Fans see Andrea “Kiwi” Kiewel every Sunday on ZDF’s “ Fernsehengarten”. This was the case today, one day after Hamas' terrorist attack against Israel. However, the program was recorded a few days ago and Kiewel then traveled back to her adopted home of Tel Aviv. The German has lived there for several years and has an Israeli boyfriend.
"My phone is buzzing. A message from Rina, future mother-in-law. 'Are you good?' I'm just surprised for a moment and answer: 'Oh yes. We had such a fun evening with friends. Simchat Tora. Chag same….' And then the siren starts wailing," Kiewel remembers the early morning hours of October 7th. She immediately retreated to the shelter of her house. "The siren stops and it goes 'boom boom'. Iron Dome, the protective shield for which I thank its developers every day, shot down the enemy missiles," says Kiewel, describing the frightening moments.
She communicated with residents of her apartment building via WhatsApp. “We encourage each other.” The news they received was terrible, but it was difficult to look away, said Kiewel. "I force myself to do something other than drown in the maelstrom of news. There have been clashes in the West Bank for months. Arabs against settlers. Settlers against Arabs. Terror. Murder. Dead. Injured. People are setting things on fire and pouring oil on the fire. The "Israeli government doesn't say a word of power to its violent settlers. How can it? Their party is in the government. It would be like shooting yourself in the foot," she describes the situation in the newspaper.
Watch the video: Israel bombs Gaza, Hamas fighters hold hostages.
Her boyfriend is her “rock in the surf,” said Kiewel. He used to be an elite soldier and survived many difficult situations. According to the moderator, she asks herself one question all day long. "How (...) can it be that the border with Gaza has been so shamefully neglected?" Everything in Tel Aviv is under video surveillance. How could it have gotten to the point where Israeli citizens were being attacked in their homes, she asks herself. The situation becomes even more terrible for Kiewel. "'Andrea. I got a call. I'm leaving.' These are the sentences that I feared the most. My husband takes off his jeans and puts on his uniform. The bulletproof vest lies next to the large flower vase, the orange of which shines like the sun as it sinks into the Mediterranean every evening. Yesterday, and we danced. It's absurd. Macabre. Unrealistic," she writes.
Kiewel explains to the “Bild” newspaper how much her time in the army shaped her partner. "My friend fought as an elite soldier for 25 years. He never talked about that time. But I often saw him twitching in his sleep at night when his terrible experiences were again in his dreams," said the moderator. And she talks about her own fear for her life. "I'm not thinking about running away. When I came to Israel with my youngest son in 2017, I planted my heart in the ground here. I'm Jewish myself and I love this country so much that it has become my home," said Kiewel.
Sources: “Jüdische Allgemeine” / “Bild” newspaper