I started writing this article several weeks ago, and every time I think I’m going to finish it, something new happens that leaves me in complete shock for a few days…. And when I’m about to start over, something new comes up. I can’t guarantee this will be the last time. I can only pray that it will be so.

A few years ago, a very good friend introduced me to the concept of GASLIGHTING. This term, originated in a theatre play that was later turned into a film, is today used to describe a kind of psychological manipulation in which one person seeks to make the other doubt their own reality, memory, perceptions. It is commonly used when the manipulator seeks to discredit and destroy the victim’s confidence in understanding the events happening in the relationship or in the world.

For almost 8 months I have had the feeling that I am living in that reality.

On October 7, 2023, the terrorist group HAMAS invaded, murdered, massacred, mutilated, raped, and kidnapped innocent people in Israel. They did not try to hide it or disguise it. They filmed it, posted it, celebrated it, and even promised to repeat the same actions as many times as necessary until Israel and the Jews in the world were destroyed.

Common sense dictates that in the face of an aggression of such magnitude, the attacked country would come out to defend its population and destroy the enemy. It’s what any other nation in the world would have done. This is what many of the so-called “civilized nations” have done throughout history. This is what the State of Israel did.

It would have also been expected that a sense of dignity, empathy, solidarity, and rejection of horror would emerge from the civilized nations themselves and their inhabitants.

However, what happened after October 7 was almost as horrific and frightening as the images we received on that day.

A ferocious, unexpected, and surprising wave of antisemitism and irrationality came to the surface around the world, in the streets, in academic, political and social cloisters. Jews around the world are called upon to be careful again about what we say, where and how, whispering our Jewishness, hiding our badges.

But the worst part, if there is one part worse than another, is having to explain again what should not need to be explained. As André Gide, Nobel Prize in Literature, said, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said, but since no one listens, everything has to be said again.”

In a movement that I still do not understand, the civilized world, either directly through its governments, or indirectly through the different institutions created by international law as a guarantee of equanimity and world peace, began to question the right of the State of Israel to its own defense. Its methods were questioned and they even dared to give advice from the comfort of living rooms located in the suburbs of distant countries on how it should defend its country and its people without attacking, taking extreme care not to disturb the order of the terrorists who continue to impart terror in daylight to the civilian population in Gaza, to the civilian population in Israel, and to the civilian population throughout the world.

We repeat ad nauseam with speeches, texts and images that Hamas uses its civilian population as a shield, that it hijacks the humanitarian aid it receives from Israel itself, and so many other descriptions.

It has been proved how hospitals, schools, ambulances, and transports of the so-called humanitarian organizations are used by terrorists shamelessly and in broad daylight to continue terror.

We continue to demand the release of the hostages, civilian elders, children, women, and men whom it seems that fewer and fewer are left alive.

And while all this is happening, we witness scenes that seem only possible in a completely unhinged world.

A young singer must change the lyrics of her song at an international festival so as not to offend those who freely and with impunity walk with their signs of hatred and death at the same festival.

This same young woman must be accompanied by an escort as if she were a head of state to guarantee her safety, while an unscrupulous and brainless journalist asks her if she is not aware that her presence causes disturbances.

And in her rehearsals, she not only practices her music, but is subject to baths of boos and contempt from her team so that her body and soul be able to cope with the same live actions while performing her show.

However, the October Rain (the original name of the song) became a raging Hurricane (the name admitted by the “neutral” Eurovision organizers).

One of the things I found gratifying and demoralizing at the same time was that while the juries were faithful to the biased mandate of hatred ordered by the upper echelons, ordinary people voted massively for Hurricane. Eden Golan, the representative of the State of Israel, won first place in the vote of the general public in 14 countries, including countries where their governments have openly expressed their antisemitism, such as Spain.

The problem is that the silent herd isn’t being thunderous enough to neutralize and stop the small hordes of hate. As Bill Maher, an American journalist, masterfully puts it, the numbers don’t add up. Unfortunately, as long as the press continues to show what it sells, which is not necessarily what is true, the voices of hatred and war will continue to be more powerful than those of love and peace.

A policeman in London detains a young man who was walking down the street with his kippah on his head because he considered that he was being “openly Jewish” and explained that since there was a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the area his presence was provocative. The young man was “invited” to be escorted out of the area being warned that if he refused, he would be arrested.

While the young soldiers of the Israeli army fight tirelessly, doing their best to maintain their life, and save ours, the “civilized nations” of the United Nations reiterated the proposal to give the status of State Member to the government that sustains and celebrates terror.

Not enough with all of the above, the International Criminal Court equates the leaders of terror, that is, the leaders of Hamas, with the representatives of the democratic government that is defending itself against such aggression. The request of the prosecutor of the Court for arrest warrants equally for the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of his cabinet, as well as those of the leaders of Hamas, is so outrageous and deranged that, if it were not serious it would be a terrible joke.

The list of scenes, situations, images and sounds is as terribly long as frightening.

Those who read world history know that systematic and organized hatred against the Jewish people is of ancient date. In each generation we read over and remember the events of the past, bringing them to the present, not as victims, but as a record to take all possible measures so that atrocities do not happen again. And yet they happen.

That feeling of deep and painful loneliness is now a reality.

The other reality is that, unlike in previous generations, today the Jewish people openly defend themselves. We don’t hide. We do not apologize nor ask for clemency.

And we don’t fall into the trap of Gaslighting.

Am Yisrael Chai. The People of Israel LIVE.

No matter what.

About the Author
Vicky Ludmer is a lawyer, life coach, NLP practitioner and Jewish educator. She lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a member of Fundacion Pardes, a local masorti congregation and external advisor to Hanoar HaTzioni.
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