Penny S. Tee
May You Live in Peace, שלום and سلام.

Does Another Holocaust Follow Hamas, Hezbollah and Antisemitic Actions Globally?

PEACE with Penny

As Shabbat ends, and the new week begins we wish you a week of Peace, שלום and سلام. You haven’t heard much from me lately, as I’ve been busy trying to sort things out and working on PEACE with Penny. Guilty as charged, the anti-Jewish hate has gotten to me. So, I’ve enjoyed working with the Peace organizations I speak with even more, if that were possible.

I’m preparing to add some more interviews to our library of over 100 interviews of PEACE with Penny. What a relief to speak with Israelis and Palestinians who truly work on Peace. They have worked through the grief and get along better than many Muslims and Jews in the diaspora. I hope to begin publishing the interviews on PEACE with Penny soon. No wonder I love what I do, I often speak with incredible people.

It was a breath of fresh air to speak with Ziad Sabateen (a Palestinian) and Phil Saunders (a Jewish Israeli) of Path of Hope and Peace in our pre-interview. I always research and meet with the people I interview for lengthy sessions, to revise my questions once I’ve learned more details about their work and what experiences they have had that made them want to work on Peace. During the Israel-Hamas War it’s even more important to get updates on what these Peace organizations are experiencing.

Phil and Ziad have been partners for Peace many years and I’ve interviewed Phil several times. This time I wanted the privilege to speak with Ziad, a Palestinian Peace activist living in the West Bank who speaks mostly Arabic, Hebrew and a little English. He’s worked on Peace for over thirty years. He was introduced to Peace work by Rabbi Froman, the famous Israeli settler rabbi, may his memory be a blessing. It’s strange to say, but Ziad grew to be a young man in jail (ages 15-20) because of his violent activities. Believe me, it’s quite a story. Phil is going to help with translation as well as being part of the interview. They are a vision of hope and have created Peace for their communities together for a decade.  Even during war, they make it work.

This TOI Blog is about the Jewish people, Israel, antisemitism and the Israel-Hamas War. Although I work every day promoting Peace and usually speaking about both sides because I care about them both, the fact that lately I’ve spoken about antisemitism and islamophobia is because it’s too important not to. Last time, during the Holocaust, the result was 6 million of us were MURDERED. Those killed on October 7th and since have added to the gruesome  count. What good has the world missed because these victims were killed before their time? May their memories be a blessing. BRING THE HOSTAGES HOME!

Gazans killed is a fluid number because the world relied on Hamas, the terror organization to report the truth (no it doesn’t make sense) and all the media, governments, and the United Nations reported their figures as if they were factual. On May 6, the U.N. had reported more than 9,500 women and greater than 14,500 children dead. Two days later, the figures showed 4,959 women and 7,797 children. Deaths are a horrific expectation of war. At this point, there is no way to compute who of the women, were combatants of Hamas and who weren’t. But Hamas uses human shields including the children who are nearly 50% of their population. Even so,  Israel is blamed for their deaths. I’m sure it will be forevermore debated as to whether Netanyahu could have used other tactics to avoid the extensive deaths. I think we all can agree, that there has to be a better way to resolve conflicts. The life wounds created by the trauma of war MUST STOP.


Since I’ve been writing my Times of Israel Blogs, the situations grow more dire, and I can’t help myself but speak up. As Jews, we must sound the alarm IMO before anyone else will come to our aid. As it is, we see how quiet many have been such as women’s groups who decry rape but remained silent after October 7th.

Did Jews delude ourselves to believe we were accepted as a valuable part of society?

Valuable? Absolutely! And I don’t mean money nor power, as so many blood libels and antisemites claim.

Tikkun Olam is the Jewish requirement to help repair the world. We do.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are defined as “organizational frameworks which seek to promote the fair treatment and full participation of all people, particularly groups who have historically been underrepresented or subject to discrimination on the basis of identity or disability.” Unless you are Jewish?

People who have previously claimed to be friends have turned on us, using the excuse of Netanyahu’s actions and the current Israeli government. The truth be told, some only had a thin veneer of acceptance of Jews that they showed to the public, but obviously didn’t feel. We have certain local religious figures who for years professed to be colleagues. Now we have discovered they preach to their congregations, “Allah Will Reward You For The Fear, Anger, Pain You Inflict On These Cruel People, Enemies Of Humanity,” and who is he speaking about? Jews, of course. This is made clear throughout his sermons and even a guest speaking at his mosque, portrayed Jews in offensive ways as he quoted from the Qur’an.

It may seem absurd to ponder if another Holocaust would be possible, after all it’s 2024. I pray that is true, but so far, it’s going in the wrong direction. I’ve written for years about what was happening on the US college campuses and now it’s untenable for Jewish kids. They are harassed when walking to class, being prevented from going to classes, singled out, if you are Jewish, you aren’t allowed into the library by Pro-Palestinian students even though it’s where your class is being held! Attacked, spat on, and the college administrators don’t support them, too often even when it’s directly pointed out to them. Some Jewish students are suing Harvard for the antisemitic and unsafe environment they’ve been forced to endure. Good for them!

As the President of Harvard said when asked whether calls for the genocide of Jews constituted harassment under university policy, Dr Claudine Gay said it depended on the context. Really? She thought there was some context where calling for genocide against Jews was acceptable under university policy? The fact that she was African American and obviously did not immediately recognize the offensive nature of her comment, was even more hurtful.  My assumption that people who had suffered would be more empathetic to others fell short with her. Then again, Israelis and Palestinians have plenty of hurt on each side to go around, but I suppose when the pain is caused by the other, automatic compassion apparently is too much to ask. The congressional questions regarding the campus protests seemed to be the spark that ignited many calls for Jewish genocide and attacks on campuses throughout the US and the world.

Yet, New York prosecutors dropped charges against Columbia University Pro-Palestinian protesters who broke into Hamilton Hall. Breaking the law with impunity, as the prosecutors claim the demonstrators wore masks and covered their heads with keffiyehs and obscured cameras, so it was problematic to obtain evidence and identification of the perpetrators.

They didn’t have social media in the 1930s and the onslaught of media today to distribute information at record speed regardless of whether it is factual is present throughout our society. At USC they did a study that said that it is the reward system of the social networks that incentivizes the users to habitually share information regardless of the accuracy of the content. Antisemitism and libels are spreading, it seems, at meteoric rates. What will the consequences to Jews be because of this fact?

No one knows how to handle what’s going on, including Jews. There are differences of opinion, not surprising. I suppose I’m more of a natural activist through my writing. I don’t think it’s healthy nor effective to keep our mouths shut about such important circumstances. Not when it comes to protecting our own families, friends and communities, nor for humanity. Why should other communities care how Jews and other minorities are treated? How we treat each other in society always bleeds to the next group. Our synagogues are like armed camps. We read about 50 temples sent bomb threats in Florida. Every day it seems some other form of terrorism is threatened. I don’t want to look back some day and feel that I didn’t at least say something.

The threats invoked are not only thousands of miles away in the Middle East, or Europe, but all over the US—shockingly locally too. Not only where we live today, but not far from where I used to live in LA too. The Pico-Robertson area is a very Jewish neighborhood and was just a few miles from my condo in my single days. I had tears in my eyes as I read that Adas Torah synagogue was attacked by Pro-Palestinian protesters from Trojans for Palestine, who were from my alma mater, USC. I understand that there was a real estate for sale in Israel meeting being held at the temple. A Pro-Palestinian Instagram post calling for protests outside the synagogue during Sunday’s real estate event declared: “OUR LAND IS NOT FOR SALE!” Of course, Pro-Israel people showed up too. Violence should not be the way protesters vent their opinions.

It seems impossible, but it is true. Lately, life feels like an alternate reality. If only we could wake up from this nightmare. As Jews, when we look around us, we see the attacks of Jews on the streets causing some to hide their Jewish identity by the clothes they wear, or watch another temple be assaulted. The institutions paid to protect us, like all citizens, don’t protect Jews. Why?

The Israel-Hamas War

There was a planned, well-funded attack on mostly Israelis on October 7th, although there were unlucky others who were killed as well. This was not the mere horrors of a military operation; it was led by rampant EVIL. Gangs raping women in front of their husbands before killing them, murdering children in front of their parents, burning families alive, babies with 50 bullets in their corpses, this is inhuman. They purposely recorded their actions from their body cameras and proudly called their parents to brag about their atrocities.  It was EVIL ON THE FLY, no time to build the ovens yet. Will a new chapter be built? Was this the appetizer? Is there another poisonous meal to be served? On Jews everywhere? When will the hostages finally come home? Allow those murdered to rest in Peace? Let the families grieve in privacy or celebrate the return of their loved ones?

Since October 7th, over 19,000 rockets have been launched against Israel. Right after October 7th, 200,000 Israelis were displaced internally in Israel, and now, nine months later, 60,000 Israelis are still displaced. With what’s going on in the north, these numbers will probably expand again. There are 1.8 million Gazans displaced and trying to find safe havens moving repeatedly, it’s unfathomable, cruel, and of course, the death and injuries on both sides didn’t have to be. Violence only begets more violence. When will the Israel-Hamas war end? But will the Israel-Hezbollah War officially begin?

“Since October 8, Hezbollah has fired more than 5,000 rockets, anti-tank missiles, and explosive UAVs at Israeli civilian and military targets.” What will happen in the north of Israel? Will the war shift toward eliminating Hezbollah? Daily, more Hezbollah rockets are fired. Today so far, another 25. In response, Israel has struck at least 4,500 Hezbollah targets in both Lebanon and Syria, killing more than 300 Hezbollah terrorists. I’m not a military expert, but once again, what is considered a war?

Netanyahu’s decisions led to Israel portrayed as the World’s pariah. It ought to give pause to folks as to what can happen if you put a maniacal narcissist, with “accusations of corruption and allegations this year that a contentious overhaul of the country’s judiciary was a poorly disguised power grab,” who only cares about staying in power. Sound familiar? We see what can happen when someone like that is in charge. Now people believe he wants the war(s) to proceed so he stays in power. US citizens beware.

120 Hostages dangle in the void of defense. How many are already dead? How many wish they were dead, given the sickening rapes of the women?

Hamas uses human shields. Martyrdom is honored. Do the families of all those Gazan children and women lost, believe in Hamas’ tactics? Or does Hamas hold all their people as hostages, afraid to speak up lest they become another victim? Palestinian lives in Gaza will probably be improved if Israel accomplishes its goal. However, none of this is to say that it’s not horrific, the fact that so many children have also been killed. As far as women, we don’t really know how many killed have also been members of Hamas.

Israeli Hostages make even better fodder to achieve Hamas’ goals. Friendly Fire killing hostages? Another cruel twist.

Israel is told to negotiate with Hamas, a terrorist organization, the elected government of the Gazan citizens. How many were coerced to vote for Hamas? We’ll never know. We’ve seen employees of UNWRA holding hostages, a dozen UNWRA employees participated in October 7th, Palestinians who worked in Israel alongside Israelis for higher pay than if they worked in the West Bank, who were part of the terrorists killing on October 7th. Who can be trusted? Does anyone believe Hamas will follow any requirements written on paper?

Most of the university protestors originally arrested and charged have had their charges dropped. The siege of university buildings and antisemitism are executed with impunity. Wearing kaffiyehs and covering security cameras worked. This gives the perpetrators an invitation to continue and proceed as desired.

Finally, it’s estimated that Hezbollah has 100,000-150,000 missiles and 100,000 combatants more than double the fighters that Hamas had. Would Iron Dome Israel’s longtime hero to stop the missiles, be overwhelmed? Iron Dome also doesn’t work on drones, has the IDF been sleeping again? As I said, it’s been a rough few weeks.

May You Live in Peace, שלום and سلام

About the Author
Penny S. Tee is a vodcaster, speaker, author, and educator. She interviews Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, together forging a better future. Why? Read her book, “BLASTED from COMPLACENCY: A Journey from Terror to Transformation in Israel,” which describes her 2014 family vacation in Israel—daily touring sacred places, and cowering in bomb shelters at night. The missiles blew up her comfortable world—today she devotes her life to Peace.
Related Topics
Related Posts