There are not enough words to describe who Yanai was and what a special person he was. I also will not talk here about the pain and the endless coping with which the family – my daughter, Neta, Yanai’s parents and siblings – and also I, have been forced to contend, every day, and every minute since Yanai was murdered. And for a good reason: I had not wanted the despicable terrorist to hear the name of our Yanai spoken. But I am nevertheless here.” Weisman continued: “I came in order to request of you, honorable judges, that for one moment you look at me and try to imagine the unbelievable, impossible life that I have been forced to live for three years. Every day, every hour. I choose to live mainly for my daughter, Neta, who is now a toddler. I really and truly believe that every one directs his life for good or for evil, he and only he can decide how he will lead his life. Yanai chose to live his life as a benefactor, to always give of himself to someone else. It did not matter what the consequences would be for him. “In the place from which Yanai and I came, we were educated to do good, to think about others, and how we could contribute. Already in his youth, at the very same age that the contemptible murderer was on the day of the murder, he and I both chose where to volunteer and how to contribute to society, because even then we understood that we would direct our lives for the good, for the best that we could do. The same terrorist, with his friends who murdered Yanai, planned the murder down to the finest details, step by step, and they knew exactly what the consequences of the act would be. The age of the terrorists does not matter one bit here. They came imbued with hatred, for one purpose: to murder Jews and to choose evil,” added Ya’el later during the deliberation. “The choice was in their hands. They knew and understood the significance of the act. Therefore they no longer have a place in our society. They chose to carry out the most horrific and cruel act that a man could carry out – taking a life, murder! I implore you that the moment before the decision, you look at me, imagine me returning home to Neta, my daughter. Imagine for even one moment what I endure, what Yanai’s parents endure. “What will I tell my little daughter if, G-d forbid, the terrorist is not sentenced to life imprisonment? I really want to believe that I can tell her that the State for which her father sacrificed his life did not turn its back on him, that the decision makers understand well the most basic thing for which I strive: to educate her, to give her the knowledge to choose life, goodness, and happiness and to try with all my strength to distance her from evil. Her father will never return, but at least one thing can help satisfy the most basic sense of justice: that also the terrorist will not return to live in our midst, that he will no longer be part of our society.”In conclusion, Ya’el turned again to the judges and said, “If the terrorist who murdered our Yanai does not receive at least life imprisonment, I will never be able to look Neta in the eye and tell her that the State of Israel, the state for which her father sacrificed his life, is there for us and understands our pain.”Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the family, stated: “We are in an existential war against cruel, murderous Islamic terror. Any leniency in the penalty of a terrorist out of consideration for his age and rehabilitation completely undermines the war on terror. The victim’s family stood here – his widow, his parents, his brothers – and the injured citizen whom Yanai struggled to save, and demanded that the terrorist never be set free. At the very least the court must impose life imprisonment on the terrorist. Any consideration of mercy for the terrorist constitutes a cruel act against all Israeli citizens.”

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