I also underwent a turnover. I live in Tel Aviv, attempt to heal the wounds, immersed in my studies.

My relationship with my mother is still shaky, but sometimes when we meet she speaks of the forests, the rivers and the magic of snow in another land.

Her heart has returned to her childhood views, I gather.

I keep telling her and myself that our Israel is a young country, just starting out, a growing country that is constructing cities, roads, parks, science and research institutes, the Hebrew language is flourishing, more and more Jews from the Diaspora are joining us here, in the home of the Jewish nation.

1979 — the state is 31 and I am 26

Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian president, visits the Israeli Knesset.

For a moment, the hope we will manage to establish peace between ourselves and the Arab nations arises.My mother sighs in relief, but insists I must have *two* heimats (using the German word for home/homeland - eds.).


I am an Israeli-born Tzabar, I have Israeli dreams.

She will never comprehend it.

Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt from 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers in 1981 (photo: Getty Images)
A controversial figure in the Arab world: Anwar Sadat led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to regain Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967, thereby securing him cult status for a time. He subsequently entered into negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty; this won him and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize, making Sadat the first Muslim Nobel laureate. With the exception of Sudan, the Arab world and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) strongly opposed Sadat's efforts to make a separate peace with Israel without prior consultations with the Arab states. It is also likely that the peace treaty led to his assassination

1982 — the country is 34 and I am 29

I am married and the mother of two.

My family and career are the centre of my life.

In that year, due to terrorist attacks, increase in the organisations that object to the existence of the state of Israel, the first Lebanon war broke out. From my point of view, the war was in the north and life in Tel Aviv continued as usual.

I am living my own life. I feel good in my country.

1985 — the war ends

Six hundred and fifty-four soldiers were killed in this war.

My mother says that when our sons fall here, in this country, it means we have lost that war too.

I remain silent.

1990 — my mother is on her deathbed, she asks me to remain blonde

"Why?" I asked.

"Because only the blondes survive," she replied.

"So why should I be blonde?" I insist.

"Just to be on the safe side," she responded.

She is losing her mind, I try to make it easy on myself.

Just after she passed away, for the first time in my life, I delve into the story of my family that was lost in the Holocaust and write it. My books and my personal stories are merged into the structure of the Jewish-Israeli narrative.

I gain recognition in my country.

With the Intifada and the 1985-2000 South Lebanon conflict in the background, I continue to tell and write about my own history.

1992 — Rabin's government, the Oslo Accords

Hope is revived. I take to the streets, participate in all support rallies on the way to peace, I join a goodwill delegation to meet Arafat.

"We are going to touch hope," I say to my children and take them with me to Gaza.

Tens of thousands of Israelis take part in a rally commemorating the 20th anniversary of the assassination of late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv, Israel, 31 October 2015 (photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen)
The death of the peace process: On 4 November 1995, a national-religious fanatic assassinated serving Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a signatory to the Oslo Accords, at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. Many Israelis were shocked at the hatred that had led to the murder of Rabin. The "peace process" lay in ruins. The tragic reverberations can still be felt to this day

1995 — Rabin's assassination

My motherland was assassinated.

I realise that my people are sinking into fear and hate, believing that the only solution is military power.

During the times of sadness and despair that follow the assassination, I choose to remain in my comfort zone. I continue to write books, I am one of the voices that tell the story of Israel's second generation. I write about the trauma of the Holocaust and the dream of being a free nation in our country, being strong, surviving, living.

From time to time I hear my mother's voice. She encourages me to ask questions and doubt things. You are wrong, I hear her telling me.

2009 — In the midst of another war in Gaza

I met a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem who was ready to share with me his everyday life under Israeli occupation. I saw it as an opportunity to examine my private way, my beliefs and assumptions on which I was raised and in which I believed. Meetings with him brought me to understand that his story must be told here. I felt that through his story perhaps we can bring people closer together, cause change, but, to my surprise, the book which tells our story was never published in Israel. My somewhat naive hope that literature would crack the walls, undermine old myths and open hearts was proven to be false.

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