Hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian women who have lost loved ones to the conflict gathered in Tel Aviv ahead of the election to urge politicians to press for peace and to unveil a monument to the future victims.
Bereaved families, who have spend the past eight years learning to understand one another, marked International Women’s Day with the artwork, as crowds heard from a newly-widowed wife of a high-ranking officer killed in Gaza last year.
“In the lead up to these elections, women are taking a leadership role in calling for a political agreement to end the conflict,” said Chani Smith of the Bereaved Families Forum. “They are calling for politicians to put it at the top of their party’s agenda.”
Artist Gili Godiano’s installation features peepholes through which viewers see a room with a tombstone, reflected many times over by mirrors to create the impression of a cemetery, while a voice representing past victims intones in Hebrew, Arabic and English: “We don’t want you here.”
Michal Pundak Sagi, who lost her brother Uri in fighting, said: “There is a job to be done from women on both sides… We have to demand that our leaders speak out and refuse to engage in the violence that rages in our region.”