When I was asked to join a communal fast on the anniversary of the July 2014 Gaza war, I thought it was a brilliant idea. A group of women would fast in 25- or 50-hour shifts in front of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Residence for 50 days, coinciding with timing of the 50-day conflict last year, and demanding the government pursue peace. Women Wage Peace, the group that organized the event, gave it the catchy title of “Tzom Eitan” – a play on the official name of the Israeli military operation, “Tzuk Eitan” (“Protective Edge” in English, literally “strong cliff”), but with the word for “fast” replacing the word for “cliff.”
Having just returned from my 25-hour fast, I would like to share my experience, which was at times uplifting and at times disturbing. At times I was on the verge of quitting, going home and eating. But in the end I stuck it out till the end of my fast, and then some. I spent most of the time in conversation but also in heated arguments. I left feeling physically weak and politically confused.