Having celebrated seventy five years of Independence this past May, many felt Israel was heading in a direction of peace. Neighboring countries joined in friendship with the signing of the historic Abrahamic Accords (while recognizing Israel’s right to exist), Saudi Arabia was inching closer to partnering in the accords while Egypt and Jordan remain steadfast friends. Our borders with Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank (referred to by many as Judea and Samaria) were complicated but seemed to be improving. Twenty thousand Gazans entered Israel daily for work opportunities, and received health care benefits. Israel was in talks with Hamas leadership regarding increasing the amount of work permits to thirty thousand a day. Israeli leadership was confident about the future, the whispers/intelligence that an attack was imminent were disregarded.
October 7th was a tipping point for Israel and World Jewry.
“The peace” (with Gaza) it seems was a fog, lulling us into a false sense of security. Some Gazan workers were spies for Hamas leadership, helping to carry out the massacre. A hard lesson for both sides. Every time the Palestinian people wage war instead of collaboration they end up in worse shape. More often than not, “peace” meant, buying time so our frenemies could rearm, train, build tunnels. This current battle, is simply to disrupt the process of peace in the region.
Important note: We have always extended our hand in peace. Hamas backed by Iran and some Palestinians would rather die than accept us as neighbors. Why can’t we establish peace with the Palestinians? Because Palestinian leadership refuses to recognize “our right to exist”.
Jewish Americans cleverly thought assimilation and success would somehow spare them from Anti Semitism. US societal decay had been so “gradual” that random acts of violence against Jews were often not considered hate crimes. Why is it common to have armed guards at Jewish institutions? Some Yarmulke wearing folk are sporting baseball caps, others are considering removing Mezuzahs from their doors, students are being harassed in schools, others beaten in the streets, someone was killed attending a pro Israeli rally.
The Jewish world “seems” to have changed overnight. Many American Jews are disconnected from Israel, scratching their heads over why they are being targeted. The Pro Palestinian movement created a global Jewish issue, calling into question Jewish existence! We are waking up, scared, unsure of who our friends are. There is confusion, we have lost our bearings. We can’t ignore it any longer.
Israel is in grief, but does not have the luxury to lose her bearings. However intense the shock and horror, Israel has no choice but to unify, call to arms and fight. Terrorist attacks/war is something unfortunately we have gotten used to. We have suffered decades of terrorist activities, most are dealt with and we continue. When does an attack provoke our country to go to war? The scale. Hamas wanted to provoke us into war. Their barbaric massacre was something Israel could not tolerate.
War is terrifying and overwhelming. My husband and I personally know hundreds of Israeli soldiers. Many are our friend’s kids, trades who worked/work on our home, Camp Ramah Alum (a movement dear to our hearts), the local grocer… We pray for these brave souls, my heroes, who “rise to the occasion” when all looks bleak. These souls help give me a reason to get up in the morning, putting one foot in front of the other.
Knowledge is power.
One hero in particular I’d like to mention is Noa Tishby. She is an incredibly beautiful Israeli women, articulate spokesperson, actor, producer, author, influencer and Israeli advocate. She is bringing “the situation” into the spotlight. American Jews and people who care about free Western democratic principles, should not sit idly by. She is calling on the world, specifically the US to wake up, ringing the alarm bell, to take action, a call to arms! Noa gave a speech at the FIDF (Friends of the IDF) event shortly after the massacre. “We warned you and we are devastated to have been proven right”. Click on link to hear her mesmerizing speech. https://youtu.be/7dZRvg13rp8?si=7syYmd0eXGLZWPIe
History will prove one of us right. That is unless history is rewritten, which is happening today.
Many in the Diaspora, (outside of Israel), have fallen into the trap of defending but not knowing or understanding enough about Israel… If you’d like to discuss the situation (not easy today) in a more informed way, I highly recommend buying several copies of Noa’s book, keep one then give to your kids and friends. Israel, A simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth. https://a.co/d/35WY0p2
A group of soldiers worthy of mention are the Israeli women’s tank corp, (an experimental program). Twenty brave young women signed up for the Paran brigade and were stationed in Nitzana, a base along the Egyptian border. They received word from their commander that a terrible terrorist attack was happening North near Gaza.
These female soldiers jumped into a tank and began driving. They had never fought in battle but figured out how to fire and reload as they drove. They were joined by two other tanks of women. One tank they stationed by the breach in the security fence (where the terrorists entered from Gaza) to defend the Israeli citizens and to deny further access. The other tanks drove on to defend kibbutz Holit. These soldiers saved countless lives, preventing additional massacres in the area. The recruitment of women into the tank corp is now protocol. There are countless stories of heroism from that day. These women made history!
Who are your heroes?
For Hebrew speakers, the title of this piece will amuse you. Ayshet Chayal is a prayer said in many households on Friday night glorifying the women in the home. Ayshet Chayal could also be understood as woman soldier. I recently watched the film Golda, it’s eerie how much is parallel to today. Golda Meir was my hero, her words prophetic. These heroic women are channeling Golda’s bravery, each deserving of the title Ayshet Chayal. Click the YouTube link at the top…