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They murdered our son

January 27, 2006|Vicki and Leonard Eisenfeld | VICKI and LEONARD EISENFELD live in Connecticut.

WE ARE THE parents of a young man who was the victim of Hamas terrorism. His name was Matthew Eisenfeld, and he was only 25 when he was murdered while riding on the No. 18 bus in Jerusalem on Feb. 25, 1996.

His girlfriend Sara Duker, who was 22, also died when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb filled with nails, ball bearings and bullets. Twenty-four other innocent people were killed.

Matthew had graduated from Yale, and he was going to become a rabbi. He was in his second year at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where students complete one year in New York City, then spend a year in Jerusalem, then return to finish their studies in the United States. When they died, Matthew and Sara were on their way to the central bus station in Jerusalem, and from there they were going to Jordan to see the ruins at Petra.

The bombing was a Hamas operation, but we also learned that Iran provided funding, direction and training to support Hamas. Along with the Duker family and the family of another terrorism victim, we sued Iran in U.S. civil court. We prevailed, but we are still pressing to collect punitive damages. Those damages, we hope, will help deter international terrorism.

Naturally, we view Hamas' electoral victory in Gaza and the West Bank with great alarm. Hamas is a terrorist organization, an organization of hoodlums backed by a foreign government. It values suicide bombs, not human life. It has no interest in peaceful conflict resolution among nations or in the rule of civil law.

Its platform is destruction, and there is no indication that that will change. Now, more than ever, there is no legitimate partner for peace in the Middle East.

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