...This was not an act of Spartan sanctity, or dissociation from pain: They all spoke of their sons with profound longing, promising the children they had birthed that they would never give up, never falter in their efforts to find them. But despite the horrific pain, despite the endless nights of worry, they gave thanks.
30 June '14..
I found myself, again, wiping away tears on Sunday. Surprisingly, they were not just tears of concern, but also of love. For our people. For these three dear families. For three mothers, who have been turned into public role models against their will. They stood on stage in front of tens of thousands of people, awkwardly trying to get the microphone to work, unsure of when to address the crowd.
Steady applause accompanied Bat-Galim Shaer, Gil-ad's mother, as she took the stage. A careful look at her face revealed that she was struggling. She does not want to stand on any stage, or be the subject of public accolades. She winced when the applause seemingly refused to ebb.
The three women's speeches were different from anything we have ever heard in such rallies. They said nothing about a common enemy, bringing the crowds together with thanks and hope, rather than with hatred.
They had every right to protest and rail -- against the government, against Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, against Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch. They could have lambasted the Palestinians. But instead, each of them chose to offer her thanks.
This was not an act of Spartan sanctity, or dissociation from pain: They all spoke of their sons with profound longing, promising the children they had birthed that they would never give up, never falter in their efforts to find them. But despite the horrific pain, despite the endless nights of worry, they gave thanks.
They thanked "people who have become our extended family" for the kindness shown to them; thanked the Israeli soldiers who have been tirelessly searching for their sons; thanked "anyone who spares a kind thought or act while we wait for the boys to return"; thanked those who took the time to come to the rally, and thanked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hebron Mayor Dawood Zaatari for urging the return of their sons.
In the darkness the abduction has brought upon us, we once again tear up when faced with the strength of our people; the strength of the soldiers, probing every cavern, waterhole, and sewage pipe in and around Hebron in search of the boys; the strength of the Israelis who left their homes Sunday just to become another person standing in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, offering comfort to the families.
These mothers have extended each of our families by three sons. Three beautiful, smart, kind boys. I am proud to call you my sons.
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