Orna Raz

Day 10 of the war: Other people’s tragedies

It has been a little over a week since the massacre in the south of Israel on October 7th. If it was a “regular” death of a loved one, we would have already concluded the Shiva and started counting the next thirty days of mourning, moving forward toward resuming our lives. However, what happened in Israel was a catastrophic earthquake in which Hamas slaughtered over 1300 innocent people, including babies, the elderly, women, and children. They also committed unspeakable acts such as rape and desecration of dead bodies. The exact horrors have not been fully disclosed, but we are still buried under the rubble, struggling to breathe. Earlier this week, we learned that the pogrom was a premeditated plan, and not a frenzied attack.

Although it has only been 10 days and most of the victims of this vicious attack have not been buried yet, it seems that the world has grown weary of hearing about our tragedy. Yesterday, I received a text from a friend abroad. I’m sure she was sincerely worried about the situation in our area, but she didn’t even mention one word about the massacre. She wrote that she was sad for the civilians on both sides. My initial response was to ask her if she knew about the slaughter, but then I decided to drop it and simply thanked her for her concern. Nevertheless, I was so upset that for hours I couldn’t think of anything else.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps people around the world prefer not to know; life is hard enough. Come to think of it, I am probably the same way—trying not to dwell too much on tragedies, especially if they are happening in remote places. What do I know, for example, about the plight of the Yazidis during the genocide by the Islamic State or the Uyghurs’ genocide in China?

But one thing I do know is that there is no need to add more tragedies to the one we suffered on October 7th. Yes, we are in the midst of a war, but the most important thing is to bring the Israeli hostages back right now. They were kidnapped from their homes inside the state of Israel while leading a normal life. They were not involved in any risky behavior. And the state of Israel should do the utmost not to harm innocent Palestinian civilians, just as our civilians, they  have suffered enough.

About the Author
I hold a PhD in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in writing about issues related to women, literature, culture, and society. Having lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994), I bring a diverse perspective to my work. As a widow, in March 2016, I initiated a support and growth-oriented Facebook group for widows named "Widows Move On." The group has now grown to over 2000 members, providing a valuable space for mutual support and understanding.
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