The massacre, a word that falls short of describing what happened in southern Israel that fateful Saturday of Shmini Atzeret - the eighth day of Sukkot - changed us forever. Actions with these levels of savagery and brutality had not occurred on the planet in decades. Men, elderly women, boys, girls, young people, and adolescents, were humiliated in such a way that their humanity was destroyed, even when they were already dead.
There were two, perhaps three days of horror, days in which we received expressions of sympathy and solidarity from many, but soon everything would be forgotten, even though some 240 human beings were taken to the Gaza tunnels to be subsequently traded as merchandise, Babies like Kfir Bibas, only eight months old then, 12 months old today.
From rapes of women and girls, mass murders, cutting the throats of babies, killing of young people, and pure and simple terrorism, the world quickly moved on to other terms that have not abandoned us since and resonate as truths revealed in the corridors of power, academia, streets, altars: genocide, war crimes, thousands, children, destruction, hospitals, schools, mosques, from the river to the sea, apartheid, Palestinian Jesus, Palestine.
Our tragedy disappeared, some forgot it, others erased it, others distorted it, and for many it no longer exists, if it is even mentioned. For us it will always be, like the exit from Egypt, like Kishinev, like the Farhud, like the Holocaust. The Secretary General of the UN, who has stumbled since 7/10, finally condemned the events, belatedly and opportunistically; some have not done it, others only halfway.
Only our true friends did not hesitate. Several governments, including those of the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, have shown moral clarity in understanding what happened and supporting Israel in this fight against barbarism, darkness, radicalism, and terrorism. For the Security Council, the UN General Assembly, and other associated organizations, Jewish blood is of no value.
We had studied the disastrous chapters of our history, we had learned about them in books and movies. We live this firsthand, every Jew wherever he is is the protagonist of this unfolding story, one of great pain with those who died in the massacre, the IDF soldiers who give their lives daily for us, and of course, the Palestinians. civilians infamously used as shields by Hamas terrorists, for whom human life, Jewish or Palestinian, is worthless, the dead are their war trophies, the more the better, Jewish or Palestinian.
We are not in the 1930s of the previous century, we have our State, we have the lessons learned from the past, we have soft power that we use against those antisemites who act as politically correct at our expense, we have States that support us, we have people and groups that support us. support. Humanity is not the same as it was 100 years ago.
Yet despite friends, we feel alone or misunderstood or both.
Why doesn't Israel have the right to self-defense?
Why is it not understood that Israel is fighting a war for its survival?
Why is it not understood that Israel is the only country in the world constantly threatened with being destroyed by another – Iran – and its proxies?
Why is it not understood that Israel does not seek to exterminate the Palestinian people?
Why is the drama experienced by those kidnapped in Gaza not understood?
Why is it not understood that we are facing a gang of radical murderers who only seek our death?
Why is it not understood that all Israel has ever wanted is to live in peace with its neighbors like any people in the world?
Why is it not understood that anti-Zionism is denying the Jewish people a right that all peoples of the world have to self-determination and freedom?
They accuse us of being genocidal, in the same way that, for two millennia, they accused us of being deicides, or usurers; that all Jews are genocidal, murderers of children and women.
What they have not managed to do is break us. Never in decades have we, the Jews of the world, those of Israel, those of the diaspora, Israel and the diaspora, religious and secular, old and young, leftists and rightists, men and women, been more united. The time will come to draw the conclusions, learnings, lessons, and consequences of what happened on 7/10.
Meanwhile, the infinite, spontaneous, unconditional solidarity mobilized from the entire Jewish world towards the State of Israel, which should not surprise anyone since this has always been the case in similar situations, moves us to the core.
The antisemitism rampant in the world, especially in the West, the hatred that is distilled against us in the supposed pro-Palestinian demonstrations, on the networks, in the media, in statements by politicians, by those who came out of the closet with their unbridled Judeophobia, they make us stronger, it unites us more, it keeps us focused.
Amid a tragedy whose end is not yet in sight, we walk through streets and squares in cities and countries, proud of our identity, our communities, our State, our unity, and our strength emanating from ancient traditions, history, and religion of our belonging to a unique People that has disproportionately bequeathed all of humanity despite having suffered its wrath in many, too many episodes.
Am Israel Chai.