Tribute paid to diplomats who died representing Israel

Livni addresses 16 families of "ambassadors of peace"; foreign ambassadors lay wreathes in their memories.

tzipi livni 298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
tzipi livni 298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
"The ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly…" The quote from Isaiah 33:7 is inscribed on a memorial wall at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem along with the names of the 16 men and women who lost their lives while serving as Israel's representatives around the world. Addressing relatives of the 16, together with ministry staff, at the annual memorial service on Sunday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni admitted that no words could alleviate the pain for those mourning, no matter how many years had passed. Doron Troper comes to the Foreign Ministry ceremony every year with his family to remember his sister, Shira Troper-Arnon, who was kidnapped and killed while working at the Israeli embassy at Lagos, Nigeria in 1995. "Not all those who fell serving their country were wearing uniforms," Doron noted, "Some were wearing suits and ties." Shira, who grew up in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in the Beit She'an Valley, was only 23 when she was killed. Doron remembers her as always smiling and an eternal optimist who loved nature. The ambassadors of Great Britain, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Turkey and the charge d'affaires of Nigeria, representing the countries where Israeli foreign ministry employees were killed, laid wreathes, together with Livni. Relatives then lit 16 memorial flames in memory of those who fell. Ariel Carmon was only 11 when his mother, Eliora, was killed with two other Foreign Ministry employees in the bomb blast at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in Argentina in 1992. Ariel said he and his four siblings were determined to take on what their mother gave them and create happy and healthy families in her memory. For Ariel, the importance of Remembrance Day is that it brings all sections of Israeli society together, creating a feeling of solidarity. "The pain of mourning felt by the mourners is real," he said, "but Israeli society must give real meaning to the day which is more than ceremonies and declarations."