It hurts, saddens and enrages me that the OVT, which was once created by a law named after my 13 year old son who was beaten to death by terrorists--is not being used to help families such as ours. Koby Mandell's name was expunged from the OVT website with no sign that it was ever there. I did get a phone call telling me that the US government was closing the case--even though the killers were never found. They closed the case, burying Koby again. Causing us another round of pain. The office that was created in my son's name to protect us, instead damages us. There has been no communication since. No sign that the OVT could care less about an innocent 13 year old American boy named Koby--or others like him.
This Ongoing War..
08 February '16..
Arnold Roth was called as a witness (as we noted here) to testify last week in Washington DC at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Subcommittee on National Security. The title given to the hearing was “Seeking Justice for Victims of Palestinian Terrorism in Israel”. As a report on the DailyCaller.com website put it, "From the hearing’s outset, the feelings of frustration from the committee and victims was evident."
Justice is a theme we feel gets far too little attention when the victims of terrorist savagery – and especially their rights - are considered.
Chaired by Congressman Ron DeSantis of Florida, the February 2nd enquiry had three stated goals:
- To examine the role of the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT)
- To highlight the threat of terrorism to Americans in Israel
- To examine U.S. policy for prosecuting overseas terrorists in the United States
It heard four oral presentations. In order, they were delivered by Brad Wiegmann, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division - Department of Justice; Sarri Singer who founded and manages Strength to Strength, a not-for-profit that bring victims of terrorism together to share and grow from their experiences; Peter Schwartz whose nephew Ezra was murdered in a November 2015 terror attack in Gush Etzion [our post]; and Arnold Roth.
Below is an edited version of Arnold Roth’s written testimony [the version filed with the Committee is here]. Ordinary people like us rarely get the chance to speak to the truly powerful - we hope readers will keep that in mind even as we apologize for publishing what is almost certainly the lengthiest post in this blog's ten year history.
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