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Monday, February 23, 2004

From Fanny Haim, whose husband Yehuda was killed yesterday in Jerusalem

to the judges in The Hague
"Today, in The Hague, you will sit in judgment. Today, I will bury my husband, my heart - which has been cut in two.

I am not a politician. I am appealing to you as someone who has lost her husband, a woman whose heart has been silenced - and a woman whose tragedy the separation fence could have prevented. I was married to Yehuda for 21 years. He was the love of my youth, since I was 15.

Yehuda's sister is Israel's Economic Attache in The Hague and works in the Embassy there. For months, she, her husband and the Embassy staff have been trying to open the world's eyes. For months, they have been fighting for the rights of the State of Israel.

As for me, what could I have asked for? Only for my small right, my husband's right, the right to see our children grow and prosper, go to school and serve in the army.

I will no longer receive this right. But today, you can see to it that other Israeli families will merit this basic thing - to raise a happy family, to get up in the morning without bereavement, without gravestones, and without cemeteries.

Today, as you begin your deliberations with open eyes, think, just for a moment, about the ordinary people behind this bloody conflict. Think for a moment about the golden heart of my husband Yehuda, and about our young son, Avner. Maybe you can explain to him he's only 10-years-old - why in God's Name he doesn't have a father any more.

People will enter your hall today, who will speak, who will accuse. Mourners will enter my home and I will be unable to understand and I will certainly not be consoled. This evening, you will go home, kiss your spouses, hug your children - and I will be alone.

True, the politics are far from me, but now as the pain is far too close to me, I think that I have acquired, with integrity and with tears, the right to appeal to you and say: If there had been a fence all along the length of the state, then maybe I, just like you, could kiss my husband this evening.

Do not judge my country; do not restrain it from preventing additional people from becoming victims. Today, I am burying my husband; don't you bury justice."

Fanny Haim, Jerusalem