Ellen Shemesh

How Much More Can We Tolerate?

I was privileged to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial, yesterday. I tried to prepare myself before the trip, knowing that the sights, sounds and feelings would overwhelm me, as they had on every prior visit. At the entrance to one of the first rooms I noticed a quote by Kurt Tucholsky, a German essayist of Jewish origin, “A country is not just what it does — it is also what it tolerates.” The quote stuck with me throughout the tour.

At home, while I was trying to process what I had experienced at Yad Vashem I heard the news of the murder of Dafna Meir, A”H.  Dafna was a mother of 6, four of them biological children and two of them foster children.  She was a nurse who specialized in women’s health and fertility, who treated Jews and Arabs with equal love and compassion at Soroka Hospital. Dafna even learned Arabic to be able to better communicate with her patients. And Dafna was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist as she painted the front door of her home while her children played inside. Dafna was murdered at her front door for doing the unthinkable — raising her family in an Israeli settlement. This crime has taken her away from her children. She will never see them grow up, graduate from high school, go into the army or get married — moments in life that they expected their mother to share. She was taken away from her husband, and she was taken away from her Israeli and Arab patients who she loved and cared for. The monster who committed this crime has not yet been caught.

And once again there is silence. I searched the international media and did not see any mention of Dafna’s murder, nor of her funeral.  Even our own government is quiet.  Where is the outrage?  Where are the protests? Where is the action? When did it become tolerable for a woman not to be safe in her own home?  When will Israel act to protect her citizens? We are supposed to be a light and example to other nations. How much will we tolerate before our government acts? How many more children have to go to sleep motherless before we say: “Enough! We will NOT tolerate another death”?

The world tolerated the death of 6,000,000 Jews in Europe during the Holocaust, and the Jews said “Never again.”  It’s time for Israel and the countries of the world to stand up and not tolerate the death of one more Jew. Especially not in Israel, especially not in our homes.

About the Author
Ellen Shemesh made Aliyah from North Miami Beach, FL with her family in 2014. She currently resides in Modiin.
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