The spirit of the times is clouded by hatred and violence like it hasn’t been in a long time. The fragmentation of society, polarization, and a growing anger seeking an outlet is increasingly evident with each new or re-emerging conflict. Most media outlets have a focus on violence and war and do their part to add fuel to the fire.
In the process, the countervailing, growing sensibility of nonviolence is overlooked and overheard. The voices and actions of Yael Deckelbaum [singer and activist based in Israel] and Women Wage Peace, for example (Pressenza reports here and here). The call by Michal Halev of the Israeli mother whose son was killed by Hamas to renounce revenge and violence (Pressenza reports here in Germain).
And lastly, the grand gesture of Yosheved Livshitz, who upon her release shakes hands with her captors and says goodbye with “shalom.”
Yosheved Livshitz, 85, was released along with Nurit Yitzhak, 79. The release took place at the Rafah border crossing, in southern Gaza, into Egypt. An ambulance met the two women there. A video by The Guardian documented the great gesture of this frail and petite woman.
She describes her kidnapping as traumatic and hell. She describes her captivity in Gaza as follows: “There were five of us, each of us was assigned a guard, they treated us well and took care of everything. There were women who knew what feminine hygiene meant.” They made sure that the hostages had everything. That the toilets were clean. “They cleaned them, not us.” And further: “They were very kind, one must say.” [The hostages] were given the same food as their guards: pita bread, cheese, a cucumber. That was the meal for the whole day. When asked why she shook the terrorist’s hand, she said: “Because they treated us well.”
The examples listed here are the really big events that are worth reporting on. These women show us the only way out of this spiral of violence. To turn away from the culture of revenge and to renounce violence and war as a cure for conflict.
It is the only way, and people on both sides are tired of violence.