Ex-minister who lost soldier son on Oct. 7 reports threats, abuse for criticism of PM

Izhar Shay says some have called his son ‘traitorous,’ others wished more death upon his family; urges Netanyahu to silence the hate speech, take responsibility for failures

Izhar Shay poses at the Knesset, on April 29, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Izhar Shay poses at the Knesset, on April 29, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Former science and technology minister Izhar Shay told Army Radio Tuesday that he has received threats and abuse since the death of his son IDF Sgt. Yaron Oree Shay, who was killed on October 7 defending an Israeli community during Hamas’s attack on Israel.

“People write things like, ‘It’s a good thing your traitorous son died because he opened the gate to terrorists’ — just because I dared to criticize the prime minister,” Shay said. “They wrote, ‘It’s a shame more people in your family didn’t die. One is not enough.'”

Shay’s son Yaron was slain fighting terrorists near the border with the Gaza Strip, as thousands burst across the border into Israel, killing some 1,200 people and seizing over 240 hostages.

In the interview Shay, who represented Benny Gantz’s former Blue and White party between 2019 and 2021, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn such sentiments “from his supporters” and to take personal responsibility for the failures that led to the October 7 massacres.

“[Yaron] fell in a heroic battle — he and a handful of other brave soldiers defended Kibbutz Kerem Shalom with their lives against hundreds of terrorists,” Shay told Army Radio.

Since his son’s death, Shay, a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, has called on fellow tech investors and founders to join his initiative to commit to founding a new startup for each of the victims of the attacks, and the heroes who gave their lives to protect the country.

“Over the next 12 months, for every fallen soldier, for every murdered civilian, let’s put together a new innovative startup that will build a product or service that will serve thousands of companies and/or millions of people around the world,” he said.

Yaron Oree Shay in an undated photo from his father Izhar Shay (used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law).

“Let’s put together a moral response to this evil attack on humanity by putting the foundations for thousands of new innovative businesses that will make this world better in so many ways,” said Shay.

The UK Jewish News reported last week that Shay had teamed up with fellow tech veteran Eyal Waldman on the project. Waldman’s daughter Danielle, 24, was murdered at the Supernova nature party on October 7, among some 300 partygoers.

Also Tuesday, police were investigating the desecration of the grave of Sgt. First Class (res.) Yaacov Ozeri of the 401st Armored Brigade, according to a Channel 12 report. Ozeri was killed fighting in the northern Gaza Strip on November 7.

On Tuesday morning Ozeri’s mother Lilian said she’d discovered graffiti on her son’s grave.

“It’s very upsetting, just horrible,” she told Channel 12. “I go to the cemetery every day to light a candle for him, and today I saw red crosses on the Star of David on the flags next to his grave, and over the IDF symbol on the tombstone.”

“I was so upset, I started trying to clean it myself, but it didn’t really work,” she added. “We lodged a police report so we can find out who did this.”

Most Popular
read more: