Gabriel Strenger

Drawing a Line: No Dialogue with Hamas Supporters

The image of Shani Louk’s contorted, naked body, her tormentors sitting on her abused corpse, while a Palestinian crowd in the streets of Gaza cheers in joyous ecstasy, has haunted me since October 7th. The picture layed before me, as I recorded a lament during the Gaza war (,

and it floated before my eyes again today as I drove into the Judean hills to attend the burial of Shani’s earthly remains.

Shani’s parents, Nissim and Ricarda Louk, as well as other family members who have been going through hell for 7 months, spoke with a dignity I could hardly comprehend. Not a word of hatred, not a call for revenge, only words of pain and longing. They also found words of thanks and appreciation for the young Israeli soldiers who risked their lives in a heroic action in Gaza to retrieve Shani’s dead body.

Standing before his murdered daughter’s coffin, Nissim Louk expressed much of what has weighed on my heart since October 7th: Regret for having been naive and underestimating the malice of the Palestinian regime in Gaza. Guilt towards the young generation of Israel that out of a desire for peace but also out of smugness, we allowed our enemies to dig combat tunnels and hoard weapons. And determination to recognize evil in the future and fight it in time.

Time and again, the Palestinians miss no opportunity to elect radical and corrupt regimes and let them determine their fate. Yet no one treats the Palestinians in Gaza more cruelly than the Palestinian Hamas. They kill homosexuals, shoot opponents in their own ranks, and kill raped women because they damage family honor. How absurd that the progressive left in the West has chosen to support this terrorist organization, which tramples on all humanist ideals.

According to all current opinion polls in Gaza and the West Bank, the majority of Palestinians continue to support Hamas. In doing so, they show that they hate the Jewish people more than they love their own children. Time and again, the Palestinian people prove that, at least in the foreseeable future, they won’t neither be capable nor willing to build their own democratic state and live in peace alongside Israel.

For years I have advocated for interreligious and intercultural dialogue. But this can no longer happen at any price. Those who rape our daughters, mutilate and burn our babies are Nazis. There is no dialogue with Nazis. Muslims who support Hamas and hand out sweets when Jews are slaughtered are not dialogue partners. Their deluded Western supporters at American universities and on the streets of Europe, who have no knowledge or understanding of the Middle East conflict and its history, chanting the genocidal slogan “from the river to the sea,” are not dialogue partners.

We will continue the interreligious dialogue, but only with those who clearly affirm Israel’s right to exist and unequivocally condemn any terror against the Jewish state. For Israel – the only, tiny Jewish state on Earth – is the only democratic bulwark amid a sea of Arab and Muslim corrupt regimes.

About the Author
Gabriel Strenger (*1965), born and educated in Switzerland, lives with his family in Israel. He studied at various Talmud academies, graduated in Clinical Psychology (M.A., 1993) and Jewish Philosophy (B.A., 1990) at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He graduated in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the Psychoanalytic Institute in Jerusalem (1999) and is a licensed Hypnosis (1997) and EMDR (2015) practitioner. He is a senior clinical psychologist with a private practice and teaches Psychotherapy in various institutes. Gabriel is a Jewish meditation teacher and lecturer on Hassidism and Jewish spirituality – in Israel, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. He teaches and participates regularly in interreligious encounters in Israel and Germany. Over the last 30 years he has appeared as a spiritual guide and cantor/singer in communities in Synagogues in Israel and Europe and participated in music events of various kinds. Gabriel entertains his own YouTube channel (named “Jewish spirituals”), and has published two CDs with Jewish-Spiritual music. His website contains a great number of his lectures, papers and recordings:
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