They could have been my own…

The rock says "Where is the peace?" and was placed on the gravesite of a fallen soldier by another IDF soldier.
This rock says “Where is the peace?” and was placed on the gravesite of a fallen soldier by another IDF soldier at Har Herzl, or Israel’s national cemetery.

As the rockets flew over my home, Hamas became real. They were no longer just an enemy I’d heard of, they were terrorists aiming for me. They were aiming to kill my cousins, my boyfriend, my friends, my favorite cafes. It became personal. Everything and everyone I loved became actual targets as the loud booms and sirens filled the air. The three young Jewish students murdered by Hamas became “our boys.”

As a Holocaust survivor, it was my grandpa’s dream to one day have a Jewish State in Israel to make sure that innocent people would never be targeted again for the sake of being Jewish. There was no army before to protect him or his family. He was so afraid that his children or grandchildren would have to suffer the way that he did. He fought his whole life to make sure that that would not happen. At the age of 95 years old my grandpa was buried by 2 Israeli paratroopers who are my cousins, (Leor and Erez) which was the exact way he wanted to leave this world.

A total of 66 Israeli soldiers were killed defending Israel since the beginning of this operation.

In Israel, every man and woman needs to join the army at the age of 18. This means that when just one soldier is killed, Israelis either know the soldier or know someone who knows someone who knows them. They view each soldier as their loved one because he or she very well could have been their own.

Where do we go from here? My heart aches in fear and sadness.

We don’t want to bury another child on either side of the conflict.

About the Author
Jessica Katz is an M.A student living Tel Aviv. She is half Israeli and American and is passionate about genealogy, family roots, and technology. She can be contacted by e-mail at: or through Facebook at: