We have reached an impasse.
It’s been 41 days since thousands of Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel and butchered, raped, and kidnapped thousands of men, women and children. We are still learning the true nature of those atrocities that were committed on the darkest day for Jews since the Holocaust. We are traumatized, and we are in tremendous pain. We are not okay.
We’ve spent the last month recovering and burying our dead (or what parts of them we could find and identify), tending to our injured, and attending vigils and funerals. We’ve said goodbye to our everyday lives as many of us have been called up for reserve duty, leaving spouses and children for the front lines. Hundreds of thousands of those who live in the north and south of the country have had to leave their homes and their businesses due to the relentless rocket fire and drone attacks from Hamas in Gaza and Hizballah in the South of Lebanon.
We had your support, momentarily. You expressed your shock, sorrow, sympathy, and solidarity. We felt seen, heard, and understood for the first time in a long time. We were the victims of something terrible, and you all agreed that we had the right and justification to defend ourselves and ensure that this would never happen again. Sadly, as we soon learned — and some of us had expected — your promises of NEVER AGAIN were empty platitudes.
With your support (not to be confused with permission), our defense forces moved to eliminate the scourge of Hamas for good. As a reminder, Hamas rules over Gaza as a brutal totalitarian regime. They rose to power in 2006, shortly after Israel unilaterally ceded the territory to the Palestinian Authority in 2005. They turned a thriving farming community into a wasteland and have terrorized the people of Gaza and the people of the south of Israel ever since.
It is unthinkable for most of you to consider a reality in which the occasional barrage of rockets targets your towns. That has been the status quo in Israel for over 15 years. Israeli children grow up with steel-reinforced concrete rooms in their homes and bomb shelters in every public building because few things are certain in life in Israel other than death, taxes, and rocket attacks.
Since 2005, we have endured over 30,000 rocket attacks that have killed scores, traumatized hundreds of thousands, and damaged millions of dollars in property. The only reason the body count isn’t higher is because of Israel’s investment in defending against those attacks. No other country is expected to accept this reality.
Despite our immense tolerance and grace towards our attackers, we, too, run out of patience and exercise our duty and obligation to protect our borders and our people from the terrorism we are subjected to. Since 2006, there have been half a dozen significant escalations between Israel and Hamas. Every time, like clockwork, rather than condemn Hamas as the terrorist aggressors who break every war convention imaginable, from perfidy to indiscriminate targeting of civilians to using human shields, the World rises against Israel, antisemitism rears its ugly head, and the dehumanization of Jews becomes a part of the day-to-day discourse.
This time, we thought you had FINALLY gotten the message. Despite the subtleties of a horde of blood-thirsty savages invading communities and peace parties on a holy day, beheading babies, and raping young girls and women to the point that their legs can’t be straightened for burial, we thought you’d figured out who the bad guys were. Still, apparently, you are too blinded by ignorance, stupidity, hatred, money, or peer pressure.
As we reel and recover from the atrocities against our people in our homeland, something very evident and frightening has been made clear: Despite the viciousness of our inhumane neighbors and despite the magnitude of the horrors we have been subjected to, we still feel safer in Israel than we do in any other country in the civilized World. Your support is as effervescent as it has always been, and it is only a matter of time before the routine double standards make the rounds.
The great civilized West has become a breeding ground for antisemitism. Our newscasts and social media feeds are oozing Jew-hatred. College campuses look more like the streets of 1930s Germany than they do the bastions of discourse and constructive thought.
Outside of the usual suspects in the Arab World spouting lies about Israel bombing hospitals and propaganda about the colonization of a land, we are indigenous to, we have seen the head of the so-called United Nations legitimizing the disgusting acts committed on October 7th. After all, the actions of Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. UNIFIL in the South of Lebanon could easily be replaced with an assortment of unmatching socks for all the security they provide. The International Red Cross quickly draws attention to the need for a humanitarian corridor for the sake of the people of Gaza. Not once have they pretended to care about their obligation to the 240 Israeli hostages whom Hamas illegally captured. We do not know their whereabouts, health status, or whether they are being treated with basic human respect and dignity. These two organizations that supposedly represent the best of humanity and the advances of liberalism in the 21st century are nothing more than cowardly caricatures.
The streets of every Western capital are overrun with people chanting genocidal songs, waving flags of Hamas, ISIS, and Hizballah, and calling for the continued genocide against Jews, wherever they may be. The police forces are ill-equipped to deal with these mobs, and not a single US, UK, French, or Israeli flag can be seen unless it is being ripped down to be replaced with a Palestinian flag or set alight. Jews are being erased once again, both symbolically, in the tearing down of hostage flyers and the murder of Jews in Detroit, Los Angeles, Lyon, and Sydney.
Did you really envision a future in which your children brazenly glorify Hitler and Osama bin Laden? What an absolute disgrace! Every single person should hang their head in shame for allowing such hatred to breed in their communities. But we’ve come to expect this behavior over the last 2,000 years. Blood libels are nothing new to us. It’s the reason why a Jewish state is imperative to our survival as the only ancient civilization the World has not been able to effectively genocide.
Michal Cotler-Wunsh stated it perfectly in her speech at the UN. Israel was not established because of the Holocaust. It is precisely because there was no Israel that the Holocaust was allowed to happen. And it is because Israel exists today that our generation’s Kristallnacht will remain a single devastating day in the psyche of every Israeli and Jew for the rest of our lives.
We are at an impasse. We are not your grandparents Jews. We will not capitulate to your hatred, your double standards, or your moral equivalence. We will not bear our necks for you to cut, and we will not tolerate your bloodlust. We are a nation of survivors, the strongest of our stock.
Less than a century ago, an exiled people came together to establish the only democracy in the Middle East. Some of us came from Europe, some of us came from Africa; all of us came home. Despite the vast differences in culture and language, our shared identity as Jews helped us foster a safe haven for people of all religions, sexual identities, and walks of life to live freely. Our short history has brought the world advances in science, medicine, agriculture, engineering, technology, art, poetry, music, and literature. When the World has experienced disasters, we have been among the first to send aid, search and rescue teams, and field hospitals — even to countries that hate us and work to delegitimize us daily.
We didn’t ask to be a light unto the nations — you forced us to shine. Your hatred towards us and your indifference to our suffering made the ancient voice of our people cry out in the name of all that is good and just. And when we finished crying, we got to work.
It’s time to choose a side. Good or evil. If you choose evil, it won’t just be the Jews that lose. The World will forever be corrupted and fall into a darkness that will make October 7th look commonplace. The difference is that we won’t be around to save you next time.