Day 36 Of The War: ‘They Are Your Grandparents’ Age’

The poster at the retirement Community
(Image courtesy of author)

Two days ago, Neta Heiman Mina, whose mother Ditza Heimann (84) was kidnapped from kibbutz Nir Oz and taken to Gaza, reached out to her friends on Facebook, urging us not to forget the hostages.

I know Neta from Women Wage Peace, she is a very energetic woman, creative and full of  ideas. Since her mother was kidnapped on the morning of October 7th, Neta, like many other family members and activists, has dedicated every waking moment (and I suspect she hardly ever sleeps) to bringing back her mother and the rest of the hostages. Knowing Neta, I am aware of her bravery and outspoken nature. So, true to herself, she provided us clear instructions on Facebook on the best way to keep the hostage issue in the hearts and minds of everyone.

Good morning to everyone who offered me help starting on 7.10, family and friends. The time has come to make good on your offer. The issue of the hostages is beginning to be pushed to the margins, and we must not let that happen. This is where you come into the picture. What am I asking for?

1. Take to the streets: At least once a week, join the demand to bring back the hostages, it is a top priority, even before the elimination of Hamas. If you know  my mother personally, I am talking especially to my family. Please stand with a sign (with her photo) and talk about her to anyone who is willing to listen. Keep in mind that we, the families, cannot always go out because we are busy with many other things, and some of us are in Eilat, making it a little difficult to get to the protest centers. Don’t come to the Kidnapped square to meet and hug us; come to protest, with or without us. This should be the task for all of us.

2. Once a day, write something about the hostages on social media. You can share our content, but it’s also powerful to write something of your own. Don’t let them be forgotten.

Ditza, Neta’s mother, is an active and strong woman, a social worker who worked until she turned 80, nevertheless she is still old. I can’t even begin to imagine how challenging it is to know that your elderly mother is a hostage, and you can’t reach out and be there for her.

A retirement community in Jerusalem decided to highlight the plight of the elderly hostages and hung a poster on the premises with photos of the elderly among the hostages, accompanied by the caption: “They are your grandparents’ age.” The pain experienced by Neta, her family, and the other families is unbearable. We must bring back the hostages now.

About the Author
I have a PhD in English literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and I usually write about issues concerning women, literature, culture and society. I lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994). I am widow and in March 2016 started a support/growth Facebook group for widows: "Widows Move On." In October 2017 I started a Facebook group for Older and Experienced Feminists. .
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