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Day 106 of The War: Shame Is An Important Word

Day 106 at the Kidnapped Square
Day 106 at the Kidnapped Square


This evening at 6:30 pm, we gathered at Habima Square to demand the removal of Netanyahu from office. Thousands of angry people showed up, chanting “shame” and “go.” It is unbelievable that a whole nation cannot wait for him to go, yet we are helpless and can’t do anything, besides protesting, to expedite the process. At 7:30 pm, we were already at the Kidnapped Square near the museum to demand the return of the hostages.

The moderator on the stage at Kidnapped Square aimed to distinguish this demonstration from the one at Habima Square. He asserted that while in Habima, the crowd chants “shame,” in the demonstration for the return of the hostages we chant “now”  (bring them home now) and this is not a political demonstration. According to him, there is no left and right concerning the issue of the hostages— the entire nation is united. I fear that this is not entirely true. While there is a consensus that we want the hostages back now, some Israelis, especially the allies of Netanyahu in the extreme right, are not willing to pay the price. The fear of sounding angry with the government, the unwillingness to blame the one man in charge, is not conducive to the speedy return of the hostages.

Naturally, the government prefers that the families of the hostages do not make a fuss and stay in the background, remaining quiet and polite. It doesn’t wish for them to talk to foreign media, and there may even be implicit threats regarding the consequences of speaking out too much. I recall all of this from the time when we stood in solidarity with Avichai Brodetz, whose family was abducted by Hamas to Gaza, near the Ministry of Security. There were people there warning the demonstrators not to say anything against the government and not to speak to foreign networks. Fortunately, many of us did not heed that advice.

I believe that ‘shame’ should have been a focal point at the demonstration for the return of the hostages, directed squarely at Netanyahu. It is incomprehensible that a baby just marked his first birthday in captivity. It is cruel that the prime minister doesn’t show any human empathy, and it’s cowardly that he doesn’t engage regularly with the families of the hostages. Bringing the hostages back now is a crucial mission for Israel, and there is no excuse in the world that can justify this criminal negligence on the part of Netanyahu and his government. Only pressure, and more pressure, including engaging with all those who can influence and assist, will bring back the hostages who are still alive. It is the responsibility of each one of us to do the utmost to make it happen now.

 

 

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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