Police chief Roni Alsheikh on Monday evening appeared to reply to Army Radio host Razi Barkai, who recently likened the bereaved parents of slain IDF soldiers to the families of terrorists.
Though he did not directly mention Barkai by name, Alsheikh hinted at his remarks when speaking at a gathering of bereaved families in Eilat.
"It is impossible not to feel the difference between the grief we see in your faces and the one we have been encountering in recent years by some of our neighbors," Alsheikh said, adding, “It appears that, while we have chosen to sanctify life and give it meaning, our enemies have chosen to sanctify death.”
“Their underlying message is that there is no significance to life, and that by pressing a button or pulling a knife, one can move on to a better world and be rid of the challenges of this world. This is, in my opinion, the antithesis of the values of Israeli society,” he stressed.
Barkai made the comparison in a recent interview with Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), likening the pain of the families of IDF soldiers whose bodies are being held captive by Hamas with the pain of the families of Arab terrorists whose bodies are held by Israel, delaying their return and burial as a deterrent move.
Barkai came under fire for the statements and did not make things better when he spoke on air with the father of Hadar Goldin, an IDF soldier whose body is being held by Hamas.
He later issued what some might call an apology on the air, but in that “apology” Barkai said that while he is sorry if anyone was offended by what he said, "I cannot lie and say that I take back what I said."
As if to drive home his original point, he then addressed another comment to "the bereaved families": "I embrace all of you, regardless of differences in color and politics. The bereavement is both here and on the other side of the fence. The feelings of bereaved parents here and there cannot be measured."
He denied that by comparing the grief of Israeli soldiers' families to that of terrorist families, he was comparing IDF soldiers to terrorists, justifying terror acts or expressing understanding toward them. Anyone accusing him of this is acting out of "evil motives," he said.