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From Israel
Last uploaded : Friday 28th Jun 2002 at 21:20
Contributed by : Sheila Raviv


28th June, 2002

Hello. Shabbat Shalom to you.

Yesterday I spoke to Chaim Avraham, whose son Benny, along with two friends,was kidnapped to Lebanon, never to be heard of again. The Hisbollah is still playing the families' emotions as new "teasings" by Hisbolla wave a flag of
hope and doubt over the previous announcement that the boys are dead. After the parents and family have sat Shiva, Sheikh Nasrallah is still.....

Chaim has decided he wants to run for the Knesset. If he puts even half the energy into
politics that he put into the campaign to find the lost soldiers he will be a credit to the country.

This morning I met with John Vause of CNN. It was a short, and shared meeting, but a very interesting one. I was able to give him some written information and to help set up some interviews for him. I know that there
have been some complaints from Israeli friends that the current "Victims of Terror" series presented by Wolf Blitzer with interviews by John Vause, is about the little people without addressing our political differences. I have to tell you that I feel that that is the beauty of the series. By showing people like Pnina Eisenman who exhibits such incredible dignity and beauty despite the horrific scarring on her face and after the death of her mother and baby in the
homicide bombing on French Hill, the scarring in her heart.

P'nina did not talk of revenge or killing, she talked of her hope for peace so that others would
not suffer as she has. That is a far more powerful message than a roomful of politicians could dream up in a year.

From that meeting I went home to get Zvi then rushed to Tel Hashomer Hospital to see Kinneret Chaya. This has been a week of changes for Kinneret Chaya. [Editor's Note: Kinneret was horribly injured in the Moments Cafe bomb in March ]As we crept into the room she was able to squint her eyes and see us.

She mouthed at her mother to ask who we were her voice barely audible, she tried to smile when she focused and saw us more clearly. The huge green tent has been exchanged for a light sheet, although her arms are still swathed in bandages. To one who had not seen her before, her injuries are still very difficult to see, but to my eyes, compared to the way she was before, she is
looking incredible. The swelling of her beautiful face is beginning to subside and the skin look slightly less red. Most importantly, Kinneret was helped from her bed and sat up for a while!!! If she can stand the additional pain then sitting is
very important for her lung function.

Each day is a small step toward recovery. Now, 90 days after the bomb shattered her life, the number of steps is too great to count so she takes them one at a time. Every tiny step is cause for celebration of the unimaginable
bravery of this young woman. Kinneret Chaya needs your encouragement all along the route. The thought of going to Vancouver to visit the
schoolchildren who write to her regularly plays happily on her imagination. Today I took
her a "Business Class" toiletries pack...as the first step toward her trip. It may take three years before she will be able to go...but she will make it. Every single letter that you send either to me or to Nitzan, her sister, is read to
Kinneret and saved in an album. Her email is nitzan_rimon@hotmail.com.

This has been a week of assessing our collective thoughts. Many of you who came to stand by the State of Israel for the World Zionist Congress, for KH, JAFI or UJC gave us a huge moral boost. We realised that we are not the social pariahs that we seemed to be!!! The losses suffered last week have made us stronger in our resolve to find a way, a proud way, to make peace with our neighbours. Our resolve to stay is as strong as ever, if not stronger. We lost our land once, thousands of years ago, because we didn't have the gumption to stay and fight it out; no-one will do it to us again.

Finally, if you approve of the CNN "Victims of Terror" programmes, write to Wolf Blitzer on their site and tell him. We complain loudly when they are bad -- let's tell them when they are good.

Be well, be strong, love and be loved.

Shabbat shalom


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