I’m a Barnard College alum; a few nights ago, as a response to an ongoing thread about the Hamas attack on Israel, I posted a video of myself on an unofficial alumni Facebook page of Barnard College – a clip showing that I was running to safety in the middle of a missile attack on Tel Aviv – nothing graphic, just me, my neighbors, their baby and their puppy. The puppy wasn’t even barking. I thought maybe I would get support, empathy. Boy, was I wrong.
The administrators swiftly removed the video from the page – but what did remain was a Hamas supporter’s vile post, claiming that Israel is lying – that babies were not beheaded and women were not raped in the savage attacks.
For those living under a rock – on the morning of October 7th, a Jewish holiday, sirens woke up all of Israel. Hamas had once again attacked. Israelis are used to this routine, and my two sons and I knew immediately what to do and where to run. Within minutes, film clips of Hamas terrorists on an open truck inside Israel’s borders appeared on social media – and my first reaction was: “come on, it’s fake news. Can’t be.” Little did I know that the things I could never have dreamed of, would never have believed – would all unfold as reality during the coming days.
As more clips and pictures were released (many by Hamas itself), the magnitude became larger, the pain indescribable. The videos of burned bodies, of a woman holding her head in a way that made it clear that she was alive as her body was engulfed by flames, the parents killed before their children’s eyes before they themselves were dragged into Gaza, the woman raped near the body of her dead friends’ scorched bodies – pictures reminiscent of the darkest periods of Jewish history – all of the clips and pictures unfathomable and the stories getting more horrific by the minute. Waking up every day this week – as all Israelis – to hear of more losses.
My Facebook feed has become a rolling page of obituaries – and shows no signs of stopping.
And then, looking at Barnard College’s alumnae page – I see the postings and many comments denying that this is happening and demanding to show proof of beheaded babies – as if dead babies was just not enough. When I try to “show live proof” – my video is removed! Extremism that exists on campuses has reared its ugly head, and while I have no doubt that the venom (and the enableism) that I witnessed is not unique – it just happens to be from the campus that I loved.
To my Jewish sisters and brothers, and to all supporters of a humane world – make no mistake – as we defend our borders, as our sisters and brothers are called to lay down their lives for the people of Israel, as we fight in every way to bring back our loved ones from the hells of Hamas (the equivalent of ISIS) – our war against the Hamas propaganda has only just begun.
PS I am still waiting to hear why my video was removed while the Hamas support was allowed to remain. As of now, crickets from the administrators.