In my 16 years as a columnist for El País, I never wrote a column in the first person, but perhaps every columnist has time to do so and mine comes in the most tragic of circumstances.
Being Jewish has been, is, and will continue to be my most incredible pride. Belonging to a people that have lived on the planet for more than 3,500 years, that bequeathed to humanity the ten commandments and essential values that promote coexistence in society, that rose stronger from each catastrophe and preserved ancient traditions and beliefs in the midst of geographical dispersion and persecution, who has prospered and has stood out among the nations of the earth. After two thousand years of dispersion, we returned to our ancestral land and created the State of Israel, the pride of the Jewish People.
Much to our regret, we also bequeath the words Pogrom and Holocaust with a capital letter.
We Jews survived the Crusaders, who devastated entire Jewish communities, we survived the inquisition and the expulsion from Spain in 1492 and the expulsion of the Jews from Iraq and other Arab countries, we survived the Pogroms in Russia, the blood libels, the massacre of York, the communities burned during the Black Death and being “Dhimmís” in the caliphates.
We Jews were pioneers of progressive causes. Karl Marx, grandson of Rabbi, Trotsky, Leon Bronstein, founder of the Red Army, Rosa Luxemburg, founder of the German Communist Party. Rabbi Abraham Heschel accompanied Martin Luther King's marches, Nelson Mandela's white comrades in South Africa were Jews, among them Ruth Suzman. The feminist movement in the United States was founded by a Jew, Betty Friedan, while Jews were protagonists in the gay rights movement.
After the massacre of October 7, we have received a large number of demonstrations of support from many different sectors. However, we cannot help but feel a deep sadness for the indolence towards Jewish blood exhibited by all kinds of people and organizations that are currently working feverishly to erase what happened last Saturday the 7th. The words in Spanish are: They fall short to describe the brutality with which the heartless Palestinian terrorists murdered, harassed, raped, shot, dismembered, beheaded, and burned human beings for the sole reason of being Jews. Antisemitism on the entire planet is growing like foam.
They are lacerating indolence in the face of Jewish blood, whether from climate activist Greta Thunberg, left-wing parties, human rights promoters, organizations defending minorities, and multilateral organizations. The 'pro-Palestinian' demonstrations are not such, they are festivals of hatred towards the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Why didn't those same people with red-eyed anger take to the streets after the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, or the mass murder of Palestinians in Yarmouk by the regime? Bashar al Assad?
Lacerating indolence reminds us why during the Holocaust, despite the evidence of what was happening, many, including Western governments, preferred to look on the side. “It was Jewish blood, that didn't matter.”
The Jewish people are not daunted. Those who never condemned the murders of Jews should not come to give moral lessons. The Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, the giant of his generation, proclaimed at the time of the creation of the State of Israel, three years after the furnaces went out: “In Israel, to be realistic you have to believe in miracles.” A miracle is the existence of the Jewish people, a miracle is the creation of Israel, and a miracle is a unity in the face of adversity.