I am exhausted.
I am tired of seeing the world treat Jewish people like we aren’t human beings. I am tired of seeing everyone come up with excuses and justifying what happened to us. I am sick and tired of seeing people who have no genuine interest in the conflict call for my extermination just because it’s trendy.
After the first siren on October 7th, when we started to hear the news and see the extent of the brutal acts of terrorism that were perpetrated against us, I had the briefest moment where I felt relieved. I (stupidly) thought that the world would FINALLY understand the evil we have been going up against. I thought that there was absolutely no way the world could ignore what happened to us and that they would definitely be on our side. That feeling of relief vanished immediately.
The day after the biggest massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust, before Israel even had a chance to start responding, people were celebrating. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world took to the streets to celebrate the murder of Jews. Celebrating and glorifying Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization. We watched as the world went out and exposed its true colors. We thought that we had seen the face of pure evil after witnessing what Hamas did to us on October 7th. The reality is that the faces of pure evil are the ones of educated people who live very comfortably in Western society. People who justify, glorify, and celebrate the murder of Jews.
It is terrifying to see people gathering in support of Hamas, openly and proudly calling for the destruction of the only Jewish state and the annihilation of all its people. Watching people happily chanting things like “Gas the Jews”, “Intifada” and parroting known slogans of a terrorist organization like “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” To all the people chanting, “From the river to the sea…” SAVE YOUR BREATH! I hate to break it to you, we are not going anywhere, no matter how much you want us to.
I am genuinely baffled by my generation. As a 19-year-old Jewish woman, the people who pose the biggest threat to me are my peers. The fact that, for some reason, my generation thinks that there are no consequences for their actions is entirely mind-boggling. Kids my age are becoming outraged when they get exposed or “doxxed” for their hateful actions and antisemitic behavior, as if consequences don’t exist. My generation has grown up in a system that has allowed them to openly hate Israel and the Jewish people because that is the message they are getting in school. It’s what they see on social media and in the news. Growing up, they are taught that Israel is the oppressor. The message that they are getting is that every single problem in their society is the Jew’s fault. The economic crisis is because the Jews have all the money that Jews control the media and Hollywood, along with other classic antisemitic tropes. Those who are the loudest in supporting terrorism were either not born yet or were infants on 9/11 and have no understanding of what terrorism really looks like. No one was shocked when Osama Bin Laden was trending on TikTok. It’s no real surprise when we look at the protests and see that most of the people there are in this age group. It’s not shocking to anyone that the leading group of people tearing down hostage posters are kids between the ages of 18-24. They are ignorantly reciting the antisemitic narrative they have learned while using buzzwords that they don’t know the meaning of, spreading lies and misinformation so confidently that even I was starting to believe them. Openly saying things like, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” is ridiculous. One man’s terrorist is another man’s terrorist. If you honestly think that they will spare you because you are parroting their slogans, using their buzzwords, and calling them freedom fighters or a resistance group instead of terrorists, then you are wrong. They are coming for you too.
Throughout our whole existence as Jews, there have been countless groups of people who have tried to exterminate us. We got pretty good at taking the threats against us seriously. When people say to us that they are going to kill us, we believe them. So, it’s safe to assume that when we say the West is next, we know that you need to take these threats seriously. We are already seeing the effects of these threats starting. We are witnessing Jewish homes and businesses marked with Stars of David, Jewish graveyards being vandalized, Jewish homes being broken into, and countless stories about the violence and even murder towards Jews around the world who are just trying to go about their daily lives. If anti-Zionism isn’t antisemitism, then why are Jews all over the world being victimized? If it was actually only about Israel, then there is no excuse for the violence that is being threatened and acted on towards the Jews all over the world. But it isn’t genuinely only about Israel, is it? All over the world, people are using Israel as an excuse to openly get away with hating Jews.
But it’s not just Jews that are being threatened. As safe as you think you are, you’re mistaken. We already see posters at the protests that say things like “The world will be under the laws of Islam,” or “America is next,” etc. If you value your rights as a free person, you should probably stop glorifying and praising the people who, when given the chance, will take them away from you so quickly that your head will spin.
I remember growing up being taught the power of words. How important it is to make sure that the things that I am saying not only have a truthful basis but that they are also not harming anyone. This topic specifically came up when I learned about curse words. I remember my mom telling me not to use bad words, but I always had difficulty understanding how, one day, a word is just a word, and the next, it is a “bad” word that can hurt someone. That being said, the word Zionist is not a bad word. I am constantly seeing the word “Zionist” commented on social media posts that are actively supporting the Jewish people and Israel, as if it is a bad word, and it honestly cracks me up. Using a word that describes what we are proudly and openly will definitely not hurt us. As much as you want to weaponize and shove the word down our throats, it doesn’t faze us. It is the equivalent of me yelling at a plant, “You’re a plant.” It’s not going to do anything. It’s a waste of time and energy.
Now, I have a genuine question. Why is my life as a human being viewed as less because I am a Jew? We are consistently seeing around the world that Jewish lives don’t matter, and I honestly want to know why. Why am I, as a Jewish person, not worth it to society? In a society that is so aware of everybody’s need to be protected, where everyone has safe spaces and trigger words, and we always believe the victim. It is inherently clear that this only applies to people who are not Jewish. Believing all women really means believing all women as long as they’re not Jewish women. Right?
This past month has made it clear to every single Jew that they are not valued in today’s “woke” society. This past month has proved that the world sees Jews as second-class citizens who don’t count and that there is no such thing as a Jewish victim because Jews don’t have the right to be victims.
Like I said, I’m exhausted.
I’m exhausted by this world that thinks of me as less of a human being because of the ethno-religious nation I was born into.
I’m exhausted by the hypocrisy of our society that creates safe spaces for everybody except the Jewish people.
I am tired of people telling us to go back to where we came from because no matter how much they want to deny it, we are back where we came from.
I’m tired of seeing people call for a ceasefire without also calling for the release of our hostages.
I’m exhausted from mourning the lives of all innocent people, and I am even more outraged that no one is mourning the loss of our innocent with us.
I’m tired of people telling Jews what is and isn’t antisemitism. It’s like we don’t even count enough to be able to define the hate that we are receiving, and it’s the people who hate us that are the ones who get to define what that hate looks like.
I’m tired of the idea that Jews are worth less than everyone else, regardless of how much we have contributed to the world.
I am exhausted by the fact that no matter how many times we scream into the void that “Jews are people too,” nobody cares enough to listen.
We say “Never Again” constantly, The world promised us. However, the same world that made that promise is breaking it in front of our eyes, which is completely unacceptable.
But, no matter how exhausted and tired I am of this world, I refuse to let it get to me. I am a fighter, I am strong, and I will not allow terrorists and terrorist sympathizers to defeat me. I am not going to hide my Jewish identity and let the world win in its fight to convince me that I don’t count and that I am less worthy as a human being. I am proud to be a Jew, and there is not a single thing that will change that.
The Jewish people matter. We’re not going anywhere. No matter how many times you tell us that you hate us, we will not be bullied. We fight for our survival and this time is no different.
עם ישראל חי וקיים לנצח
The nation of Israel is alive and will live on forever.
And there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it.
You’re an average 19-year-old Jewish girl who just wants to live her life in peace.