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Empty Chairs and a Striking Front Page Commemorate Israel’s 1,000+ Coronavirus Dead

The chairs, set up on Monday by the grassroots organization Standing Together, each bore a sign with the name of a person who has died. A single rose was placed on each chair

JTA
Marcy Oster
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A thousand chairs spread across Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to mark over 1,000 coronavirus fatalities in Israel, September 7, 2020.
A thousand chairs spread across Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to mark over 1,000 coronavirus fatalities in Israel, September 7, 2020. Credit: Meged Gozani
JTA
Marcy Oster

The display was striking: 1,019 empty plastic chairs set up in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, one for each of the Israeli victims of the coronavirus since the pandemic began this spring.

The chairs, set up on Monday by the grassroots organization Standing Together, each bore a sign with the name of a person who has died. A single rose was placed on each chair.

Meanwhile, the newspaper Yediot Ahronot covered its front page Sunday with the names of the country’s dead, in a design reminiscent of the New York Times cover from when the United States passed the 100,000-death threshhold.

The demonstration came as political tensions stymie Israel’s efforts to get the spread of the disease under control. The country passed the 1,000-death threshold this weekend, and the world’s highest infection rate means more deaths are sure to come.

Installation at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to symbolise Israel passing the 1,000 coronavirus death mark. September 7, 2020
Installation at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to symbolise Israel passing the 1,000 coronavirus death mark. September 7, 2020.Credit: AFP
A thousand chairs spread across Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to mark over 1,000 coronavirus fatalities in Israel, September 7, 2020.
A thousand chairs spread across Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to mark over 1,000 coronavirus fatalities in Israel, September 7, 2020. Credit: Meged Gozani

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