Yulia Karra
October 23, 2023, Updated October 31, 2023

The city of Tel Aviv over the past few days has been commemorating the recent terror attack on southern Israel with a series of special exhibits and projects honoring the victims. 

Over 1,400 people lost their lives after Hamas terrorists descended on communities near the border with the Gaza Strip on October 7, unleashing an unprecedented attack on civilians. Over 200 people were taken hostage by the terrorists and transported to Gaza, while dozens are still missing. 

The United Against Terrorism exhibit at Tel Aviv University (TAU) saw pictures of the victims, including those who had been abducted, placed on 1,000 chairs in the Smolarz Auditorium.

The wider United Against Terrorism campaign also includes support rallies and exhibits at approximately 20 universities in the United States and Europe. Among the participating campuses are Harvard, Yale, NYU, MIT, University of Michigan and Columbia University.

Chair of the TAU Student Union Daniel Zilber, the organizer of the exhibit, said the initiative was meant to “illustrate, even slightly, the extent of the horror … This is neither a slogan nor a cliché: Despite the carnage, we shall triumph. Despite the disaster, we shall come out stronger. We, the students, the future generation of the state of Israel, will do everything to make sure that such a disaster never happens again!”

Former Chair of the National Union of Israeli Students Shaked Benafshi, who organizes the broader United Against Terrorism campaign, added: “Since we assume that as time goes by international public opinion will probably turn against Israel, we regard the activities of citizens and students in dozens of countries worldwide as a strategic asset for Israel’s public diplomacy.”

In another initiative, the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality staged the “Flower People Project” tribute. The project was in collaboration with flower growers across Israel, as well as weavers and floral arrangers.

A heart made out of flowers as part of the Flower People Project. Photo by Roy Arama CRS/Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality
A heart made out of flowers as part of the Flower People Project. Photo by Roy Arama CRS/Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality

The 45-meter long vibrant flower bouquet was on display at HaBima Square in central Tel-Aviv from October 19 through October 21. 

The project was an initiative of Lihi Salpeter Danziger, a private citizen, who wanted to show her support after learning that many families of the victims were unable to procure flowers for funerals.

People working on the Flower People Project. Photo by Roy Arama CRS/Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality
People working on the Flower People Project. Photo by Roy Arama CRS/Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality

The project provides mourning wreaths and floral arrangements to bereaved families, free of charge and regardless of location, thanks to a vast network of logistical volunteers.

Another striking public display was done by families of Israelis held hostage in Gaza. They set up a Shabbat dinner table with more than 200 empty chairs, including baby high chairs, symbolizing their kidnapped loved one, in the plaza outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza set a symbolic Shabbat table with more than 200 empty seats for the hostages, outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, October 20, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza set a symbolic Shabbat table with more than 200 empty seats for the hostages, outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, October 20, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

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