The Enduring Pain

Today for Israel was a day of remembrance for their fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism; and one victim of terrorism provided a clear demonstration of the enduring pain. During the memorial service at Mount Herzl he delayed Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech by shouting out from the crowd.

Still from video clip

“You said that you made difficult choices, but my family experienced terrorism for the second time two months ago. I was injured 15 years ago and my wounds have not yet healed. And now, we are forgiving once again and don’t know how to cope.”

His name is Rami Cohen, and he is one of the brothers of Tzvika Cohen who was seriously injured in a vicious attack a couple of months ago. Rami had also been attacked, but that was 16 years ago in the beginning of the Second Intifada. He was stabbed many times and hospitalized for weeks as he and the medical staff fought for his life.

Pain could also be seen on Benjamin Netanyahu’s face as he listened patiently. His response to the delay was quite moving. When Rami had calmed down, the Prime Minister began his speech:

“Believe me, I understand you, because I am a son of the same family and I know how painful this is. As a bereaved brother, I feel your pain. As prime minister, I hold your hands and salute your ability to continue. We are in a struggle that has lasted for more than a century. Every generation knows bereavement, orphanhood, suffering and pain.”

“Today is a difficult day,” he went on. “Wounds are reopened. I believe that the entire nation is praying that you find the strength to heal them, to grow new tissue. You are not alone, the love of the nation and its unity accompanies you.”