Orna Raz

Day 3 of the War: Bring Back the Hostages

Today is the third day of the war, and it’s fair to say that we are still in shock. The streets are empty, and in my neighborhood in Ramat Gan, there are almost no cars on the road. Strangely, it reminds me of the early days of the Corona lockdown in March 2020. At that time too, we were very much in shock, and had no idea what the future would bring. We haven’t heard many sirens since Saturday night, but schools are closed, so many parents have to stay home, and grandparents have to chip in.

In many places around Israel, there are  huge help centers. Activists from various factions of the Protest Movement (against the judicial overhaul) have utilized their logistical capabilities and infrastructure created for the protest to aid the army and the evacuees from the south. There’s a significant need, as the state of Israel, including the army, was caught totally off guard by such a horrible attack. It is heartwarming to see the civil society in action, yet very disappointing that the government, especially those in charge, have neglected all their responsibilities.

Yesterday, I wrote in my blog that since Saturday before noon, I haven’t heard back from my friend in the southern kibbutz. Sadly, we found out yesterday that she was taken hostage by Hamas. My friend is an admired peace activist and one of the prominent members of several peace organizations. Her kibbutz has regularly hosted outdoor meetings with Israelis and Palestinians, and my friend was one of the  leaders. In those meetings, they often held discussions via Zoom with peace activists in Gaza.

We have no idea about the fate of the hostages in Gaza, but I implore the government to bring the hostages back, and I expect each member of Netanyahu’s government not to rest until they are safely home. This is one responsibility that the government cannot ignore. Many of the hostages are innocent civilians, including women and children.

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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