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Under Attack: Wives and Mothers in the Shadow of War

Mishpacha Staff

I was sitting on my hospital bed, surrounded by people who could never understand, when I heard that the bodies of the three boys had been found. Tears streaming down my face, I stuffed my hand in my mouth to stop myself from keening. I was grateful no one had noticed my distress. How would I have explained that I was mourning three boys I’d never met, who lived in a country far from London, and who I knew only by name? The war hit us next.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This Shabbos, the Shabbos we were meant to be with our children in our Land, Gaza came to London. Thousands, their faces incandescent with hatred and anger, marched through the streets, their bodies painted with blood, their strident voices echoing off the dignified buildings of the mall, passing the huge impassive lions of Trafalgar Square, and coming to a halt outside the Israeli Embassy. For the first time I was frightened to go out on my own. Cars with Palestinian flags draped out of their windows cruise up and down the roads where people take their Shabbos strolls and the occupants shout insults. On Motzaei Shabbos, helicopters flew back and forth over our heads most of the night and police sirens rent the night air. I think of my children — this is what they must hear every night. This morning, when I pulled into a parking space, I saw a mother getting out of a car. She pulled open her stroller, strapped in her baby, and took an older child by the hand. Draped from head to toe in black, her head covered, she was speaking Arabic — and I, my heart thumping, retreat to the safety of my car until the trio disappears into the shopping center. From London to Paris, from Belfast to South Africa they gather, circling the world with their chants of “Free Gaza!” and “Destroy Israel!” It feels like the galus it is.

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MM217
 
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