In Memory of Moranne Amit

Most people have probably heard about Anne Frank’s diary, as it’s one of the most sold, and read, books after the Bible. Therefore many know today who Anne Frank was. They know she was a Dutch girl who was murdered by the German Nazis in a death camp. The Nazis might have tormented this girl to death, but thanks to her diaries, that also hade been made into several movies, the memory of her lives on; memories of her as a person but also as a warning example of what human beings are capable of. This is also the main thread in the Jewish religion, that one should never forget the past in order to have a future, and the memories of the dead make them live forever.

An very well known attack, when referred to in Israel, happened on February 8, 2002, when in a park outside the gates of Jerusalem’s old city, four Arab “kids” between the ages of 14 to 16 had sharpened their knives. They had earlier tried to kill Jews but failed, as the knives weren’t sharp enough. An 82-year-old pensioner had been injured during a previous failed attempted murder. They were hiding among the shrubbery in the park, the park “appropriately” called the Peace Park.

I remember Moranne Amit from when she was a young girl around Anne Frank’s age, that I met in the kibbutz were she grew up. The first thing that comes to mind is that she from the very beginning that I knew her, was a joyful girl, although at first maybe somewhat shy towards strangers, but always ready with a smile on her face behind the reading glasses where her dark doe eyes would curiously study you.

I really have tried to remember – hard – at least some time when she might not have had one of her better days, being grumpy or sad, just like anyone else at times, but I really can’t recall any such day, no matter how hard I try. So now, in retrospect, she has come to personify the image of the young Jewish Israeli in my mind, the Sabra.

Moranne had grown from a precocious girl to a young woman with a bright future ahead of her and her creative interests had grown towards legal studies. She had, from what I understood, strong ideals regarding justice, probably founded by the traditional atmosphere of solidarity that usually is to be found within the kibbutz movement. Not only was she for co-existence with Arabs, her childhood home was situated next to an Arab village, just like many others that can be found in within Israel’s borders, so during her upbringing there meant plenty of contacts with the Arab society.

But Moranne never got the chance to experience adult life with marriage, having a career or children of her own, as she headed towards the Peace Park with her boyfriend for a peaceful Shabbat stroll.

After the brutal slaying of Moranne, where she bled to death after being repeatedly stabbed while trying to flee from her attackers, and the shock of the memories that came flooding back, I was of course devastated and felt that I at least had to visit her mother and offer my condolences. Showing that you care is a personal obligation, which I also followed by visiting her family later. On a bright and sunny day, with few clouds in the sky as usual, and the warm breeze coming from the open fields, I watched the breathtaking view of the Golan hills, were once upon a time more than a thousand Syrian tanks rolled down the slopes in 1973. And I was forced to listen to what her heartbroken mother had to tell about what had happened, in detail. It was the first time since I grew up that I cried.

In Sweden though, Moranne’s fate wasn’t even noticed with even the smallest paragraph anywhere. And this in a country that routinely reports of injured Arabs after clashes with the Israeli Defense Forces. So, in a way, it was like it had never happened, as if Moranne never existed. Because if it’s in the paper – then it has happened. And if it has happened and it’s in the paper – well then it’s probably true. Most people seem to reason like this regarding the news media coverage. And to uninformed and ignorant Swedes Moranne was not even another anonymous statistic but a never even heard of murdered Jewish young woman. Or at least not until this was written. There are, counting from the start of the new millennium, hundreds of similar events like Moranne Amit’s fate, but that is something the Swedish media and politicians constantly omits and suppresses. And hence, deny.

Yet another casualty, and another life extinguished far too soon, in this seemingly forever ongoing and never-ending war.

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