How are our March of the Nations partner cities during the war?
In May 2023, hundreds of March of the Nations participants marched in various places in Israel together with the inhabitants for a peaceful and shared future. After the terrorist attack on October 7 and the war that followed, many of these places are directly affected. We spoke to the local organizers in Ashkelon and Merchavim in the south and Metulla in the north of Israel, places that are particularly affected by the terror of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Yaakov from Ashkelon
Over a thousand rockets have been fired at the city in the last four weeks, of which around one hundred have hit the city. A quarter of the residents have no protection, no shelter of their own. When the alarm sounds, they have 30 seconds to flee to a bunker or the stairwell. If you are in a car, you have to get out, lie down on the ground or run to a building. We have experienced this in the past, but not to the extent that we do now. If we didn’t have an Iron Dome, hundreds of residents would already be dead. It has become very quiet in Ashkelon in the last few days, many stores and government offices have closed, several thousand have moved away to live with relatives. Prices have risen sharply and many families are struggling to pay for everything. The city council has therefore made donations to provide food and medicine for the weak and elderly. What we need from you: That you explain to the world that we are fighting against terrorists whose way of life is contrary to ours and that there will only be a path to peace without them.
Aniela from Metulla
Our entire village was evacuated. The border with Lebanon is only 15 meters away on three sides. Because of the danger from Hezbollah, we probably won’t be allowed back for months. We couldn’t even pack the essentials. Most of the residents are now staying in a hotel. My husband can’t go back to his fields to harvest the crops. We are not earning any money now. My wish for you: stand with us! Fight all anti-Semitism! Prove that Hamas are barbarians. Stop the hatred!
Quina from Merchavim
During the Hamas attack on October 7, 19 people from Merchavim were murdered. Many are still in shock. Hamas was very close. Quina runs a day center for Holocaust survivors. In the weeks after the attack, most of them stayed at home and didn’t dare go out. Not everyone has a bunker in their house, which is difficult with all the rocket attacks. After two weeks, we brought over 100 Shoah survivors to Eilat for four days to recover. The attack opened up old wounds and brought back old images from the Holocaust. Some have become depressed. Fortunately, we were able to provide psychological help. We visit the
Holocaust survivors in Merchavim every day and look after them. Volunteers from the moshavim bring them food and medicine. I have prepared bags of games for tomorrow to distract them. Because most of the time they watch the news, which is not good for them. We hear the bombing in Gaza every day. The older ones are also sad because they are afraid for their grandchildren in the army. I would like our friends around the world to pray for calm and peace!