Day 8 Of The War: ‘My Family Is In Gaza’

This morning, we received a plea to stand in support of a member of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, one of the kibbutzim brutally attacked by Hamas. Avihai Brodetz, a member of this kibbutz, had his wife and three children kidnapped by Hamas and taken hostage to Gaza.

Avihai initially planned to stand in front of the Ministry of Security alone. He arrived at Kaplan early in the morning with his brother. Later, his friends who joined him sent an invitation through various WhatsApp groups of the protest against the Judicial overhaul, asking everyone available to support him, we came right away. When we arrived, there were already a couple of hundred people present. Initially, we could not spot Avihai; we were told he was being interviewed, but we did see his empty chair and next to it a sign “My family is in Gaza”. Foreign press was also present, and I overheard a man explaining in Spanish the content of the posters demanding the return of the hostages before anything else.

As we stood there, various reporters were interviewing people in the crowd. One woman, displaying photos of the kidnapped children on her sign, was asked about it. She pointed to the only person responsible for this tragedy: Benjamin Netanyahu. Soon after, a commotion erupted, and a debate ensued about what should and shouldn’t be said in these circumstances. Some mentioned that the family members of the hostages in Kfar Aza requested refraining from political talk. But as more people arrived and displayed posters with photos of the hostages, it became impossible to remain silent about who was responsible. Avihai said in an interview that he needed his family back and that he would have liked the state to say, “Avihai, we made a mistake, we screwed up, and we would help you in any way possible. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening”.

When we left this show of support, it has already transformed into a full-blown demonstration of frustrated and anguished people who are at their wits’ end. This all unfolded amidst a horrible war that was forced upon us.

Up to this moment, Benjamin Netanyahu , the prime minister of Israel has not uttered a word of empathy, or offered any reassurance to his people. He has yet to apologize to Avihai and other family members of the deceased, wounded, and kidnapped. I believe it is time to take responsibility and resign.

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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