BEREAVED MOTHER ESTHER WACHSMAN IMPLORES NETANYAHU ON GILAD SHALIT BEHALF

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Esther Wachsman outside prime minister’s residence.
Gil Yohanan Photo © 2009

BY RONEN MEDZINI
JerusalemOnline

“Bibi, this could be your son. Every minute of suffering is on your shoulders. His blood is on your shoulders,” Esther Wachsman, mother of Nachshon Wachsman, said Friday during the weekly rally for the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit held in front of the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

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Esther Wachsman, whose son Nachshon was abducted
and murdered by Hamas, attends protest in Jerusalem, says
not enough is being done to secure captive’s release. ‘I will
suffer my entire life. I hope this doesn’t happen
to Aviva Shalit,’ she says.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not present as he is on his way back from the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Wachsman was captured by Hamas some 15 years ago and was executed by his captors during a failed IDF rescue operation six days after he was abducted.

His mother watched Netanyahu’s speech at the UN on Thursday night, but was left unimpressed mainly because it did not include any demand to release Gilad Shalit.

“The prime minister knows how to speak. I, as an English speaker, am amazed by his excellent level of expression. Words have power, but at the moment, this is not enough. I saw the prime minister speak at the UN, defame, warn, and threaten Iran, the body essentially behind Hamas, who is holding Gilad – the same body that held my son. How much can one keep quiet?” said Esther.

Wachsman prays that Aviva and Noam Shalit’s fate will be different than her own. “We are in the middle of the Days of Awe. In Judaism, one of the most important commandments for our people, especially during this time, is the redemption of prisoners (for ransom). I live with the feelings of guilt that I don’t want Aviva to have. I was nice just like Aviva and Noam are nice, and I admire them with all my heart. I am suffering and will continue to suffer for the rest of my life. I will not have one good day. I hope this doesn’t happen to Aviva.

“I feel as though, in my case, I didn’t speak out enough. I did the same things the Shalit family is doing now. I spoke and spoke and spoke, but I didn’t sit with Rabin (who was then prime minister – R.M.). I should have slept on his doorstep, stretched myself out at the foot of his bed, and not given him one moment of rest.

“They also tried to convince us not to talk. They said we are spoiling the plans and that things are happening under the surface, but my son was murdered,” said Esther in pain.

Wachsman warned that the government’s impotence could result in similar abductions. “I immigrated to Israel with the ethos that you don’t abandon a soldier in the field. I sent seven sons to the military, but the prime minister needs to understand that they didn’t search for Gilad Shalit, nor for Nachshon Wachsman. They abducted IDF soldiers that could have been anyone.”

See Related: WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BRING GILAD SHALIT HOME

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