Son of terror victim slams decision to free his mother's killer
Philharmonic violinist Zinovi Kaplan's mother was killed during a terror attack in Petah Tikva 30 years ago; on Sunday he learned PFLP figure behind attack to be released along with dozens of other prisoners as gesture to Abbas. 'Those who elected such a government shouldn't be surprised that terrorists are being freed,' he says
In 1977 Zinovi Kaplan's mother, Tzila Galili, was killed when a bomb went off at the vegetable market in Petah Tikva while she was standing near a pickle stand.
On Sunday Kaplan was informed that the man who had masterminded that terror attack, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) figure Said el-Atba, was on the list of 200 prisoners slated for release by Israel as a gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"They should have killed the terrorist who killed mother, not imprison him," said Kaplan, a violinist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
"I had no idea (el-Atba) was about to be released, and even if I had known, what could I have done? Those who elected such a government shouldn't be surprised that terrorists are being freed. If there were no terrorists in our prisons, there would be no kidnappings and prisoner exchange deals. This is the price, and there is nothing we can do about it now," he told Ynet.
Kaplan said the terror attack that claimed his mother's life occurred just four years after the family immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union. "She went to the market with a friend to buy some sweets for her granddaughter – my daughter – and then there was an explosion," Kaplan recounted.
"I was rehearsing with the Philharmonic when someone phoned me and told me that something had happened. I left for the hospital right away, but unfortunately I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye to my mother, who died of her injuries," he said.
"It won’t really make a difference if the terrorist stays in prison or is released; either way it won't help my mother. I have moved on with my life. My daughter is now a mother herself, and I have become a grandfather."
Kaplan appears pessimistic regarding Israel's current situation. "Unfortunately, the chances of being a victim of a terror attack are greater here than in any other country," he said, "I thought of leaving, but one thing kept me here despite it all – the knowledge that this is the State of Israel, where no one will call me a 'kike'. After all, here I am at home."