Minda Wolff Garr

I Hope You Will Listen, Sometimes, Because I Will Not Be Silent

Before October 7th I was an infrequent visitor to Facebook. It was too easy to find myself getting caught up in the never-ending possibilities of reconnecting with old friends and relatives, interesting posts and sometimes, just wasting time. I rarely “friended” people, but was willing to be “friended” by anyone with whom I had some previous connection. My circle is a modest one. And then came October 7th and I was overcome with feelings of rage, existential fear, and unbearable grief. As with so many here, I could not tear myself away from the news, I watched video footage that overwhelmed all of my senses, I read non-stop op-ed pieces from here and around the world, and moved back and forth between the numbness of shock and feelings that were more than I could handle.

Over five months later, we are still engaged in a war that nobody wanted. The Western world has moved on from words of support to words of condemnation. I can barely watch the news anymore – the on-going attempts at analyzing and endless commenting on our unbearable situation. The willingness of our supposed Western allies to believe any lies spouted by Hamas, and unwilling, as in so many previous conflagrations, to simply let us finish this war. The pressure of these same supposed allies to just stop it – and then, what? Commit national suicide? Revisit the story of Masada? Nor can I listen any longer to members of our disconnected, sectorial, self-serving, inept government. I struggle between feelings of despair and absolute awe of the many heroes in this country – both in and out of uniform. I honor each of the soldiers who have selflessly participated in the defense of our country, and the countless numbers of amazing people who proudly share with me the identity of being an Israeli.

Over five months ago, I felt compelled to post on Facebook. From an occasional visitor I transformed into a compulsive poster. I felt a heavy obligation to get the truth out there. To bear witness to the horror that had happened here, and to uncover the evil of this entity called Hamas, with its endless propaganda and undeserved legitimacy on the stage of the Western world. I posted my own thoughts and feelings, as well as articles and videos that I felt needed to be shared.  At first I had a sense that a lot of people were checking in on what I wrote – both people with a connection to Israel and those who have very little knowledge of the Middle East.  Some thanked me for my perspective, giving me a clue as to who was paying attention.

But time has passed. What is happening here is very much my story, as it is the story of all of my friends, neighbors and family members. But for those not connected to this little country – I’m guessing it is all getting pretty tiresome. So much gloom and doom. So many negative feelings. Many know me as a somewhat spiritual person, whose focus is primarily on gratitude and positivity. I am still that person. I spend a few minutes daily focusing on the many things I am grateful for. And I look for the positive moments with my family and in the many amazing stories of our every-day heroes that inspire me. But I am also part of a much bigger story – the survival of the Jewish people and of Israel – our only truly safe place in the world.

So if you are one of the people who has occasionally – or frequently – read a post of mine, I am truly sorry if I’ve become tiresome for you. I know how easy it is to skip over those posts we deem as irrelevant. I can’t look at much of anything that is disconnected from my reality right now either. And who even understands who the logarithms of Facebook choose to show on our feeds. But I want you to know that I am going to keep on posting. I want people to know the truth about the imperfect and struggling country I live in. I want people to take a moment and really think about the difference between imperfection and evil. I want people to stop for a moment and ask themselves what it is that makes people sympathize with and enable perpetual victims, and to despise Israel and the Jewish people who have chosen to survive, create, and help make the world a better place. And I want people to educate themselves about the Middle East – and to recognize how very different it is from truly Western countries. Other than Israel, this is not a democratic part of the world – no matter the wishful thinking of Western governments. There is no free speech, no free press, no women’s rights, no LGBTQ rights, other than here in Israel.  We live in a very hostile neighborhood, where hatred and propaganda towards us is the norm. So I am going to keep posting, keep using my voice. I hope you will listen, sometimes, because I will not be silent.

About the Author
Born in Chicago, Minda Wolff Garr participated in the Hebrew University semester abroad program in 1967-68, remaining in Israel and completing a degree in Social Work at Hebrew U. After marriage, she had a six year hiatus in the US, and returned to Israel in 1977. She raised four amazing children here, and has eight grandchildren - the oldest now in the IDF - the third generation to serve. She is a retired faculty member of the Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, where she still teaches a course yearly, and has a small practice in psychotherapy.
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