Hostages to Trauma: A Letter to Judih Weinstein Haggai

Collage of photos of Anemone Achtnich and Judih Weinsten Haggai
Anemone Achtnich and Judih Weinstein Haggai in various photos over years of friendship

By Marc Eliot Stein, World BEYOND War, October 27, 2023

Poet, teacher, mother, grandmother and pacifist Judih Weinstein Haggai, a friend of mine for over 20 years, has been missing with her husband Gad since the attack on her kibbutz near Gaza on October 7, 2023. I recently wrote about how Judih helped me to expand my own awareness of the terrible Israel/Palestine conflict many years ago, inspiring and leading me towards the work I do today as technology director of World BEYOND War and host of our organization’s monthly podcast in which we interview peace activists all over the world.

We’ve devoted this month’s podcast to Judih as we join concerned people all over the world in a vigil for the safe return of hostages and the safety and freedom of human beings everywhere in the lands variously known as Israel, Palestine, Gaza, the Holy Lands, the Levant, the Middle East, al-Sharq al-Awsat. As antiwar activists, we don’t really care what you call these lands. We just want people to stop being forced by their corrupt governments to fear, attack and murder each other’s families there.

I’ve invited a special guest for this podcast interview: my friend Anemone Achtnich, a poet, editor, gardener and flight attendant from the Black Forest region in Germany who I originally met in the same online global poetry community where I met Judih, and who has stayed closely in touch with Judih over the years.

This podcast episode is a letter of hope for salvation from terrible circumstances that Amenone and I both dream may reach Judih someday. We don’t know if she and Gad are still alive or not, but we are grateful for more news coverage of these hostages, and deeply hopeful that the broken governments that allow this disastrous war to continue will be compelled to ceasefire, negotiation, compromise and hostage exchange. If Israel invades Gaza with military forces instead of engaging Palestine and Gaza with diplomatic communication, we fear this will be a death sentence for the hostages.

Thanks to Anemone Achtnich for this intense conversation, in which we also talk about inner peace, online communities, William James’s concept of the “moral equivalent of war”, generational trauma and the Holocaust. For this episode’s musical excerpts, we chose two songs or bands that we know Judih cherishes, and we hope someday Judih will hear these songs again: “All My Love” by Led Zeppelin and “Diamonds and Rust” by Joan Baez.

The World BEYOND War Podcast page is here. All episodes are free and permanently available. Please subscribe and give us a good rating at any of the services below:

World BEYOND War Podcast on iTunes
World BEYOND War Podcast on Spotify
World BEYOND War Podcast RSS Feed



5 Responses

  1. Marc and Anemone—
    Thank you both so much for this important conversation! It was was great to hear you two! Much love to you both! I wait and hope and pray for Judih’s safe return!

  2. Marc…thank you so much for this soul cleansing conversation with my dear pal Anemone. As usual, she is so cogent on many levels, especially on our dear judih and her wisdom so freely given and expressed. I, sadly, never got the pleasure of meeting either women in person but shared so many wonderful moments on line with them. My heart aches for judih, her family and friends awaiting news of her and Gad. Shalom.

  3. Thank you for this, I as well met Judih on Litkicks , aand the studio eight. Living in Toronto she would on occasion visit me in my home as well as my gallery exhibits. Her poetry, as well as the eloquence of lightning Rod and MTYMND were instrumental in my future as a poet and writer. I miss her and the others. What has happened to her and Gad breaks my heart. Please fly home on the wing of grace.


  4. I echo everyone else’s sentiments. She encouraged me as a women and a poet during the litkicks days and I’ve never forgotten her. Please may she and her husband and all those suffering be brought to safety. I’m so sorry Marc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Our Theory of Change

How To End War

2024 War Abolisher Awards
Antiwar Events
Help Us Grow

Small Donors Keep Us Going

If you select to make a recurring contribution of at least $15 per month, you may select a thank-you gift. We thank our recurring donors on our website.

This is your chance to reimagine a world beyond war
WBW Shop
Translate To Any Language