Leah Goldin still speaks of her twin sons in plural even though one of them, Lt. Hadar Goldin, was killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge two summers ago. “They were only 15 years old during our sabbatical year in Cambridge,” explains Mrs. Goldin, “so it’s not surprising that Hadar misspelled the title of his last art assignment, “The Final Piece,” as “The Final Peace.”
What is surprising though, is that Hadar’s “Final Peace” is now on part of a collection of his paintings on display in a main UN corridor outside the café where 193 world leaders will be looking for coffee when they convene next week for the opening session of the 71st General Assembly.
The exhibit was arranged by the Israeli delegation to the UN and is part of a renewed effort to recover the bodies of Goldin and fellow fallen soldier Oron Shaul. The remain of both soldiers have been held by Hamas since they were killed in Gaza during July and August of 2014. Lt. Goldin was killed and taken captive two hours after a ceasefire had gone into effect.
“We’ve been trying to get Hamas to release their bodies for over two years,” says Hadar’s twin Tzur, “Hadar was killed during a blatant and barbaric violation of a UN brokered ceasefire and we hope this exhibit will encourage the UN to take responsibility and demand that Hamas return the bodies.”
At the opening of the exhibition on Wednesday, Ambassador Danny Danon called Goldin “a talented artist taken before his time” as well as a brave soldier, and pledged to continue to urge the international community to do everything in its power to pressure Hamas into releasing the remains for a proper burial in Israel. The Goldins will be in the UN when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the General Assembly next week.
The logo for the display is a sketch drawn by Hadar in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge that was to be used on the invitation to his wedding which was scheduled for later that summer.
After the close of General Assembly, the collection will be moved to the Park Ave Synagogue in New York City where it will be on display from September through January.