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‘Love is more powerful than hate,’ says terror victim’s widower

‘The message I want to spread is to stop sharpening swords, and look for what unites us,’ Natan Meir tells President Rivlin

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

President Reuven Rivlin plants a dafna (laurel) tree during a condolence visit to the family of terror victim Dafna Meir in Otniel on January 21, 2016,  four days after she was murdered in a terror attack at her home (Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin plants a dafna (laurel) tree during a condolence visit to the family of terror victim Dafna Meir in Otniel on January 21, 2016, four days after she was murdered in a terror attack at her home (Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO)

The husband of an Israeli woman who was stabbed to death in her home in the West Bank settlement of Otniel earlier this week urged nonviolence, speaking when President Reuven Rivlin paid the family a condolence visit on Thursday.

“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,” Natan Meir told the president.

“We know well the hatred. Enough of this. The true solution is love,” he said.

“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,” Natan said, adding that Dafna’s death was a loss to the entire community.

Rivlin said Natan’s sentiment would “reverberate around the whole country. These words should guide us all.”

“Your words go straight to the heart,” he added.

At the end of the visit, Rivlin and the Meir family planted a laurel tree (a dafna tree in Hebrew) at the entrance to their home.

President Reuven Rivlin pays a condolence visit to the family of terror victim Dafna Meir in Otniel on January 21, 2016, four days after she was murdered in a terror attack at her home (Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin pays a condolence visit to the family of terror victim Dafna Meir in Otniel on January 21, 2016, four days after she was murdered in a terror attack at her home (Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO)

Dafna, 39, a nurse by profession, was stabbed and left for dead outside her home by 15-year Morad Bader Abdullah Adais on Sunday afternoon. According to her 17-year-old daughter who witnessed the attack, Dafna wrestled with Adais in an effort to keep him away from the children who were home at the time of the attack.

Adais was arrested at his home overnight Monday in a Palestinian village near Otniel.

Dafna Meir, who was killed in an attack in her Otniel home on January 17, 2016 (screen capture)
Dafna Meir, who was killed in an attack in her Otniel home on January 17, 2016 (screen capture)

Earlier this week, Natan Meir gave several interviews to Hebrew-language media outlets, speaking tearfully of Dafna’s joy and positivity, and reiterated his refusal to entertain bitterness or express hatred toward Palestinians in the wake of her murder.

In an interview with Channel 2 on Wednesday, he said that a Palestinian who lives in a nearby village came to the home to pay a condolence call earlier in the day, at his invitation. The Palestinian, a long-time friend, Natan said, is a relative of the youth who killed his wife.

“I am certain that had he known, he would have stopped that terrorist from coming here, even if it cost him his life,” he said of this Palestinian friend. “Our friendship is much stronger than that. I asked all my friends, everybody, Jews and non-Jews, to come (to the shiva). We are good friends. The tears in his eyes showed that.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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