'Israeli Lives Matter' page draws thousands

Online initiative memorializing Israeli victims of terror seeks to bring their human stories to international audiences.

Ari Soffer ,

"Israeli lives matter"
"Israeli lives matter"
World Zionist Organization

Since the major escalation in Arab terror attacks began some five months ago, Israelis have been outraged by some foreign news outlets who consistently seek to play down Israeli victims of terror, while casting their killers as victims.

That's something a new online initiative by the World Zionist Organization is trying to combat, by highlighting the Israeli civilians and members of the security forces whose lives were tragically taken by murderous acts of terrorism.

The "Israeli Lives Matter" online memorial initiative was launched last month by the Department of Zionist Operations of the World Zionist Organization.

It memorializes Israeli victims of terrorism both from the current wave of terror - which has claimed the lives of more than 30 Israelis and wounded hundreds more - as well as previous attacks.

The Facebook page has already attracted a huge amount of interest, garnering more than 15,000 likes in just one month.

The idea behind the page according to deputy chairman of the WZO, Dr. David Breakstone, is to bring the personal stories of Israeli terror victims to light, in spite of a media which often seeks to dehumanize them.

"The real story of Israel is the story of its people - their passion, their achievements, their aspirations, and, unfortunately, their deaths," Breakstone explained. "By putting a face to those who have been sacrificed on the altar of Zionism, 'Israeli Lives Matter' will help humanize the tragedy of the ongoing refusal of our enemies to accept our existence, while simultaneously paying homage to the victims of the conflict."

Zionist Operations Department director, former MK Dov Lipman, established the page, which posts one or two profiles of Israeli terror victims each day.

"The idea for the page came when we felt that the world was paying homage to those killed by terror in France and California - as it should - without taking notice of the loss of life here in Israel," Lipman said. "We began with the lives lost in the recent terror wave and then began posting lives lost from the past 15 years either on the anniversary of the murder or near it."

"The response has been remarkable," he continued. "People are realizing that we get lost in the numbers that have been killed here and forget that there is a depth to the lives that have been lost in addition to too many widows, widowers, bereaved parents, and orphans, that have been left behind."

Comments on the pages have appeared in numerous languages, demonstrating its global reach.

The picture of each victim, along with a short personal biography, generates powerful reactions ranging from a simple, "May they rest in peace" and "may their memory be a blessing" to much more forceful denouncements of terror. 

The creators of the page emphasize that the page is not limited to memorializing Jewish Israeli terror victims - several Christian and Muslim victims of Palestinian terrorism have also been featured.