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When notifications of an attack in Israel began, my first thought was that this was another barrage of rockets, nothing Israelis haven’t been through a hundred times, nothing the Iron Dome couldn’t handle. The reality was quickly revealed to be something else entirely. Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization, stormed over the Israeli border, overran villages, massacred families, raped women, and took upwards of 150 hostages. Reports, videos, and testimonies have poured in revealing the shocking, heartbreaking, and barbaric nature of this attack.


The last time armed men invaded Jewish homes, rounded up families, and executed them in the streets, they were Nazis. This time, they are jihadists. It is important to recognize that these ideologies are not unrelated. Under the banner of “anti-Zionism,” much of the seething hatred and brutality of Nazism has persisted, as we are seeing demonstrated all over the world as people gather to celebrate these attacks. At pro-Palestinian rallies in New York City, they brandished swastikas. In Sydney, Australia, they chanted “Gas the Jews!” With no small irony, celebrating the dead Jewish bodies piling up, they paraded in joy through the streets of Berlin. 


From the halls of academia and the accounts of activists, the reports of kidnapping, murder, and rape are being called “brave acts of resistance.” Some say the Jews are getting no more than they deserve. Some are placing the responsibility for this horror squarely on the shoulders of the Jewish state, reaffirming the chorus of our Act II opener that truly, no matter what, you can always blame the Jews.


In Hamas’s own words “Jews are the vilest and most despicable nation… We must attack every Jew on planet earth… We will wipe out Israel… Bring annihilation upon the Jews… We must slaughter and kill them.” When someone tells you who they are, you should believe them. Anyone who read Mein Kampf and listened to the chants at German rallies in the 1930s could have recognized the genocidal intentions of the Nazi party. Anyone who reads Hamas’s charter and listens to the chants echoing in cities all over the world right now can see the same.


Regardless of one’s position on the status of the peace process or Israeli policy in the Palestinian territories, let’s agree that raping women and butchering children are not legitimate forms of “resistance.” Let’s agree that, no matter what the circumstances, no one violates and murders a woman and parades her body through the streets in “self defense.” Let’s agree that scenes of mobs celebrating the murder of Jews should be relegated to the history books, not breaking news.


In the coming days, weeks, months, we will do two things: One, we will clear the rubble and attempt once again to ensure that there is at least one place in the entire world where it is safe to be a Jew. And two, we will continue to tell the story of RISE, of Jews who looked evil in the face and refused to back down, of Jews who, when threatened with annihilation, stood up and fought back.


For those with friends and family in the fray, I send you strength and the knowledge that, as Sarah reminds David, “our people have survived a lot, and we’ll survive this, too.”


עם ישראל חי



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