The weekend’s events in Israel are beyond comprehension.
As I left Ben Gurion airport on Sunday, I felt mixed emotions: happiness, because being in London meant I could hug my kids — a joy taken away from so many over the weekend. At the same time, I felt guilt that I was leaving Israel at a time when the country needs our support — moral, physical, and financial.
Israel needs to know that Jews and non-Jews around the world bleed when Jews bleed. It needs to know that the young people at the party in the Negev Desert who were indiscriminately gunned down are our sons and daughters, that the grandma taken into Gaza and paraded on a golf buggy is our grandma, and that the brave young men and women tasked by the IDF to avenge more than 700 murdered and over 130 hostages are sons and daughters to us all. In the case of my niece and nephew, that should be taken literally.
The political and military inquest will and should happen. How could this take place? How did the intelligence not know? And why did it take the army so long (apparently) to respond? These are not questions we in London can answer. I am sure, in time, the Israeli people will demand this of their leaders.
So what can we do as we sit here in London, New York, or anywhere else? To me, it’s clear: we must give our unstinting and total support to whatever action Israel determines in its absolute discretion as an appropriate response to this atrocity.
Imagine for a moment that one bright sunny morning, dozens of armed men landed on the Welsh or Floridian coast and murdered hundreds of our countrymen and women in cold blood, over 260 of them attending a nature party in the desert. Imagine them taking your brother or sister and 130 other people hostage, parading them on social media whether dead or alive! Imagine celebrating and dancing in the streets around the bodies of dead soldiers and civilians. What would an English or American “proportional response” to this be?
The answer is: I, myself, do not know and I am relieved I am not the one making that decision. What I do know is that whatever Israel decides is good with me. It is for Israel to decide how to protect itself against this barbarism and, however difficult the next few weeks may be, I urge Britain, the US and their allies, as well as Jewish communities worldwide to stand full square behind whatever action Israel takes. No nuance. No half measures. Loud, proud, and uncompromising.
We have witnessed evil this weekend the likes of which the Jewish people have not experienced since the fall of the Nazis. Let us remember that always and stand full square behind the land and people who are our brothers and sisters and who, now more than ever before, need our full and unequivocal support.