Meital Stavinsky

Please, let there be light


Since the dawn of time, humans have celebrated light. We hang string lights around our trees and light our candles. It symbolizes truth and hope in our art. In 174 BCE at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, only a single tin of oil was left to light the menorah. Antiochus IV had just tried and failed to wipe out the Temple and Jews. By miracle of God, it continued to burn for eight days.

Jews, less than 0.2% of the world population, are scattered from their ancestral homeland of Israel due to colonialism and prosecution. The modern state of Israel was established in 1948 as a home for Jewish people, a refuge where they would never again be prosecuted for their ethnicity. Since the Holocaust, never have so many Jews been murdered in one single day. Until, October 7th 2023. Over 1400 innocent civilians — babies, children, the elderly, men and women were slaughtered, tortured, beheaded, burnt alive, raped — just because they were Jews. Over 240 were abducted to Gaza.

In 1144, the Jews of Norwich, England were falsely accused of using blood to bake matzah for Passover after the body of a young boy was discovered stabbed to death in the woods. There was no evidence found linking Jews, however. Sadly, violent riots and murder of Jews resulting from these types of blood libel accusations have continued throughout history. The Nazis used blood libel lies in their antisemitic propaganda. And, what many are led to believe about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are nothing but 21st century blood libel lies.

False reports have been disseminated on numerous “legitimate” news and social media accounts since October 7th. The explosion at the parking lot of Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza was immediately reported, quoting “Gaza officials,” as caused by an Israeli airstrike. The “Gaza officials” were of course the terrorist group Hamas, elected in a democratic election by the Palestinians in Gaza in 2006, after Israel left in 2005. A terrorist group that uses its own residents as human shields. Twenty-four hours later, after the review of evidence, the truth was published. It was caused by another Palestinian terrorist group. However, the damage was done; riots broke out across the region. False stories led to dangerous actions and will  be reposted forever online.

This misinformation campaign is many years in the making. Each of the countless attempts to resolve the conflict led to further terrorist attacks rather than a peaceful resolution. For example, when Israel offered Yasar Arafat, the former leader of the Palestinians, recognition of a Palestinian independent state, including Gaza and 94% of the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Arafat rejected the offer and the second Intifada broke out in 2000, with the Palestinians launching a suicide-bombing campaign, murdering innocent civilians in busses and restaurants. Yet, those atrocities were reported criticizing the Jewish victims. The timing of the massacre of October 7th was no coincidence either. Israel was on the verge of a historic peace treaty with Saudi Arabia that would have included further benefits for the Palestinians.

In October 1993, after the Oslo Peace Accords were signed between Israel and the Palestinians, the FBI wiretapped a Philadelphia hotel room where a dozen senior Hamas members had gathered. Their goal was sabotaging the Accords, and a long-term plan was devised: manipulating the West. Over the last few decades, a network of grassroots organizations, now run by Western-born activists, have successfully infiltrated the media, academia and politics. Funding was never an issue with Hamas’ annual turnover of $1 billion and its top leaders’ estimated combined net worth of over $11 billion.

As Anaïs Nin said, “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” When misguided, ignorant and plain evil individuals are chanting their support of the barbarous acts of a terrorist organization on U.S. campuses and streets, let us please all pray for light to shine ever so bright, to bring clarity to humanity to see things as they are, as we ought to be, for our children and our world.

About the Author
Meital Stavinsky is a Miami and Washington D.C. attorney, member of Holland & Knight's Public Policy & Regulation Group and Co-Chair of the firm's Israel Practice. Meital focuses her practice on business, public policy and regulation, with a particular emphasis on Israeli emerging and advanced technologies companies. Meital assists Israeli companies seeking to enter the U.S. market and expand their operations in the United States. In her work with innovative companies, Meital advises advanced technologies companies that provide a beneficial social or environmental impact in the areas of innovative AgriFoodTech, advanced manufacturing and clean technology. In addition, Meital has worked on a wide range of U.S. congressional and federal legislative matters. She has experience with various federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Meital provides strategic and policy advice to technology clients. She has helped her clients impact agriculture-related legislation, including in connection with among others, the Farm Bill and the U.S. Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
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