Two weeks ago I was sitting on the steps at the central bus station in Hadera waiting for the bus. Suddenly out of nowhere a man approached me, more or less my father's age, and extended his hand to me. I shook it. "Is it okay if I sit next to you for a minute?" He asked. I said yes and tried to recall if he was familiar from somewhere.
"I can't believe I am meeting you, I saw you on TV and told myself that I must talk to you sometime," he said.
"Talk about what? ", I asked.
"You were talking on the program about the kidnapping of the children, right? ".
"Do you know that in your father's family there also was a case like this?".
"Not really. I once heard something about twins, but my father told me that he did not know anything about this case," I said.
"He won't tell you anything, I'm familiar with that from my own home."
"What do you mean?".
"We too had a case like this. A child was born to my parents, he was the seventh in total and the first born in the country, he was taken to hospital for minor treatment and it was decided to leave him there for testing and things like that. After a few days, my parents were told that he died. Just Like that, dead. Without a death certificate or a grave. I was born after him, all my life I heard my mother mumbling and crying quietly about her son. Until the day she died she did not believe he was dead. Every time I tried to find out information about this case from my late father and my brothers, may they live, they were not willing to talk about it, they said they didn't know, didn't remember, nothing, and simply changed the subject. That is how it was with your grandfather and grandmother and their twins, they were just told that they died without a death certificate and without graves".
"How do you know all this about my family? "I asked.
"We were neighbors all our lives, from the Agrobank immigrant absorption camp, and after that we lived a street away from them in Givat Olga".
The bus arrived and interrupted our conversation. I felt dizzy and I staggered to the first available seat, but I could not stop myself, and before I even sat down, I took out my mobile and called my father.
"I told you already, I know they were twins, but do not know anything about this story", he said.
"How can you not know anything about it? Didn’t your parents talk about it? ".
"A long time has passed. I don't remember. You know I don't remember things'.
"But wait, there were twins and they died, so far it's this is what you know, right? ".
"So far this is true."
"And there is no death certificate, grave, something?".
"You know, when there isn't much work in the supermarket, we get serious pressure."
"What do you mean?".
"They're looking for little things to blame us for, but you know what they say - do your job properly and the hell with the rest of the world,".
"What has that got to do with this now? ".
"To do with what? ".
"With the twins".
"I don’t know anything about it, I don’t remember. Listen, someone is calling, I have to hang up."
I did not know how to deal with this information that landed on me suddenly. I was angry with my father - I don’t know if it was because he didn’t want to talk about it, or because he really had no idea about the case. I could not understand how he could not be interested and investigate the disappearance of two of his sisters.
On the one hand it really inconceivable, on the other hand it is known that one of the biggest obstacles to solving the case of the kidnapped children is the denial and lack of cooperation on the part of families.
As fate would have it, a few days later, while I was in a hurry to pick up my daughter from kindergarten, I met Rachel, my father's older sister, after years that I hadn't met her.
"Your father called me the other day and told me that you asked him questions about the girls that disappeared. Come over and I'll tell you everything," she said.
When I arrived at her place in the evening I discovered that she was eager to talk about this case, that this story lies heavy on her. While preparing the coffee, she took out of her bag a stapled package of papers.
"You see this? This is an official document of the Ministry of the Interior. I turned the world upside-down to get it," she said.
I asked her to wait a moment, until we sit outside and I record the conversation so that nothing is forgotten. We went out to the balcony with the coffee, I took out my smartphone and clicked on the recording software.
"First of all, they were not twins, people might make that connection, because both of them are no more. Besides, your father really doesn’t know anything about it," she said. "For the first one was called Ilana, and she really did die in her childhood. I know she died, because father saw her die with his own eyes and we have a death certificate for her. I was little, but I remember that Dad brought us a piece of bread and olives, which is a mourning custom, so in other words, she was mourned.
"The other was called Dalia, they always said that she had disappeared. Today I'm sure they kidnapped and sold her. When she was three years old, she had an ear infection, nothing serious, just an ear infection. At the time there were no health clinics and there was no hospital in Hadera . So my mother took her to a hospital in Afula valley, to get her treated.
"When they arrived, they asked her to leave the child and come back in two days. After two days, my mother went back to the hospital and she was told that the same night she brought the girl, she died. Mother asked: How did she die? I didn't bring her to you dying, she only had an ear infection." She was told "Lady, we are sorry, your girl is dead." Mother didn’t believe them, but she said okay, I want to see her. They told her she could not see her, these are hospital procedures and nothing could be done.
"Her we didn’t mourn at home. A year after they said that she died, Dad saw that he was still getting paid for her from social security. He went to the National Insurance and told them - you told me she was dead, so how are you still paying her Social Security? They told him it was a mistake and deleted her from the system.
"They were innocent, my parents, they did not believe that Jews were capable of doing such a thing to them. Mother did not believe their claims that she was dead the she talked to me about her all the time, about her child that was taken from her, and each time she repeated to me that her eyes were green-brown like mine and your fathers', and her skin color was light, to give me identifying characteristics, if we ever meet.
"Some time ago my mother came to me in a dream and asked me not to forget the girl who was taken from her. So I went, used contacts through all kinds of people and I brought this document. You see, this is a list of their children, and there is no Dalia. Dear God, a three-year-old girl, already talking, walking, let’s say she died like they said, but she was born, right? There is no question of that, then where is she on the list? They simply hid her existence, as though she never was. Gone ".
Roy Hasan. Column: (Hebrew)
After two days, my mother went back to the hospital and she was told that the same night she brought the girl, she died. Mother asked: How did she die? I didn't bring her to you dying, she only had an ear infection." She was told "Lady, we are sorry, your girl is dead." Mother didn’t believe them, but she said okay, I want to see her. They told her she could not see her, these are hospital procedures and nothing could be done
A year after they said that she died, Dad saw that he was still getting paid for her from social security. He went to the National Insurance and told them - you told me she was dead, so how are you still paying her Social Security? They told him it was a mistake and deleted her from the system