Laura Barkel

New year, same conflict

As the new year unfolds, the enduring conflict casting its shadow upon Israel serves as a stark reminder that our journey toward peace is an ongoing endeavour. In the face of these persistent challenges, we, as a Jewish community, must fortify our commitment to safeguarding the well-being and sovereignty of our homeland.

Amidst the optimism of fresh beginnings, it becomes paramount for us to stand firmly in defense of Israel. Our collective voice must echo with unwavering support, conveying to the world that the safety and security of our nation are non-negotiable principles. The echoes of history remind us that our commitment to Israel transcends time and circumstance.

Yet, as we navigate the complexities of the global landscape, we must not forget the individuals among us who remain entrenched in the pain of October 7th. Their lives, forever altered by the loss of loved ones, demand our empathy and understanding. The wounds they bear are a testament to the personal toll exacted by the ongoing struggle for our homeland.

In terms of the ongoing conflict, IDF data indicates a decrease in rocket launches at Israel, dropping from an average of 75 per day in early December to 14 per day between December 22 and 27, 2023. While this is a positive development for the new year, it’s crucial to acknowledge that rockets continue to target Israel at a rate of almost 100 per week. Contrary to some Western media portrayals, the narrative is more complex. The aftermath of the war crime on October 7th still lingers, with hostages held by Hamas, ongoing fighting, rockets penetrating Israeli territory, and a persistent threat to our security.

Hamas and its supporters seem impervious to reason, viewing ceasefires merely as opportunities to regroup, rearm, and resume attacks against the Jewish population. This stark goal, reiterated by Hamas over the years, underscores their unwavering intent to harm Jews and dismantle Israel.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks tells us that hope is something you work at, create, and build. All of us, even in these dark days, can create hope. We owe it to the soldiers fighting for us and for our country. We owe it to the hostages, and we owe it to those who have given their lives in this war.

In this new year, let us renew our dedication to fostering dialogue and understanding, not just on the geopolitical stage but within our hearts and communities. To support Israel is to uphold the collective spirit of a people who have faced adversity throughout history and emerged resilient.

As we articulate our unwavering stance, let the world hear not just political rhetoric but the vibrant voices of a community deeply connected to the land and legacy of Israel. Beyond the headlines, let our narrative underscore the human stories of resilience and hope that define our shared journey.

In the face of continued challenges, let our Jewish identity serve as a source of strength, binding us together in a shared commitment to a future where Israel flourishes in peace. Our call to action is not only for the geopolitical stability of our homeland but for the preservation of the lives and legacies of our people.

לשנה הבא בירושלים

About the Author
Welcome to my blog, where I invite you to join me on the unique journey of my life as a Jewish, Israeli young adult living and pursuing an education in the city of Toronto. In this diverse and dynamic metropolis, I find myself at the intersection of my Israeli roots and the rich culture of Toronto. Through this blog, I aim to share the experiences, challenges, and triumphs that come with balancing my identity as a Jewish individual while navigating the multicultural landscape of this Canadian city. From the bustling streets of Toronto to the academic halls of my school, each day brings new opportunities for personal growth. I'll be documenting the moments of connection, the celebrations of my heritage, and the lessons learned along the way. As a young Israeli adult, I hope to delve into the fusion of traditions, exploring how my Jewish identity shapes my perspectives and influences my interactions in this multicultural environment. From holiday celebrations to engaging in dialogues that bridge different cultures, I'll share the stories that highlight the beauty of diversity and unity.