Pro-peace Canadian-Jewish activist abducted by Hamas terrorists

She was actively involved in humanitarian efforts for improving the lives of Palestinian women and children.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 09 October, 2023 4:21 pm IST

A woman peace activist, involved in humanitarian efforts for improving the lives of Palestinian women and children for several decades, has been abducted by Hamas terrorists.

Vivian Silver (74), a Jewish-Canadian, was taken from her residence near the Gaza border in Israel on Saturday, according to reports. Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, she migrated to Israel in 1974.

Former Canadian MP and Attorney-General Irwin Cotler broke the news of the activist’s kidnapping. In a social media post, he expressed deep concern, stating, “Vivian has devoted her life to women’s empowerment and assisting Palestinian civilians, including facilitating hospital treatments for sick Gazan children. She was violently taken from her home in Kibbutz Be’eri in Israel on a Jewish holiday and is now being held captive by Hamas in Gaza.”

Kibbutz Be’eri, located in the north-western Negev desert near the eastern border with the Gaza Strip, is where this unfortunate incident occurred.

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Cotler further condemned the kidnapping as another addition to the list of war crimes committed by the Palestinian terror group Hamas. He said, “A civilian focused on peacebuilding and helping women and children, Vivian’s captivity is yet another heinous Hamas war crime. All Canadians and people of conscience around the world should be calling for her release and condemning Hamas criminality. Thinking of her family.”

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A Facebook user named Sue Levinstein, who claimed to be a close friend of the kidnapped activist, reported that no one has been able to establish communication with Vivian since the Hamas terrorists wreaked havoc in the bordering settlements of Be’eri on Saturday. Levinstein wrote, “Vivian Silver , a close friend, has been missing since Saturday at 11 A.M., when she wrote that she was hiding behind a closet in her shelter at her home in Kibbutz Beeri.Since then, no one has heard from her . We don’t know what happened to her. She’s smart, generous and funny. A wonderful person and a devoted friend.”

Vivian Silver served as a Central Committee member of ‘Women Wage Peace,’ dedicating 33 years to peace efforts in Be’eri. In 1998, she assumed the role of Executive Director of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development in Beer Sheva, an NGO focused on promoting sustainable human development, fostering a shared society between Jews and Arabs, and advocating for peace in the Middle East.

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Her profile on the ‘Women Wage Peace’ website reflects her unwavering commitment to the cause: “I have basically lived and breathed the movement day and night. Living on the border of the Gaza Strip is a compelling factor for me. I am driven by the intense desire for security and a life of mutual respect and freedom for both our peoples.”

Vivian dreaded the possibility of another war, but unfortunately, this time it arrived right at her doorstep. She wrote, “The thought of yet another war drives me mad. Like the last three, it will not resolve the conflict. It will only bring more dead and wounded.”

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