JERUSALEM (JTA) – The husband of Dafna Meir, the mother of six who was killed in her home while fighting off a Palestinian assailant, called on Jews and Palestinians to “look for what unites us.”
Natan Meir spoke Thursday with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who paid a condolence visit to the family home in the West Bank settlement of Otniel, where his wife was stabbed to death Sunday by a Palestinian teen who reportedly confessed to the murder.
“The message I want to spread and which I have repeated to all those who have come to pay their condolences is to stop sharpening swords, and look for what unites us,” Meir told the president, according to a statement released by Rivlin’s office. “We know well the hatred, enough of this. The true solution is love. I talk with my children each night, and I have not heard from them one word of hatred.”
Rivlin told Meir: “Your words go straight to the heart and reverberate around the whole country. These words should guide us all.”
Meir, his four children with his nurse wife – they also had two young foster children – and Rivlin planted a laurel tree, “dafna” in Hebrew, at the entrance to the family’s home.
“This is what I wish will be remembered. Dafna saw each and every one as a person, a human being, and learned Arabic in order to better care for her fellow man,” Meir said. “Dafna’s loss is both personal and communal. I hope that her sacrifice will be remembered for her kindness to others. She believed, as we do, that love is so much more powerful than hate.”
Dafna Meir was stabbed to death while fighting off her attacker in what is believed to have been an attempt to save three of her children who were at home. Her 17-year-old daughter witnessed the attack.
The assailant ran off after he was unable to remove the knife from Dafna Meir’s body and was captured two days later, according to reports.