"How can I marry this man?" Ziva Bakman Flamhaft asked herself one day as she walked down a street in Tel Aviv. Her wedding was four weeks away, and her fiancé, Yigal, had just pointed out a woman he had slept with. Flamhaft knew then and there that her marriage would not be easy. But she was still in love with Yigal, so she went ahead with the ceremony.
Three years later, the unthinkable happened: her husband passed away from injuries incurred during the brutal Six-Day War. It was such a physical shock to see his horrific burns and to watch him die that Flamhaft miscarried their unborn child.
Somehow Flamhaft found the strength to carry on after the dual traumas of losing her husband and baby. Now, in War Widow, she writes about her activism on behalf of other childless widows, life as a widowed woman in Israel, and the many challenges she faced. She also reminisces about growing up in British-controlled Palestine with a severely depressed mother.
An inspiring story of resilience and self-empowerment, War Widow movingly demonstrates how it is possible to move forward in the face of tragedy and help others in the process.
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About the Author
Ziva Bakman Flamhaft is a lecturer in political science for Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and has a doctorate from CUNY. She specializes in research into the experiences of Israeli and Palestinian women and has advocated for childless war widows since 1968. Flamhaft's work garnered her a Fulbright scholarship in 1995.
Flamhaft has previously published Israel on the Road to Peace: Accepting the Unacceptable. She has also appeared on several American television programs to debate foreign policy issues.
Excerpts from War Widow have appeared in Women's Studies Quarterly and Lilith. The book was first published in Hebrew in 2015 and was well received in Israel.
Flamhaft immigrated to the United States from Israel in 1969. She lives in New York with her husband.