Canadian peace activist confirmed killed in Hamas attack
Son hopes her death will lead to change
The family of Canadian-born peace activist Vivian Silver received the bad news this week: Vivian was killed during the October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israeli communities near the border with Gaza.
Until now she had been missing, thought to be among the more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas fighters back into Gaza. But her remains were finally identified more than five weeks after the horrific attacks on her community of Kibbutz Be'eri.
At least 120 other men, women and children were killed in the community of about 1,100 people located just kilometres from the Israel-Gaza border, reports CBC.
PeaceQuest readers will know her story. As we shared in the days following the Hamas attacks, Vivian Silver, 74, was born in Winnipeg and moved to Israel in the 1970s to work for peace. The organization which she co-founded, Women Wage Peace, has 400,000 members and is the largest grassroots peace movement in Israel.
According to the New York Times, the group declared Israel was an apartheid state. She made visits to the occupied territories to express solidarity with Palestinians. She volunteered with an organization that drove sick Palestinians from Gaza into Israel for medical treatment.
Her death was among the estimated 1200 killed by Hamas fighters who crossed from Gaza that day. The attacks shocked Israel and led to the brutal siege, bombings, and invasion of Gaza by Israeli Defence Forces which has killed many thousands more.
Sadly, her commitment to peace did not spare her from being killed by the Hamas attackers. Yet, while she was missing, her family insisted Silver’s commitment to peace would not have allowed her to support Israel’s siege of Gaza. Her son, Yonatan Zeigen, told CBC he hopes her death will lead to change.