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“Infinite sadness”: Agnès Jaoui speaks about her Israeli family, victims of the October 7 attacks

“I don’t want to let hatred win.

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“Infinite sadness”: Agnès Jaoui speaks about her Israeli family, victims of the October 7 attacks

“I don’t want to let hatred win.” In an interview given to Le Parisien on Sunday, actress and director Agnès Jaoui spoke about the devastation caused by the war between Israel and Hamas within her family. Carmela Dan, 80, and her 13-year-old granddaughter Noya Dan, belonging to Agnès Jaoui's paternal family, died in Hamas attacks on October 7. In the columns of the Ile-de-France media, the 59-year-old actress explains that the bodies of her loved ones were found a few days later, “thanks to a drone which made it possible to identify them”.

“It was the goal of Hamas to assassinate precisely those who are for peace” deplores Agnès Jaoui, whose family lived on a kibbutz “very left-wing and pacifist, working with the Palestinians and working for peace”. She also explains that she learned, in the days following the massacre, of the disappearance of five other members of her father's family, "kidnapped at Kibbutz Nir Oz, on the Gaza border."

In these particularly turbulent times, Agnès Jaoui admits to being in a state of intense fragility. The director of Tastes of Others speaks of “a state of vulnerability (that she had) never known, of infinite sadness”. Despite this, she continues to advocate a discourse of peace and solidarity, and does not wish to “let hatred prevail”.

“I see everyone blaming each other, with as much savagery as ignorance,” testifies the actress. “I myself, while recounting the tragedies my family is experiencing, I hear the criticism: the Palestinians are also dying and their homes are destroyed, I am deeply hurt.”

Regarding Sunday's march, Agnès Jaoui was not able to go there due to lack of time, but she says she "supports the initiative" as well as "the idea that we can, together, look for solutions. Optimistic, Agnès Jaoui also wants to believe in better days. “There are people of common sense, moderate, who work for peace (...) they are the ones who will make the world of tomorrow” hopes the filmmaker, before launching a final appeal concerning the question of the hostages: “Do not abandon them. Continue to make them exist, as human beings, not just numbers,” she concludes.

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