A woman holds up a sign saying "stop bombing Gaza" at a protest.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Relatives of Slain Israelis Speak Out Against Siege of Gaza

"You can't cure dead babies with more dead babies."

On October 7, over a thousand Israeli civilians were massacred by Hamas operatives. Now, survivors of the attack, and the relatives of those who were murdered, are desperately speaking out against the Israeli government’s violent response.

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After the attack, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing administration wasted no time in targeting Palestinian civilians, killing over 7,000 people (and counting), while cutting off food, water, fuel, and other essential resources to Gaza. Along with those killed, half a million Gazans have been forced to flee their homes, even though they have nowhere to go.

Juliette Touma, a spokesperson for the U.N. agency UNRWA, told NPR that “the situation is terrible and it gets worse by the hour — not even by the day — every hour, things get worse and worse for people in Gaza.”

This week, T’ruah, an organization that trains and organizes rabbis and cantors to perform human rights work, compiled messages from survivors of the Hamas attacks, along with family members of those killed by Hamas, to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Middle Church senior minister Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis shared the quotes on X (formerly Twitter).

“I am begging the world: stop all the wars, stop killing people, stop killing babies,” reads one quote by Michal Halev, mother of 20-year-old Laor Abramov, who was killed by Hamas. “War is not the answer. War is not how you fix things. This country, Israel, is going through horror … And I know the mothers in Gaza are going through horror … In my name, I want no vengeance.”

“Do not write my father’s name on a [military] shell,” reads another quote by Yotam Kipnis. One of Kipnis’ parents was murdered by Hamas, while the other is one of Hamas’ more than 220 hostages. “He wouldn’t have wanted that. Don’t say, ‘God will avenge his blood.’ Say, ‘May his memory be for a blessing.’ My father never forgot that innocent people also live in Gaza…”

Yonatan Ziegen, son of peace activist and Hamas hostage Vivian Silver, writes that “[my mother] would be mortified [about what Israel is doing in Gaza]. Because you can’t cure dead babies with more dead babies. We need peace. That’s what she was working for all her life … Pain is pain.”

Reverend Lewis’ thread contains more quotes, and they’re all worth reading. In a media landscape in which Jews, Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims are so frequently reduced to abstractions and caricatures, these quotes are a sobering—and hopefully galvanizing—reminder of the human beings at the heart of this situation.

(featured image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>

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