We are living through an excruciating reality. The brutal and inhuman attacks on men, women and children in villages and towns near the Gaza border will remain a trauma in our nation’s collective memory for generations. The Simchas Torah massacre shall neither be forgotten nor forgiven. To quote President Biden’s address last week: “This attack has brought to the surface painful memories and the scars left by a millennia of antisemitism and genocide of the Jewish people.” His words are a reminder to us all that the ruthless attack against the Jewish state is an attack against Jewish people everywhere. The unthinkable cruelty we are witnessing is a manifestation of antisemitism at its most sickening.
President Biden chose his words carefully. The uncompromising support he has expressed for Israel following the horrific events of Oct. 7th draws first and foremost from the value-based alliance that the American nation has with the Jewish people and the State of Israel. This alliance is rooted in and nurtured by the nature and cumulative actions of millions of North American Jews. Normally, Jewish Peoplehood is not perceived as a value in and of itself, but rather a means for strengthening the bonds between Jewish communities worldwide. Today, however, Jewish Peoplehood is imbued with a much deeper strategic meaning. Jewish Peoplehood means taking part in our country’s national resilience.
You may be asking yourselves what you can do or how you can help. Brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, please know that you are a vital and inseparable part of our strength. Your commitment to support Israel, even during recent internal Israeli strife and polarization, is bearing fruit as we speak. Only three months ago, the House of Representatives approved a resolution that declared support for Israel and condemned antisemitism. The resolution was passed by an outstanding majority of 412 to 9, despite the strained relationship between the current American administration and the Israeli government. Resolutions of this kind are a testimony to the power and importance of the Jewish American lobby, which should be upheld and bolstered at this crucial moment in time.
When we speak of another “Never Again” moment, we are not only referring to the need to back the State of Israel while defending itself and its citizens. We are also referring to the right of the Jewish people to defend themselves wherever they may be.
We are at the beginning of a long and exhausting war. We do not know if it will last weeks or even months. But what we do know is that every act of support is essential and serves as another building block in reinforcing our people’s resilience.
As we pray that the worst is behind us and hope for better days, we seek comfort in the words of Jeremiah: “… it is the time of Jacob’s distress, but he will be saved from it”. (Jeremiah 30:7).