An Israeli man protesting against the rising cost of living at a political rally read aloud a suicide note and set himself on fire Saturday. He changed his mind and was put out by fellow protestors which saved his life, though he remains in serious condition in an Israeli hospital.
Moshe Silman, 57, set himself ablaze at a political rally in Tel Aviv to protest living conditions there and demand social justice. After suffering second and third degree burns over 94% of his body, he decided that he wanted to live, and was put out by fellow protestors. Afterwards, he ate a popsicle in a desperate attempt to cool down, notes NY Daily.
According to Haaretz, he was taken to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer where he remains in an induced coma, and in critical condition. Dr. Joseph Hayak told the newspaper that while none of Silman’s organs appear damaged, “burns of that type are liable to cause damage later to organs such as the heart, lungs, intestines, kidneys and liver.” Regardless, “His chances of surviving are slim, it is only in rare cases that we have managed to save people in similar condition. He arrived here in critical condition,” said Hayek, who concluded, “Anaesthetised and ventilated, he is now at death’s door.”
Now protestors in Israel have renewed vigor, using Silman as a symbol, wearing bandages on their faces to show solidarity with him against the economic policies of Ben Netanyahu’s conservative government.
It is not fully known why Silman decided upon such a dramatic and life-threatening display of dissatisfaction with his government. He did read aloud a suicide note in which he said “The state of Israel robbed me of everything and left me with nothing,” before setting himself ablaze. His sister admitted to The Times of Israel that her brother was indeed desperate, but added, “Everyone knows he was fully aware of what he was doing. He was a sane man.”
Netanyahu himself expressed his wish for Silman’s recovery, saying, “I wish Moshe Silman a full recovery, this is a huge personal tragedy,” on his Facebook page.
This is indeed a tragedy, and we at IQ hope for God’s sake that the actions taken by Silman’s fellow protestors deliver him back to his family.
What follows are potentially disturbing images of Silman’s self-immolation: