Heddi Keil

My Soul’s Reaction to Supporters of Hamas

It used to be when I lived in Norman, Oklahoma, that the sound of a siren meant that a tornado had been seen nearby and it was time to hide in a protected space. When I hear the sound of a siren today in Raanana, Israel, I know it means that a rocket is being shot my way and it is also time to hide – this time in my apartment building’s stairwell, or in a protected room downstairs if I can get to it in time.

But when the rampaging terrorists of Hamas invaded Israel, in the early morning of October 7th, there really was no place to hide – whether you were attending the open air music festival next to a kibbutz, or in the near-by kibbutzim themselves. The safe rooms there are designed to protect from rockets, not from monsters masquerading as men who have invaded your home. There are no locks on the safe room doors.

I was shocked by the subsequent ISIS-like barbarity, and by the people who have extolled them. And this is the effect it has had on me:

Supporters of Hamas, you have just crossed a red line in my soul. And I am as sad about that as I am about the whole terrible situation that has happened here in Israel.

I have always been a kind and empathetic person, but there are limits! It used to be when Israel was forced to retaliate against the rockets of Hamas, and knock down buildings in Gaza, I felt sorry for its civilian population – the women, the children. But no more! GIVE US BACK THE HOSTAGES, AND WE WILL GIVE YOU BACK YOUR WATER!

When I see the women from Gaza lamenting after an aerial bombardment of Hamas hideouts, I think to myself – where were you when your husbands, fathers, brothers and sons spoke of their hate for the Jews and Israel? And of what they would do to the Jews when given a chance?

Do you support their barbarous attack? Did you celebrate as people from Israel were dragged in your streets?

And then there are the Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon. They have been kept apart from the rest of the Lebanese population, and not allowed to integrate in Lebanon. It’s not fair, of course. I used to feel sorry for them. But when I see videos of these same ‘refugees’ celebrating the carnage in Israel, my empathy evaporates.

And anyone who rallies now in support of the Palestinians, as has been done in New York City and Toronto, London, Harvard and elsewhere, supports the decapitating and burning of babies. What sort of people are these?

If I were a decent person who feels that the Palestinians deserve a homeland of their own, I would at the moment distance myself from them – making it clear that I may support their cause, but not the way this desire has been manifested.

And let’s be clear – the ultimate goal of Hamas is not a separate homeland for the Palestinian people, but the decimation and destruction of Israel and the Jews.

I do not feel resentment towards the Arab population of Israel – only those who support what has transpired. If the Arabs within Israel can live peacefully amongst us, that’s great. I would imagine the decent ones are ashamed of what some of their Palestinian brethren have done. I sure hope so.

Israel is fighting against those who support an evil ideology – militant Islamism, and who manifest this ideology in the most vicious way. The entire world should cheer on Israel as it roots out Hamas, in the same way it condemned ISIS.

This whole situation will boomerang against the Palestinians of Gaza. Will the world open their arms to would-be immigrants from there? Might they build nests of hate within the receiving societies?

But on top of my horror at what has transpired, I hate how this vicious attack by Hamas has hardened my heart. There is a new Heddi on the scene and I’m not sure I like her.

About the Author
Canadian born Heddi Keil has lived in Israel since 1999 and would like to share both the humour and the poignancy of living here, as well as mystical experiences. Heddi has a degree in psychology, and is an English editor and teacher.
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