Photo Credit: David Michael Cohen/TPS
Memorial event for Dafna Meir

By Anna Rudnitsky/TPS

Yariv Oppenheimer, general director of the leftwing Peace Now organization, on Wednesday night was among the speakers honoring the memory of Dafna Meir who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in her home in the community of Otniel a month ago. The event brought together Israel’s political left and right to honor a woman whom they all said was exceptional.

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Meeting at the Gerard Behar Center in Jerusalem, Dafna Meir’s friends and family spoke of a woman who worked as a nurse, raised six children, advised on fertility matters, argued with rabbis, liked obscene jokes, and managed to bring hope to everyone she met. “With my heart bleeding, I chose to make this evening an evening of hope, not of despair,” said her husband Nathan.

The anti-settlements Oppenheimer was an unexpected speaker at an evening in memory of a woman who, in her own words, “each day chose to be religious, Jewish, living in a settlement.” Oppenheimer was invited to the event by Dafna’s husband. He had come to comfort the Meir family during the Shiva period and established a warm relationship with them.

“I first learned about Dafna from Facebook,” Oppenheimer said. “We were not friends, but when, after the killing, my Facebook feed became full of status updates with the pictures of her and words about her, I found myself not sleeping at night as I read and read. I read about a woman who many times went against the grain, who spoke about feminism, a woman’s body, adopted kids, all with courage, depth, and humor. She broke down the boundaries. She made all the definitions so common to our Israeli discourse—’settler,’ ‘religious,’ ‘left-wing,’ ‘right-wing’—irrelevant. Her work at the [Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva] gave her an almost divine ability to save the lives of everyone, no matter who he or she might be. She saw a human being in everyone.”

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