Meira E. Schneider-Atik
marching to the beat of my own drummer

Humans, NOT Pawns

To all Western leaders (and their constituents),

You are pawns and you’re being played.  

A pawn is an object used to achieve a certain objective. Sometimes it’s to win a game like chess (a pawn is a specific playing piece in that game). Sometimes it’s to accomplish something. That something can either be good or bad. 

In this case, you’re just pawns in a very sick and twisted game that Hamas and its allies are playing to win and maintain control. 

We Jews have always taught that human beings are created in the image of G-d. It’s right there in the first chapter of Chumash Bereishit/Book of Genesis. And our teachings have always focused on humanity and the inherent dignity that goes with it. Part of why we’re still around after 2000 years of exile, discrimination, persecution, torture, and murder is that we do everything we can to assert our humanity and human dignity. One of the things we do towards that is to care about anyone taken captive and do what we can to rescue captives. 

On October 7th, 2023, over 200 of our people were taken hostage by Hamas. This in addition to the atrocities that they committed such as rape and murder. They didn’t see us as human beings but rather as pawns that they could use in their twisted game. As it was, they never saw even their own people as anything other than pawns. Hamas was elected in 2006 and instead of building Gaza up into a beautiful, vibrant, and productive country, they used every resource they could get to build rockets and tunnels and other things for terror. And they used their own people as human shields. 

While they were doing all of this, they played you. They used their own propaganda to play on your caring for human beings and they used their own human shields to draw sympathy. And while there are people, including political leaders and celebrities, who are using their brains and who are NOT playing along and who are taking a real stand for humanity, there are too many leaders and others who are just allowing themselves to be pawns in Hamas’ game. 

Even if you don’t see us Jews as human beings who deserve human dignity, you should be seeing your own people as human beings who deserve human dignity. You should be thinking that if Hamas raped or kidnapped or murdered any of your own, you would go after them HARD. Would you try to negotiate? I’m sure some of you would. But the problem is that you would be negotiating with an enemy that doesn’t see you or your people as human beings. That means that you’re not starting off on level ground which in turn means that negotiations are not likely to get you anything good. And even if the negotiations got your people back, it would come at a heavy price. 

The hostages of October 7th are part of my family. They’re humans, not pawns, and they deserve to be returned safely. They do not deserve to be used as pawns in anyone’s game, let alone be tortured or starved or raped. 

You know what else? You’re also humans, not pawns. You don’t deserve to be used as pawns in Hamas’ twisted game. But you need to know that they don’t see you as anything other than pawns. If they came after us, they can come after you too. And if you keep playing their game, they will come after you. What will you do when they’re holding your children hostage?

Instead of playing along and allowing yourselves to be pawns, learn the real history and culture of the region. Visit Israel itself and see the so-called “apartheid” for yourself. Learn about the UN partition plan and the many offers of a two-state solution that never accomplished anything other than war and terrorism. Get the facts and don’t just rely on propaganda. 

I don’t want any more bloodshed. I just want my 134 family members back. But I don’t think Israel or anyone else should be negotiating with Hamas over this. Our people are humans, not pawns. 

Maybe, when you get the facts, you’ll realize that you yourselves are human beings and not pawns either. 


A Jew who wants real peace and humanity. 

About the Author
Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe stylist, personal shopper, and writer/blogger. Her goal is to help women feel good about themselves and to dispel the myths about tzniut and dressing well. Her heart is in Eretz Yisrael, but for now, she and her family live in Queens, NY.
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