Thousands from all walks of Israeli society came to say goodbye to Israeli longtime peace activist Vivian Silver, who was murdered at her home in Kibbutz Be’eri by Hamas on October 7. Canadian-born Silver was previously presumed to have been held hostage, and confirmation of her death in the massacre at Kibbutz Be’eri came earlier this week. Before moving to Be’eri in 1990, Silver had lived at Gezer, in central Israel, for more than a decade.
Vivian Silver (second from left) marching for peace in Nazareth (Photo: Woman Waging Peace)
After the war in Gaza in 2014, Silver co-founded Women Wage Peace, which struggle for a pacific settlement to the conflict and brings together women from both Israeli and Palestinian societies. She also served on the board of directors of B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization. In addition, Silver regularly volunteered for the organization Road to Recovery, which provided transportation for sick Palestinians from Gaza to Israel for medical treatment.
“You knew that it doesn’t matter if we speak Hebrew or Arabic, it doesn’t matter if we were born in the Gaza border or the Gaza Strip – you knew that our futures are tied together,” said fellow peace Arab-Palestinian activist Ghadir Hani. “Vivian, my beloved, if you could hear, I would want you to know: Hamas did not murder your vision.”
MK Ayman Odeh, who leads the Hadash-Ta’al parliamentary faction, described Silver in remarks to journalists as “the shining light of our community” and lamented that “instead of dancing together after achieving peace, she became a victim in the most horrible way.”
Leading Communist Party of Israel member, Dov Khenin, a longtime Knesset member from Hadash, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his “heart is broken” and that Vivian “was optimistic, very smiley and personable” while working together with him on many campaigns promoting Jewish-Arab partnership.
“We promise you Vivian, we will continue your path even stronger and braver, since now it is clear where the path leads to that is not the ‘way of peace,'” said Avital Brown of Women Wage Peace. Brown promised to “continue to work with our Palestinian partners and the global community of women.”
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