Dear Fish in My Daughter’s Aquarium



This week in Sydney, teenage youths boarded a bus full of Jewish primary school children and yelled ‘Heil Hitler!’ and ‘Death to Jews’, threatening to cut the children’s throats. My mother fled to Australia after WWII, as a refugee from Bergen Belsen. Aged 21, she was the sole survivor of her family and wanted “to get as far away as possible from anti-Semitism.” She always upheld Australia as a safe sanctuary; a tolerant and multicultural society. She encouraged me to train as a doctor, and I worked in Israel for 10 years, through two Gulf Wars and two intifadas, with patients from all faiths – Baha’is, Christians, Muslims, Jews and Druze – focusing on what binds rather than divides us. I have been horrified—and at the same time silenced–by all the hate-mongering and polarization of views around the world in the wake of the latest horror in Gaza. Perhaps naively, I never thought it would reach the quiet shores of Australia, where I chose to raise my children.

2 comments on “Dear Fish in My Daughter’s Aquarium

  1. Melissa Cronin on

    Lovely piece, Leah. Can’t it be said that anger, violence, threats arise from ignorance and fear of the unknown? If only the parents of those teenagers could sit them down and talk with them openly, impartially, about what’s happening in Gaza. And what about their teachers? Don’t they have a role to play?

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