Avi Lewis

If you were in our shoes, what would you do?

You’ve spent the last month lecturing us about what we shouldn’t do

So what do you suggest we should do?

What would you do if 1,400 of your fellow citizens were killed in a mass terror attack?

What if they were assaulted in their homes and the attackers live-streamed it to Facebook?

What if respectable people around the world rationalized these attacks, claiming that they ‘didn’t happen in a vacuum’?

What would you do if your young girls were taken captive?

What if people tore down their posters because they consider it ‘lies and propaganda’?

What would you do if the remains of an entire family were found in their bedroom?

What if people around the world dismissed this as victim virtue signaling?

What would you do if a young woman was handcuffed and paraded down the street like a trophy, to the cries of a celebratory, gloating mob?

What if this behaviour was praised by Ivy League Universities, progressives and TikTok influencers as ‘legitimate resistance’?

What would you do if young partygoers were hunted down at a music festival and the footage posted to Telegram by the perpetrators?

What if you were warned in advance not to retaliate decisively or use ‘disproportionate’ force against the attackers?

What would you do if a grandmother was taken hostage and her kidnappers used her phone to call her family to inflict additional pain?

What if students across the world chanted that they want to ‘globalize’ these kinds of actions?

What would you do if entire communities were wiped out?

What if their deaths were met mostly by silence by those currently condemning you?

What would you do if you bore witness to the way victims were tied together with barbed wire?

What if you were told by academics and intellectuals that this is what decolonization and restorative justice looks like?

What would you do if the people you’re fighting aren’t interested in peace, money or security – they just want to replace you and see you disappear?

What if their leaders went live on TV and proudly announced they would repeat what they did again and again if they could?

What if all attempts to hold out an olive branch and to appease them over the last 75 years were rebuffed and met with violence?

What if the world accused you of being the main cause of this bloodshed?

What would you do if your enemy didn’t ‘play by the rules’?

What if they embedded themselves in schools, hospitals and mosques – not by accident, but as a systematic battlefield strategy?

What if they aggressively prevented civilians from leaving the combat zone?

What if they continued to launch rockets at your major cities from within their major cities?

What if they demanded that in exchange for your hostages, you need to empty out your jails – filled with terrorists who will continue to endanger lives?

What if the masterminds behind the attacks were hiding in a bunker beneath a hospital where 50,000+ civilians had camped out?

What would you do if there was no way to fight this war without some of their civilians being killed?

What if some of those ‘innocent civilians’ also took part in the atrocities against you?

What if some of those civilians support the ideology of violence?

What if some of those civilians teach their children to hate you?

What if there was no easy way of verifying their casualty numbers?

What if there was no easy way of checking who amongst them was a combatant and who a civilian – and how fluid that distinction is?

What if there was no easy way of determining who amongst them was killed by their own – misfired rockets, human shields, faulty weaponry?

What if the only reason your casualty rate is lower is because you invested in building Iron Domes instead of attack tunnels?

What if they have an interest to prop up their own casualty numbers because they gain legitimacy and feed off of the sympathy of well intentioned people?

What if the media accepted their statistics and talking points without performing due diligence?

What if the media displayed a double standard, specifically when it came it you?

What would you do if Human Rights Organizations fretted over the incarceration conditions of militants with blood on their hands, while ignoring 240 of your hostages – elderly, women and children snatched from their homes?

What if they lectured you over and over again about how you’re on the ‘wrong side of history’?

What if they called for a premature ceasefire even though you haven’t completed your mission yet or freed your captives?

What if you were accused of genocide – despite taking every precaution to avoid civilian casualties in the face of a cynical enemy that sees each death as a PR win?

What if those same critical voices remained silent during other, far more fatal conflicts?

What if they denied your pain and claimed that you’re undeserving of sympathy?

What if your father was in reserve duty, your school shut and you weren’t allowed to travel or congregate because of the dangers involved?

What if you were plucked out of your life and routine, sent to defend your country, not having seen your wife and kids in over a month?

What would you do if it was unsafe for you to travel around the world because of your identity?

What if an elderly member of your community was beaten to death on the streets of California by ‘peaceful protestors’?

What if an enraged mob stormed through an airport terminal and onto the tarmac because a rumor spread that a plane had landed from your country?

What if people took to the streets to celebrate when you were attacked – in New York, Birmingham and Sydney?

What if so many around the world want to see a world without you in it?

What if the media played a key role in inciting this hatred?

What would you do if your grandparents were Holocaust survivors and you grew up on the mantra of ‘Never Again’?

What if you heard their stories, about how they hid in the attic or under the floorboards and held their breath?

What if you now heard those same stories repeated – in 2023?

What if you had the ability to defend yourself?

Would you?

What would you do?

About the Author
Avi was formerly a news writer at the Times of Israel. Originally from Australia, he served in the IDF and today works in Israel's thriving Hi Tech sector in Tel Aviv. He lives near Modi'in with wife and 3 kids
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