This morning I went through the home page of my web site and looked at the pictures accompanying its articles. I noticed that most of the pictures were of men, which is perhaps not surprising in a web site dedicated mostly to military and security issues. I asked myself how this could be balanced, who were the women who found themselves, even unintentionally, in the news during the last year, women who left an impression on me and whose pictures I would like to see on the site. Three pictures came to mind immediately and I decided to dedicate this article to them.
Assistant Chief Constable Ahuva Tomer, God rest her soul, served, was promoted and succeeded in a typically masculine organisation – the Israeli police. In her last role she was the commander of Haifa’s police station, the largest police station in Israel. During her service with the police Tomer was suspended for five years due to false allegations of receiving payments dishonestly. She returned to service with the police after she was cleared of any wrongdoing. When the great fire erupted in the forests of Mount Carmel, she went out on the mountain to command police activities in the area but her vehicle became trapped in the flames. She was badly burnt and passed away a few days later. The great fire, which also claimed the lives of dozens of fire fighters, exposed decades of neglect in Israel’s preparedness to combat fires of this magnitude and the Israeli government has already started taking steps to remedy the situation.
Lee Zeituni, God rest her soul, was a Pilates instructor who went out one morning for her day’s work. As she crossed a street at a zebra crossing a powerful vehicle emerged suddenly, driven wildly. It hit her and killed her. The two occupants of the vehicle escaped from the site of the accident and within hours were, together with their families, on a flight to Paris. There is only a slim chance that France will extradite Lee Zeituni’s murderers to Israel, and it is highly unlikely that they will ever set foot on its soil again. Her friends rallied to action and are making great efforts in trying to bring them to justice, either in Israel or in France. May her death be a turning point in the forgiving Israeli attitude shown in the past towards wildly driven 4X4 vehicles on the roads and beaches of Israel.
Tamar Fogel, may she live a long life, returned home at a late hour from her youth movement activity to discover that her father, mother, two brothers and baby sister were slaughtered by human beasts. Two other brothers were miraculously saved after the two murderers, who came from a nearby Palestinian village, did not spot them. Tragic events of this magnitude tend to bring out in people strengths they did not know they possessed and shape their futures in ways they never predicted. Although I do not share her religious beliefs and ideological views, I am full of admiration to the strength she demonstrated faced with such a tragedy when she was only twelve years old, and to her activities in support of the prisoner Jonathan Pollard. I have no doubt that in the future we will hear a lot about Tamar Fogel.