Hundreds Attend Social Activist Moshe Silman's Funeral

Silman succumbed Friday to his injuries from his self-immolation the previous Saturday night.

Hundreds of people attended on Sunday the funeral of Moshe Silman, who succumbed Friday to his injuries from his self-immolation the previous Saturday night. He was buried in the Holon Cemetery, near his parents.

Among those in attendance were social activists, some wearing shirts that said "Not nice," a reference to Silman's call for social protesters not to be nice as they cried out in protest. Many participants had not known him personally, but spoke among themselves about the desperation that had driven him to set himself on fire, and that the government was to blame.

No one from Silman's family eulogized him. At the beginning of the funeral, Silman's sister, Riki Angel, felt unwell and was taken to Wolfson Medical Center.

Rabbi Idit Lev, from the Rabbis for Human Rights organization, recounted the efforts her group made to help Silman.

"You told me that you'd sit with me and go over the documents, but you weren't optimistic," she recalled. "You also added that you would not live in the street. I knew we had 10 months to prevent your landing in the street, and we got to work."

But as the months went by, and none of the authorities agreed to help, his despair became overwhelming, she said.

"At the beginning of June I told my friends at the rights center that your case was my biggest failure in terms of securing someone's rights, because you had things coming to you and I couldn't get the state to understand that. That Friday, you said, 'I'm going to do my protest alone,' and you did it alone, and you've swept us all into a whirlpool," she said.

"From here we are demanding today that there be no more people whose dignity is undermined, whose lives are undermined. I pray that Moshe be the last victim."

Ofer Vaknin
Hagai Frid