Why Israelis are marking October 7 with tattoos

Why Israelis are marking October 7 with tattoos

As growing numbers ask for tattoos related to the traumatic events of October 7, tattoo artists ask them to consider their choice of image carefully.

Over the past month, though, as growing numbers of clients have come to him for tattoos related to the traumatic events of October 7, tattoo artist Edan Weiss has made it a habit to ask them to consider their choice of image carefully.

Many are coming to him consumed by pain, rage or a combination of both, he says. They are asking for tattoos with an extremely strong military or violent motif that reflects their state of mind, as they try to process the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists in Gaza border communities on Black Saturday.

“I tell them to take a few days and really think about it. I tell them to consider a year or more from now when they may be in a better place, and whether they’ll want to have something on their body that reminds them of such horror,” says the tattoo artist, a slim, blue-eyed man with wire-rimmed glasses.

Weiss, 30, asks them to consider inking something more upbeat and inspiring – like the tattoo he is giving Avia Amichai as he speaks.

Amichai, 32, has just been volunteering at a farm to harvest lettuce and so Weiss carefully etches a green bunch of lettuce on her tattooed arm – just above the Corona beer bottle he tattooed two years earlier to remember the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike some small businesses that have been struggling during wartime, business is booming at Israel’s tattoo parlours. The traumatic events of October 7, and the ensuing war with Hamas, have disproportionately affected a young generation of Israelis who are used to using tattoos as a way of processing emotions, memories and grief.

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The Needle and the Damage Done: Why Israelis Are Marking October 7 With Tattoos (Haaretz)

Photo: Israeli tattoo of October 7 (Reuters)