Op-Ed | Too many guilty silences on October 7th - World Jewish Congress

Op-Ed | Too many guilty silences on October 7th

Noemi Di Segni
Noemi Di Segni
WJC Member of the Executive, Union of Italian Jewish Communities President
Op-Ed | Too many guilty silences on October 7th

On October 7, 2023, thousands of terrorists massacred thousands of civilians in southern Israel. It is a date for which we have not yet found a unique name to make us understand the horror that has befallen the entire Jewish people, every murdered person, every orphaned family, every hostage, every injured person, the State of Israel as an entity politics and all its citizens. 

On the morning of the 7th, our destiny changed, the world changed, and nothing can return to the way it was before. It is impossible in this first month to take stock of the pain that continues to reveal itself day by day. Added to the heartbreaking screams of those who have suffered the most atrocious crimes - screams that crowd our minds and distract us from any peaceful sleep - is the pain of silence. 

Silence from the UN for the torture of children and newborns, violence and torture against women, kidnapping of civilians, and the list is long. Silence from the Red Cross which does not complain or try to visit and ascertain the situation of the hostages. Silence on the part of all human rights NGOs regarding what happened on 7 October and what is happening these days in many of our communities worldwide. 

In parallel to the deafening silence, there are the slogans shouted by those who defend the Palestinian people in a superficial and demagogic way and attack the defense interventions of the Israeli army. If they wanted the good of the Palestinians, all these absent voices and voices of complaint should join us in the fight against Hamas and against the culture that it has spread over the decades. It is understood that Hamas' true goal is extermination.

Our appeals have no response, neither vague nor concrete, but it is necessary to repeat them: to the UN, to all its silenced agencies; to the NGOs for all the cries that glorify the horror and hide the truth; to the press, the media, and platforms that flood or spread hatred and prejudice with interviews and reports that have nothing of serious and responsible journalism. To the Muslim communities who live next to us so that they believe in coexistence and in the values ​​of the democracies that host them rather than importing schemes of holy war and revenge. And yet another appeal to silence those declaratory pleas addressed to the unique G-d common to our faiths, so praised by those who ignore the worst crimes and who forget that we were created in His image. This is an appeal to the nations that desire peace and coexistence - including Italy with the clear positions taken by its government - so that, united in new and different forums, they can stem the powers that seek destruction and other massacres. An appeal to stop humanitarian appeals directed solely towards Israel, a country that acts morally and has not shied away from international norms.

Antisemitism is all of this. It has never subsided and has presented itself in these 30 days with the face of radical terrorism and the European embrace of ignorance and rampant obtuseness. The defense that is requested is not only for our lives, for our places of worship and Jewish life, but in defense of the millenary civilization of which we are part and in defense of the freedoms that allow us to live here and profess every creed and every belief – freedoms abused and taken for granted. While we try to translate into words, caresses, or concepts what is happening around us, we realize that we are clashing with geopolitical and economic-financial schemes of global reach fueled by propaganda and targeted teaching of hatred that has lasted for decades. And what can we do? Continue to live and nourish our children and grandchildren with love for life, and continue to be Jews.

In these 30 days, we have seen the solidarity and good of a people who promptly worked with a thousand gestures of volunteering and support to soothe the nightmare and the cry of an entire nation. Israel did not ask to enter any war but will emerge victorious thanks to the spirit that unites us, the soldiers and the brave souls who have enlisted, and the protection that God extends to us, and to whom we address every prayer of hope. To each orphan family, hostage, or wounded person, to each soldier, our embrace and promise to do everything possible to restore dignity, life, and dutiful memory

This article was originally published in Italian by Moked.