Gush Katif 'mom' and 'daughter' reunite

February 1, 2006 05:56
2 minute read.


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Rena and Tova were "daughter" and "mother" for only one brief car ride. But the memory runs so deep that when that Rena excitedly called out "mother" and gave Tova a hug when she saw her at Amona on Tuesday afternoon. Rena, 57, with a scarf tied around her head, and Tova, 75, with her wig, looked slightly out of place on the hilltop filled with hundreds of teens who had gathered to defend nine empty new homes that the IDF is threatening to raze by Wednesday morning. "But I feel young inside," said Tova with a smile. The two met last summer when Rena helped Tova sneak past the soldiers at the Kissufim crossing, so that Tova could stand in solidarity with the Gaza Strip settlers who were evacuated. "I also had a 'son' in this same way," said Rena, who had helped a young man enter by pretending he was her child. Knowing she would want to be part of the protests, Rena had officially changed her address to Neveh Dekalim from that of her home community outside Gush Katif, early on in the battle against the evacuation. But Tova's was a more difficult ruse to pull off, because her American accent did not match Rena's Romanian one. Fearful she would be questioned, Tova tried to memorize all the necessary details about Rena's life, when they first met the day prior. But Rena didn't want Tova to talk at all. The driver, a real Gush Katif resident, pushed up the radio volume very loud when the car was stopped at the checkpoint, recalled Rena. He yelled at the soldiers, "Why are you bothering them, they have only a week left in their home." Tova said she tried to looked like a "woman with Alzheimer's overcome by the heat of the day." Rena said she tried to give her water to make the situation look real. "It was so stressful I started to cry," she said. In the end, the soldier let them through. On Tuesday, they were all smiles as they recalled that harrowing moment and even laughed about it. Tova, a retired English teacher from Netanya, said she had come to Amona and Gush Katif, for the same reason she immigrated to Israel in 1971 - love of the land. So on Tuesday morning, she packed a small black bag with an extra sweater, a bottle of water and a book of puzzles and headed to Amona. Once there she didn't sit quietly. She joined the teens in building a makeshift brick wall to block the soldiers' path. And she gathered at night with the female teens in one of the homes, waiting for the soldiers to arrive. What the state is doing in the territories "is wrong," she said. What feels "right" is to show that one Jew is responsible for the next by doing something to defend the land.

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