In the midst of a world where echoes of a 21st-century pogrom still reverberate, we are confronted with the anguish and anger of losing innocent lives. The pain of the tragedy, exacerbated by the ruthlessness of Hamas, compels us to question the very core of humanity. In such moments, it’s almost instinctive to view the world in stark shades of black and white, good and evil. Yet, the words of Guga Chacra, a Brazilian journalist of Lebanese descent who cherishes his visits to Israel, remind us, “There is no such thing as a good people or a bad people.”
Hamas, in committing heinous acts, doesn’t only commit crimes against the Jews but also imprisons its own people, making them hostages to its ideology and actions. Millions of lives are ensnared in a web of fear and oppression. Contemplating this complexity, we realize that the malice of a few shouldn’t eclipse the humanity of the many who also suffer under the same oppressive force.
Israeli society, historically positioned as a beacon of light in the Middle East, is faced with the challenge of balancing self-preservation with a profound understanding of its unique position. Israel, in its aspiration to be a “light unto the nations,” must now, more than ever, find ways to illuminate the region’s darkest corners. It’s a Herculean task, demanding that, even in the depths of sorrow and grief, shared humanity isn’t lost from sight.
As we grapple with the raw wound of a contemporary massacre, we hold a moral imperative not to become blinded by hate. It must be acknowledged that in any conflict, there are lives on both sides yearning for peace, justice, and understanding. It’s in this collective quest for lasting peace where our true strength and purpose lie. Amidst the darkness, it’s the light of empathy, understanding, and resilience that must guide our path. The esteemed Jewish philosopher Martin Buber once stated, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” In our context, this quote serves as a reminder that the journey towards understanding and coexisting with the other is filled with unforeseen discoveries, urging us to be receptive to them and seek peace in every interaction and every diversion from our known path.