I would like to share with you my impressions from visiting evacuees from
the Gaza Belt (Otef Aza) from Kafar Aza, Kibbutz Mifalsim and Kibbutz Or
HaNer who are staying at our WIZO youth Villages and at WIZO Beit Heuss.
You cannot imagine, dear chaverot, what our WIZO hospitality means to them
– how important and significant it is.
They all call our WIZO institutions their “new homes” and are very
appreciative for the love, attention and unlimited giving showered on
them and their children. The youngsters who are experiencing stress-free
fun for the first time in weeks – miss their homes but want to stay just a
little while longer. Their parents enjoy the small things that we take for
granted – for instance, hearing the sound of birds instead of noises
associated with projectiles, or being able to try and sleep without
interruptions. But have no doubt – they are traumatized –many have
forgotten what a stress-free life is, what quiet actually means, others
have nightmares and anxiety attacks. For some it was even hard to relax in
a shiatsu session (see below)
The evacuees are constantly praising Esty Cohen – Director of WIZO Nir
HaEmek, David Horesh – Director WIZO Nahalal, Zeev Twito – Director WIZO
Hadassim, Uri Sa’ar from WIZO Gan VeNof, as well as Heli Yehiali from WIZO
Beit Heuss and their respective staff for the wonderful work they are
carrying out. I take this opportunity to mention Kobi Hillel – Director
Beit Hacarem who is in active reserve action and we pray for his safe
return to his family and to work.
WIZO cannot even consider sending the evacuees home until the tunnels have
been located and destroyed. It is an imminent danger right under their
houses. One lady from Or HaNer told me “For nearly a year I thought I was
going mad. In the middle of the night I would wake up and hear knocking
under the floor. Everyone told me that I was nervous, dreaming and hearing
things. Now they know I am not imagining – there is a tunnel under my
house and those of others in Or HaNer”.
Try to imagine if the tunnels had not been discovered, The Hamas are
cunning and built the network of tunnels that begin a few kilometers away
from the Israeli border, and pass under the frontier, in a bid to enable
dozens of terrorists to infiltrate the country. They could have taken a
whole kibbutz or more – adults and children as hostages or worse….at
least those were their plans and they nearly succeeded earlier this month
when 13 terrorists infiltrated into Israel through a tunnel near Kibbutz
Sufa. Thank God they were intercepted in time.
While it is true that Israel is paying a high price for Operation
Protective Edge and we have lost 43 officers and soldiers – each one salt
of the earth – we are also aware that by paying the ultimate price they
saved hundreds and thousands of Israeli lives – and this gives their
families great solace during their bereavement.
We are not indifferent to what is happening in Gaza and especially to the
innocent women and children that Hamas make into human body shields and
uninvolved casualties and mortalities.
That is the fundamental difference between us – Judaism sanctifies the
value of life, while the Moslem that of the value of death.
My dear chaverot, we are one extended family and we care for each other –
no matter what.
I want to thank you for identifying with us and for your fundraising – it
is an enormous help now and it will be needed to provide psychological and
post trauma treatment for the children and their parents later on.
It will get better – here and in the Diaspora – we just need to stay
united and be patient.