In Memory of Vivian Silver: A Legacy of Leadership and Solidarity within the ALLMEP Community
For five weeks, the ALLMEP community believed our friend Vivian Silver was living an unimaginable nightmare as a hostage in Gaza. Late on Monday night we learned from Vivian’s family that her nightmare both began and ended on October 7th, when she was murdered in the attacks that devastated the community she had done so much to build at Kibbutz Be’eri. It took this long to identify her remains. Vivian was one of the very earliest leaders within ALLMEP, helping to forge our identity almost two decades ago, and was a constant companion and leader throughout our development. Vivian built things. Things that promoted her values and shaped the sort of world she wanted to live in. She founded the Department Promoting Gender Equality in the Kibbutz Movement, as well as ALLMEP members AJEEC-NISPED and Women Wage Peace. Which has now grown to become the largest peace movement in Israel. She had many, many Palestinian friends and allies, including in Gaza, where she visited often – when such things used to be possible- and was a volunteer with Road to Recovery, driving Palestinians to hospital appointments and providing the solidarity and support that all those around her were used to receiving in such large measures. She also played a key role in our member Other Voice for Peace in the Negev, along with many of those from the Kibbutz that were directly hit by Hamas on October 7th.
Our thoughts are with Chen and Yonatan, and the beautiful grandchildren she leaves behind. The grief we, her second family in the peace movement, feel is but a fraction of what they are going through. But everyone whose lives Vivian touched— and that’s a great many Israelis, Palestinians and many others—is heartbroken. Vivian reacted to the war in 2014 that devastated both Gaza and her own community by redoubling her efforts for peace, co-founding Women Wage Peace in its immediate aftermath. Our community will now do the same, in the aftermath of this tragedy. We will carry forward the values that Vivian lived and died for: peace, equality, dignity and a shared future based on partnership and mutual security for her grandchildren and for all Israelis and Palestinians.