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The Dream of Peace After the Nightmare


Two articles in the past two days have raised the question of what Oct. 7 and its aftermath will mean for the idealism of Israeli peace activists. The communities targeted and hit worst by Hamas’s brutal invasion on that day were popular among activists because of their proximity to Gaza. In part, the kibbutzim in the “Gaza envelope” area were collective acts of defiance rather than fear—the residents would not run from the threats of Hamas and they would show their belief that history was moving forward and not backward.

There were also practical reasons to live there as a peace activist. Some residents shuttled Palestinians from Gaza back and forth to Israeli hospitals through the organization Road to Recovery, and many Gazans had permits to work in and among these communities during the day. Vivian Silver had spent decades leading peace organizations in the area, and after retiring she volunteered for the hospital runs. She was murdered in Be’eri by Hamas on Oct. 7. Some of those with work permits acted as spies for Hamas, enabling them to memorize every nook and cranny of towns the terrorists had never seen in person.

The peace activists who lived along the Gaza border were Jews who lived their ideals, who took risks for the sake of others, and practiced precisely what they preached. There was…

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