In the wake of the harrowing Israel-Hamas conflict, Israel’s First Lady, Michal Herzog, has emerged as a beacon of hope and resilience. In a recent interview, she discussed the profound impact of the conflict, particularly the heinous crimes committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7. Her powerful op-ed in Newsweek, titled “The Silence From International Bodies Over Hamas’ Mass Rapes Is a Betrayal of All Women,” has drawn global attention, highlighting the often-overlooked atrocities against women during the war.
Born in Kibbutz Ein Harod and growing up in Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon, Michal Herzog brings a unique perspective to her role as First Lady. Her legal background and extensive work in charity and philanthropy have been instrumental in her advocacy efforts. Since her husband, President Isaac Herzog, assumed office, the First Lady has been vocal about the mental health crisis stemming from the conflict and the urgent need to support those affected, especially children, adolescents, and displaced families.
In her conversation with Felice Friedson, Michal Herzog expressed her deep concern for the ongoing gender-based violence and the plight of women still held captive by Hamas. Her frustration with the delayed response of international organizations like UN Women echoes a sentiment felt widely across Israel and beyond. The First Lady’s call to action is not just for Israeli women but for women worldwide, emphasizing the need for immediate and unequivocal support in times of crisis.
Herzog’s concern extends to the broader mental health impact of the conflict on the Israeli population. She highlighted the importance of unity within the diverse Israeli society, acknowledging the solidarity shown by various communities, including Arab Israelis. This unity, according to Herzog, is Israel’s greatest strength in overcoming the challenges posed by the conflict.
As Israel navigates through these difficult times, Michal Herzog’s leadership and advocacy are exemplary. Her commitment to addressing the immediate needs of the victims, fostering national unity, and promoting mental health awareness aligns with the core values of the State of Israel. These values include resilience in the face of adversity, compassion for those affected by conflict, and a relentless pursuit of justice and peace.
In conclusion, First Lady Michal Herzog’s voice serves as a reminder of the strength and solidarity inherent in Israeli society. Her efforts to bring international attention to the atrocities committed during the conflict and her dedication to supporting the mental well-being of her fellow citizens embody the spirit of Israel – a nation committed to protecting its people, upholding human dignity, and striving for a peaceful and secure future for all.