It's been a shameful resting place during the turbulent years here with the Hebrews from Dimona. Especially for those who are no longer willing to accept the dictatorship of Ben Carter. But after the desecration and demolition of their main burial grounds in order to erect on top of it a "Green Neighborhood", begins the rebellion of those who passed their in Israel far outside the fence. From the hottest place in hell.
Tvoonah met me near by the City Library in Dimona. She firmly squoze my hand in her grasp and said "Uhh, you're a shorty – like me. We entered the hall and within sat 3 men in colorful clothing. Pahkahdiel – Cohen Ohmahn and Betsaliel. She presented them to me and suddenly a still quiet fell. "If it's more comfortable for you all it's possible to speak in English" I said. The men did not conceal their relief and within seconds I entered a Black American story of pain, anguish and exclusion, a story I never expected to find in Israel. Betsaliel and Ohmahn spoke continuously, especially the history of the Hebrew Movement. Pahkahdiel, Tvoonah's former husband, a large and formidable man to me, was especially quiet, and so was Tvoonah , in the beginning.
This is the council of the rebels that wish to contest the decisions made by the recognized leadership of the Hebrew Community. I would have hesitated to call them "Rebels" if Betsaliel had not used the term himself in describing this council. The name of the community is "The Hebrew Israelites" and not "The Black Hebrews", as is customary to call them. The nucleus and majority of the Hebrew Israelite Community reside in Dimona with the other two branches in Mitspe Ramon and Arad. Most of the rebels live outside of the Dimona village –" The Village of Peace"- that the community primarily resides in, but they are still connected to the "Village of Peace" and to the communal leadership of Ben Ami Carter in a sometimes fiery love-hate relationship.
One of the things that causes difficulties for the "rebels to break connection with the community – even with the difficult past –even when there are publicized stories of sexual abuse within the community and cruelty to children, are the blatant facts that the way the State of Israel chooses to address issues in a community that has rested within its borders was in developing communications with the charismatic leader Ben Ami Carter, thereby increasing without limitations his (Carter's) power also within the community. This power affects many even years after they break away.
For the rebels, Carter and his undisputed reign in the community are the heart of the problem. Now, years after keeping their distance they are forcibly drawn back to the bosom of this reality, in Israel, this time with the help of bulldozers, earth movers and massive grinders that stand on the old cemetery of the Hebrew Community. They have dug up many of the graves, ground skeletal remains and have created a demons lair.
THERE, NEXT TO THE GARBAGE DUMP
When the Hebrews first arrived in Dimona and deaths occurred in their midst, the municipal authorities assigned the community a burial plot located on the outskirts of Dimona. But it was not an actual cemetery and it is unclear if it was actually allocated to the Hebrew Community. It was what is now referred to in war slang as "open territory". The same municipality also allocated this same area as a dumping ground for construction waste. So, the deceased members of the community were discarded (as if they were Israel's unwanted garbage) in an area in which the municipality of Dimona also utilized for discarding construction waste and other debris. Some of the Hebrew members express "our children were mocked because other Israeli children would laugh and tell them that we bury our dead in the garbage".
One of Tvoonah's children, a son that died when he was only a few days old, is buried in the old burial site. "During all this time garbage was cast out onto this area. More and more garbage. It got to a point where it was difficult to even get to the place that we used as the burial site. As years passed the construction and debris overran the area we buried our deceased in. That's when the true horrors began. When someone died we had to send "scouts" into the areas to search for a clear space to lay a deceased member. Too many times we had to find and clean an area ourselves before the grave was dug. Can you imagine searching between mountains of garbage looking for a place to lay my son! We tried roping off the areas where graves were or putting up some sort of visible indication of where they lay. But the markers were either torn down, removed or washed away by nature. The municipality would not allow us to put up fences around the graves in any of
the areas where they lay".
Tvoonah continues "The Ministry of Religious Affairs, The Burial Society, The Interior Ministry, the last 4 consecutive Mayors of Dimona and the last 4 consecutive City Municipalities: they all knew. They knew for over 30 years exactly where we were forced to bury our deceased. Right now no one cares to speak about what occurred for over 30 years. Once again they want it to be like the garbage they throw away and then forget. There were several televised news broadcasts and news articles written about this. But they (government authorities) refused to acknowledge our complaints. We had to remove garbage from around the area my son was laid to rest". The mother and daughter of Ohmahn and a close relative of Betsaliel's are also buried on this site. Tvoonah states, "It was degrading and inhuman to have to go thru that for so many years. The deliberate desecration and damage to the human remains of so many is a criminal act of hatred towards all of
Since the beginning of the 70's and until the late 90's', the community buried over 150 people in this site. Only in 2003, because of American Governmental pressures and after members of the community received permanent residential status in Israel, Israeli Authorities agreed to allow them to bury their deceased on the area designated for the non-jewish populace, adjacent to the "regular city cemetery". Since then the Hebrews and other Dimona residents from the Soviet Union, bury their deceased side by side, beyond the fence of the "normal" cemetery of Dimona.
In July 2013, some years after they were allowed to bury their deceased in the new city cemetery, some members of the Community discovered that bulldozers and earthmovers were working on top of their old burial site.
This is how they learned about the building of a new neighborhood in Dimona: "The Dawn" neighborhood, that is being marketed to the public as "The Green Neighborhood in Dimona" and as "The Most Beautiful Neighborhood in Israel". None of the advertisements mention the "The Green Neighborhood" is being built upon a grave yard of 150-180 graves scattered throughout the area or that the city of Dimona neglected to mention this fact in any of its plans. The members of the community, in particularly the surviving family members of those buried in the old site, were never given the opportunity to file objections against the "Green Neighborhood" project. The first information these members had about the project was July 2013.
"Now they tell that we don't even know exactly where our deceased are buried" says Tvoonah. "Is this supposed to justify what they are doing? The truth is it became so bad out there that the burials were delegated to the communal priest. This was to keep from the rest of the community the social anguish, the mental pain and emotional rage of being forced to bury our loved ones in that horrid place. Whenever anyone died it affected us all. We all knew that another beloved member of somebody's family was being buried in Dimona's garbage dump".
NOT EVERYONE IDOLIZES BEN AMI
The old cemetery, which is now the center of a legal battle, organized by the Council of rebels against Israeli Governmental Authorities, is the story of the Hebrew Community. This is a story about the State of Israel's contempt and inhumane treatment for a small disadvantaged community, who apparently managed to survive somewhat, peripherally (mainly) because of the American Citizenship of a majority of its members. This is a tale of bones crushed by earthmovers and bulldozers. This is a story about mass grave desecration, in a country that sanctifies death and the rights of the deceased, especially of its recognized "Jewish" citizens. It's a story about life and death (twice) outside of the fence. And it is also a story about the contention of an increasing number of people in a community, born from suffering, disappointment, anguish and loss of innocence that is transforms, because of the challenges, into a group of people full of courage and
determination to enough, to break the rules of silence in which these dark secrets were kept for so long.
How does one accomplish all of this, in the reality that no one is waiting for you outside? In their first years in Israel the community members lived in appalling poverty and density – in horrific conditions of over crowdedness. Pahkahdiel describes a whole family living in one room, parents who slept on mattresses lying on the floor with only a short curtain separating them from their children. Many winter mornings they would awaken and the mattresses would be soaking wet. "The children would get sick a lot. We lost a lot of children back then because the winters were very cold" he says without changing his tone.
On the Sabbath the entire community practices fasting and refrains from using electricity and wood furnaces. Many of these traditions are continued even today with certain modifications: for example, today children until the age of 12 are allowed to eat and drink on the Sabbath. During the summer months members 13 years to adult are allowed to drink until 12 noon. Besides fasting on the Sabbath, the community is known to practice strict dietary laws. The entire community is required to adhere to a vegan diet, three days a week they refrain from eating food that has salt. At least twice weekly they refrain from eating cooked foods. Three times yearly for 7 days they do not consume sugar or sugar products, for 7 days immediately following this they consume only raw un-cooked foods. Another requirement from Ben Ami is the change of family names to Ben or Baht Israel.
The community is run hierarchy that is exact and rigorous. At the top of the pyramid is Ben Carter himself. Below him are: the Princes, the Ministers then Crowned Brothers and Sisters (this is the first executive operational level on the pyramid scale). Below them are the Men and Women of Valor and then the Brothers and Sisters "On the Move". Every year members of the community are moved up or down thru the ranks of communal government by appointment of Ben Ami Carter.
Ask about the quality of relationship the "rebels" council has with the leader of whom they have contention with, and it is important for Betsaliel to clarify that this not a cult. He is the youngest of the group, 41 years old, came from Chicago to Israel in 2012 – and it is clear the Hebrew Ideologies are still very exciting to him. Betsaliel says the root of the problem is the disconnection between the Israeli Government Authorities and the people of the community. "What causes, magnifies or neutralizes the authority/power of someone the administrative body sees as a possible leader in the community? It's this: "We don't think highly of or like this person". He (Ben Ami) is an attraction to many. He is a great teacher, but we aren't talking about a cult atmosphere as in Jim Jones or Charles Mason. The issue here is a Government that did not want this group or sector of people in this country. A Government that did much, or allowed much to be done
to erode their capabilities to govern and care for themselves, or to experience any real substantial expansion economically, socially, or politically .Thereby forcing them by necessity to submit to following a group of leaders and of course Ben Ami sits at the top of this leadership.
This leadership makes decisions without informing the rest of the communal members. In the beginning it was the opposite. Major decisions were brought before the community members and together the entire body made decisions. Now the government authorities speak with, make decisions with and make agreements with Ben Ami. Ben Ami does not discuss these decisions, plans, or agreements with his people. The present conflicts surrounding the old burial site and the building plans of the "Dawn Neighborhood" is one very visible example of this. It appears this is exactly how the Israeli Government wants it to be and is ready to help Ben Ami keep it like this.
Ohmahn states "It is undeniable that Israeli Governmental Authorities speaks and makes agreements with Ben Ami. Ben Ami doesn't include the people in these agreements and decisions. Because he no longer includes us we don't know if this is what he is instructed to do or not. That can be a sign that this is a cult. The leadership of cults conceals information from its people. But this isn't a cult because people are not going to blindly follow the leader, they are not brain dumped. What I am able to say is this: Ben Ami does not comply with what he demands from others".
Betsaliel states, "Ben Ami keeps the law. All of the communal priests keep the law. Everyone keeps the law. But there is a small group within the community that listens to him as if he were the "Voice of God". There are people that are driven to behave like that, but the majority of the people – do not. You see it- they dress as they want, and do what they want.
A controversy within the group of "rebels" was exposed when Gavriellah joins the meeting. Tvoonahs' daughter, Gavriellah is 32 years old, mother of 3, married to an American Jew and different from the rest of the "rebels" group; she retired from the community and cut off all contact with it. Gavriellah insists that the community is a cult. Betsaliel claims that it is not. For the rest of the day we spent together often disagreement ignited between the two of them. The others – the elder members remained silent.
"Finally my parents have begun to see the things that we've seen since we were children", Gavriellah said. My Mother joined this community when she was young. And now after 35+ years to see that she dedicated her life to something that no longer exists, if it ever did. Simply put she is now looking for the ideal of what she came in quest of. But this is not what she was promised before she came here. She has not seen the "Land of Milk and Honey" during all the years she's been here. Not even to this day. She is considering a return home to visit her family – especially her Mother – and I can see her hesitancy. Because she is worried about questions she knows her family will ask. "Well Tvoonah, what did you profit"? Did you find G-D? How was your stay there? Did you find the Community you were looking for"? It is not easy to go back and tell them "Wow, in the end, I wasted over 30 years of my life. I was deceived." My Mom still believes in The Supreme
Creator, maintains the Sabbath, the Holy days and the celebration of the New Year in spring. She is in the process of rededicating her life for a specific purpose. But those people (in the community), mock her, try to weaken or cause her to fail. They are really cruel to my Mom, they are really, really deceivers.
All of this Gavriellah says over the phone, after her, her husband and her 3 children leave their home in Kiryat Gat because of the bombings in Aza and the surrounding areas. She is temporarily staying with her parents, Pahkahdiel and Tvoonah in Mitspe Ramon, one of the branch cities of the Hebrew Community. The Leadership Body of the Community threw her into the tentacles of the Israeli Society so as not to see her face. Gavriellah tells about an influence that is humiliating and she suspects affects the service she receives from the Social Ministry she is in contact with, Policemen, Officials of the Interior Ministry, the religious Ministry, to Supervisors in the Education Ministry in the city of Kiryat Gat.
According to what Gavriellah says because of her break with the Community, she has not received permanent resident status as the other members of the Community have received in one process. Part of her desire to break away from the Community is to perhaps receive new proper registered entry to Israel. Gavriellah also states that she has requested and wants to convert to Judaism. But according to her words, her origins and her skin color makes the bureaucratic process difficult.
Like her parents and like others that have left the Community, she is fighting with the skin of her teeth, so as not to fall thru the giant crakes of society. And for her, any proposed visit ti the Hebrew Community is burdening and painful.
WE TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY UPON OURSELVES
Now back to the Cemetery. Municipality Officials of Dimona we spoke with disclaim the allocation of the burial site to the community and claim "The Hebrew Community took over the area". But this claim is questionable and disingenuous.
Firstly, the City Municipality of Dimona must have known that members of the Hebrew Community, as human beings, died and had to be buried somewhere, even if the Municipality did not allocate an reconginzed plot, people have to be buried.
Secondly, there is a registered building plan building plan from 1983 that was valid until 2008,, but this plan never came to actual fruitation. This plan allocated a large area EXACTLY in the same area as the old burial site of the Hebrew Community. (See the Map).
That is to say, at some point prior to 1983 and until 2008, the Municipality of Dimona intended to establish or change this same area to a recognized cemetery. From that point we can also clearly assume that burials in this area was done with the full knowledge and blessing of the City Municipality.
And if that were not enough, the Hebrew Community also reports that many of their community graves were dug by the National Burial Society. That is to say Governmental Authorities not only allowed and approved of the burials in this site; they also took an active part in the burials. They were an active participant in burying deceased persons in a site that they (Local and National Authorities) had also allocated for use as a garbage dump.
Bennie Bietone, Mayor of Dimona, said in a conversation that that already in 2009 the municipality of Dimaon met with Leaders (assigned by Ben Ami) from the Community and had received their approval to carry out (continue) the building and infrastructure works in the burial site. But the rest of the Community, especially those whose loved ones are/were buried in the old cemetery site, not only did not give their endorsement of agreement between the Authorities and the Community Leaders (if this actually took place like this), they did not even know about the existence of the meeting or the plan – until they discovered bulldozers and earthmovers, digging up, moving earth and leveling the grounds of their old burial site.
"When it comes to questions of life and death, it was their duty to ensure (take care) that every family member was officially represented, that they were aware and knowledgeable of what was going to be done with the graves and the remains and that whatever it was, was acceptable to them", said Gavriellah.
For the "Rebels"- this is a strikingly blatant example of how Government Authorities make use of and simultaneously weakens the social strength of the community and all of the members. This is what is done when Ben Ami is endorsed as the sole legitimately recognized representative of the Hebrews, authorized to decide the fate and the conditions of existence of his "flock".
According to Tvoonah, "The Israeli Government or its Authorities love to pull the card from its sleeves of "We've spoken to Ben Ami and he is the legal representative of you all". Too many issues – political, social and economic, that affects us all – as a group, as families and as individuals – it cannot be figured that they would talk to one person only. Or that one person's trusted messenger. Especially not on subjects such as a burial site. They have to speak with each and every family member, to put everything in the open and inform everyone what is going on. This was their responsibility from the beginning, it was not ours to find out and do this. But evidently, since none of them wanted to do this, we now take this responsibility upon ourselves and require this from the Authorities: You must stop concealing pertinent information from us and cover up the negligence by saying "We talked with Ben Ami Carter or with Carter's representatives and
the matter is closed".
In recent months the Community rebels group, under the joint management of Tvoonah, Gavrieallah, Ohmahn, Pahkahdiel and Betsaliel, has been a persistent public and legal challenge. At the same time, the official and government recognized leadership of the community, that was appointed and approved by Ben Ami, has been working with the governmental authorities. A few months ago it was proposed the Hebrew Community – but to the official community representatives only – to transfer the remains of their deceased to an area near the new city cemetery plot. The proposal was accompanied by a requirement to "give up the rights to genetic testing of the deceased. In other words, the municipality of Dimona "proposed" to community members to conceal the identity of the deceased and/or to agree to a brutish mass grave for what was left of the remains of their deceased members after clearing the old site with earthmovers, bulldozers and earth grinders. The
proposed plot was constructed with funds from the Arieem Construction Firm. It must be noted that the Arieem Construction Firm that ranks as the 3rd largest firm in Israel. Arieem is a Consruction Firm that is Government owned and backed.
This new "burial" site was proposed, financed and constructed expediently by the Arieem Construction Firm, boarding on panic rush, close to the burial plot for non-jews, which is nearby the cemetery for jewish citizens in Dimona. What the Arieem Construction Firm created is a mangled space outside of the fence for those that are already outside of the fence of the "normal" cemetery in Dimona.
During a telephone conversation the general manager of Arieem, Ezra Yimeen, explained: "The plot is being built outside of the non-jewish cemetery because there isn't any more room". Meaning, within the non-jewish cemetery itself already there is no room. Ezra Yimeen continues "The request to deny/cancel DNA genetic testing came from the Hebrew Community itself". Meaning – once again, from communal representatives – with whom government officials has managed to have extensive dialogue with from the beginning of this project.
But the rebels from the community, and more than 30 other members whose relatives are buried in the old site and whom have joined the legal battle, refuse to transfer the remains of thei loved ones to a mass communal grave site without their deceased family members being properly identified and buried separately with their own parts/remains.
Ezra Yimeen stubbornly insists, in a conversation, "Even before beginning the work, the municipality of Dimona indicated an area were graves may be of the Hebrew Commnunity. The area was marked off and absolutely no work was done in it. And even in the other area it was upon them (community members) to indicate other various areas where graves may be, once these were pointed out they were marked off". These areas were pointed out during a scheduled meeting at the old burial site (which is quickly turning into a construction site) this past July. It is noted that the communal members present in this meeting were members of the families who are contesting the work being done in the area. No representative of Leadership from the Hebrew community was present. Ezra Yimeen also insists, "No work was done at all in an area that was marked off. If there was work done in these areas it was only works of removing construction debris from the area, that's all. Ezra
Yimeen committed himself and assured us, "We have not destroyed, rolled over, or damaged any graves. If we damaged any graves on the areas – if we encountered something and there were bones – if we damaged something – it was because we did not recognize them.
And the spokesman for Dimona Municipality insists: "At the meeting we had with trusted authorities, including the director of work on the site, approved community representatives, the chairman of the Religious Council and other additional parties, that agreed to oversee the work and clearing the burial site and in other areas where it is suspected members of the community may be buried. The overseer marks the area with yellow tap. And no work or clearing is done in these areas. At the same time, in conjunction with the religious council, the human remains or bones will be excavated in a respectful manner (as it was done in Goos Katif for example) and they will be re-buried in the area proposed for them.
But a video clip shot by one of the Rebels, indicates that serious damage, changes and clearing was done on the site among other things, especially very close to the area marked off by the municipality before the start of the works. They (the damage and changes) are invasive. There were deep, deep removals of earth along with waste materials. The video clip show a bulldozer, smash what looks like cement or stone slabs. Forcibly digging deep trenches into the earth and causing large billowing waves of grey dust, closely against the restricted areas. The bulldozer then removes the contents to a large grinding machine that grinds and then sifts the contents.
Attorney Yafit Weisbuch representing the Rebels Council group says in response to the CEO's (Ezra Yimeen) claim, "That employees of the construction firm Arieem have not encountered or damaged in any way any grave or human skeletal remains"; Yafit Weisbuch says members of the community found in one of the areas a large skeletal bone, which looks like "human bone" and submitted the skeletal piece to the Dimona police and lodged, once again, a complaint that graves in the area were being desecrated and destroyed. Yafit comments, "We are still waiting to receive answer to ascertain if in fact we are speaking about human skeletal remains". This piece was reported and turned into the police in July, to the day of this translation 3/10/2014, no response has been received from the police department of Dimona about the origins of this bone.
MUCH TOO LITTLE – MUCH TOO LATE
In early July the Rebels appealed, by representation of Attorney Yafit Weisbuch, to the Mayor of Dimona, Beenie Bieton and to the Management of the Arieem Construction Firm, to immediately stop all clearing of land and worls on the sites, to hold a meeting with them and come to a solution about the remains of their loved ones. In addition, the Rebels, Attorney Yafit Weisbuch, request adequate compensation for each family member of a deceased person in respect of the deceased and the severe emotional and mental injury they have suffered.
In mid-July a meeting was held between the CEO of Arieem Construction Firm, the Rebels, along with some of the members they represent, and they went together to the old burial site. The members pointed out four places, where in their recollection, their loved ones were buried. The members/residents asked these areas be categorized as restricted and that no work be done in these places. CEO Yimeen agreed and even suggested to the members that were present, the following outline: The Arieem Construction Firm will finance the identification and removal of the human remains from the area and with assistance of ZAKA (The National Burial Society) will establish an anonymous DNA Bank of each of the deceased that are removed. Simultaneously, DNA samples will be collected only from members of the community willing and interested in this identification and afterwards these will then be compared with the samples from the anonymous bank. This way, the close of
kin that wants to be identified, will be identified, the others that do not want this identification, for the deceased or for themselves – will not be identified. After this is completed all skeletal remains will be transferred to a new site that was recently built for them adjacent to (but not within) the non-jewish cemetery site of Dimona.
According to Weisbuch, the concerted efforts of the Arieem Company to reach (hopefully) a negotiated solution with the member and residents were in her evaluation much too little and much too late. "The meeting between the Rebels, residents, family members and Arieem was held a year after beginning and execution of the work". "Furthermore, this meeting took place only following the fiery response of some of the family members and only after receiving several warning letters from an attorney," she says, "The preparation work for the building was enough to cause permanent damage to the entire area. The terrain has changed beyond recognition. Results of the drastic changes – the location of a large number of graves, which were in fact void of gravestones, but were marked in other various ways – many of those graves have simply disappeared.
Weisbuch emphasizes that the residents and members that she represents did not come to any compromise with the authorities or with Arieem. At another meeting arranged between them: the CEO of Arieem Construction Firm, Representatives from the Religious Council of Dimona, residents and family members tried to minimize the desecration that was already done and to (hopefully) prevent further damage to the graves that are still intact. But they never agreed to the continuation of work in the area. "For them – the goal is to stop all work and exposure of graves throughout the area, not only the restricted areas that the company just now proposes to section off.
In conclusion; The State of Israel via its Social, Religious and Municipal Authorities knew very well about the existence of the old burial site of the Hebrew Community. Weisbuch says, "Whether they recognized it or not, they were knowledgeable of this burial site. Inclusive of all this is the fact that the State failed or did not bother to find an agreeable solution to removing the graves before starting the construction works. They did not see fit to inform the population, the residents, nor the family members about the existence of a plan to build a new eco-neighborhood".
The Office of the Interior Ministry said in response: "In accordance with the Planning and Building Laws – with the approved residential program of Dimona in 2008 – it abolished by statue the proposed plans to erect a cemetery in the area now under dispute". The Ministry continues, "Concerning the religious services on the subject of burials in this area please contact the office for religious services”.
According to the laws of building and land development, any program is required to be advertised or announced for public review or objections before it is registered as approved. Any person or body (group) of institution may file his opposition to the prosed plan. The information presented from Dimona to the Ministry of Building and Land development, at the time it was presented, indicated that the existing cemetery in Dimona meets the needs of the population in that city. This is the same existing cemetery the Municipality of Dimona and the Arieem Construction Firm now claim as not having enough room for the human remains that they should have known would be coming from the old Hebrew burial site. That is, if they actually expected to have any human remains to relocate.
We contacted the official representatives (the appointed leadership) from the community in order to get answers to some of the questions raised during the preparation of this article: Was the old burial site officially allocated by the municipality of Dimona to the community? When was the first time legal authorities contacted or approached community leaders to inform them of the intention to build a "Green" neighborhood in the area of the old burial site? Also, whether there is an ordered list in existence of the deceased members buried there? Why were not all members of the community, especially those with relations buried at the site; why weren't they partners or participants in the negotiations that took place between representatives of the community and governmental authorities regarding the relocation of the graves from the old burial site? What is the reason or the cause behind the request of the community leaders to cancel the requirement of
identifying the human remains that they want relocated?
The official spokeswoman of the Hebrew community in Dimona referred us to speak with Ahdeev Ben Yehuda, who said via telephone conversation: "This is a very sensitive and emotional subject. We are not willing to give out any information now. We are now in dialogue with the Municipality of Dimona, this should lead to the desired outcome for all parties and all sides. We are not interested, at the moment, to address this issue.
"For years I did not have a place where I could give tribute and memorial to my son", said Tvoonah, "He was with me for only a short time, but he was part of me. A part, that was taken away. When I saw the bulldozers, when I saw the earth grinders in the area he is buried, I felt as if I was losing him all over again. Now I and others like me are fighting for the very right to prove he was here – that he did, even for a short time – live. Every human being has the right to be buried properly and not be disturbed."
The article was translated to English by Tvoonah B. Elieazar. She is one of the main subjects of this piece