Bereaved Israeli Parents Slam Radio Host for Comparing Families of Fallen Soldiers, Palestinian Terrorists

Army Radio’s Razi Barkai compared Palestinian struggle to return terrorists' bodies to efforts to bring back bodies of fallen troops.

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Simcha Goldin, father of fallen IDF soldier Hadar, outside his home, in August 2014. Hadar's body has not been returned to his family,
Simcha Goldin, father of fallen IDF soldier Hadar, outside his home, in August 2014.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

The parents of two fallen Israeli soldiers slammed an Army Radio anchor on Monday for comparing families of Israeli troops killed in action to families of Palestinian terrorists killed while carrying out attacks.

Simcha Goldin's remarks came in response to comments made by radio host Razi Barkai in reference to Palestinian families' efforts vis-a-vis the Israeli authorities to get back the bodies of relatives who were killed while committing acts of terrorism.

“Imagine Israeli families, who are shamefully waiting, waiting, waiting for their loved ones’ bodies to be brought back,” Barkai said on his program, during an interview with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. “Imagine from the families’ perspective...”

Enraged about what they described as an inappropriate comparison, the parents of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, both Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, sent a letter to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the Army Radio commander, demanding that Barkai be suspended pending an investigation into the incident. The families also demanded that he apologize.

Simcha Goldin, Hadar Goldin's father, confronted Barkai on Niv Raskin’s Army Radio program on Monday morning. “We are in a struggle to prove to the whole world that there are enormous differences between us and our enemies, and on Army Radio Barkai compares the Shaul and Goldin families and their feelings to the families of murderous terrorists,” said Goldin.

Barkai tried to explain the rationale behind his statement, but Goldin demanded an apology.

The radio show host said his goal was not to compare Hadar or other soldiers to Palestinian terrorists, but rather to compare the feelings of grieving Palestinian mothers to grieving Israeli mothers. “I think there is no difference,” he added.

In response, Simcha Goldin called on Israeli soldiers to stop listening to Barkai’s program. “I think no grieving family can accept what Razi said now," he said, "and I think IDF soldiers can’t accept it [either].”

Hamas still holds the bodies of Lt. Goldin and First Sgt. Shaul. The two families are demanding that Israel's government refuse to allow the return of any more bodies of terrorists to their families until Hamas agrees to return the bodies of their loved ones.

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