Orna Raz

Day 156 Of The War: Hopes For The Future

Moshe Radman kindly agreed  to be photographed. (courtesy)
Moshe Radman kindly agreed to be photographed. (courtesy)

Last night, I once again attended the major demonstration in Kaplan. Again, I faced the dilemma of choosing between participating in the demonstration in Kaplan or joining the rally at “The Hostages Plaza.” Although I believe that the hostages’ plight is the most urgent and important concern for our people, to secure their release, people should demand the removal of Netanyahu, who refuses to take responsibility for his grievous actions.

To make up for my absence from the rallies for the release of the hostages, I began volunteering at the headquarters of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum. Similar to my previous volunteering work at the vegan restaurant J17, here, I am assisting with food preparations as one of the women taking shifts in the dining room. In contrast to J17, where obtaining donations for vegan meals for the soldiers was challenging, there is an abundance of food in the dining room at the headquarters, with donations pouring in from all directions. Perhaps because we feel so  awful about our failure to bring them back, individuals and businesses try to compensate with something tangible.

I chose to volunteer in the dining room because, during this war, I experienced firsthand the comforting power of food. Thus serving food is a meaningful way for me to help.

In Kaplan last night we heard several powerful speakers, including a retired Major General, who called upon Netanyahu to resign now. There was also an evacuee from Beit Hilel in the north, whose parents stayed in the village because they felt that they had no choice, and a young woman who is a rock climber and was on reserve duty for four months in the rescue unit. Their commitment and determination gave me hope. Then next to the stage, I suddenly saw the famous Moshe Radman Abutbul, one of the most admired leaders of the protest against the judicial overhaul, who continues to devote all his time and energy to bring about change in Israel. I thanked him for his activism, and he smiled and shook my hand. I asked for his permission to take his picture, and he kindly agreed. It was around 8 pm.

Less than an hour later when the speeches part of the demonstration ended, the protesters marched to Ayalon highway, where the police arrested several of them, including Moshe Radman. I read that he was mistreated by the police and was held for no reason for many long hours. Radman and other activists in the protest against the judicial overhaul are our  future. I hope that they will be the next generation of Israeli leaders who will replace the corrupt and extremist government. They are brave, intelligent, moral, compassionate, and capable, everything that the current politicians in the Knesset and the government are not

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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