Just before sending out this column the amazing news reached us that Israel’s ground operation has succeeded in freeing an Israeli woman soldier who had been kidnapped. Words cannot describe the joy in Israel, and the gratitude to the IDF.
!עם ישראל חי! The Jewish people lives!
I know it’s a total waste of time to engage with people online most of the time. People don’t want to make the effort to be enlightened; most of them are perfectly happy with their current state of ignorance and misconception. But sometimes you just can’t help it. Here’s one conversation:
Her: What about all the wounded and newborns?
Me: Whose? Theirs? They have a government they elected who has to protect them by surrendering and releasing our hostages.
Her: I agree the hostages must be released immediately. Yet the young children and babies and their Mothers are innocent in this conflict. They deserve to live as much as the hostages.
Me: If the mothers were not hateful fanatics that raised hate-filled genocidal murderers then they and we wouldn’t be in this situation. Watch a few videos about these “innocent” people.
Her: I understand what you are saying. It’s true, the mothers could have taught their children not to hate our people . But the hatred has been there since 1948 and probably goes all the way back to the time of Abraham.
Me: thumbs up sign(my way of ending a conversation that has reached a dead end. What, we shouldn’t hold them responsible because the hate is so entrenched? It’s not their fault?)
It’s hard for people to leave behind cherished beliefs and move on, no matter how discredited. They see themselves as benevolent lovers of mankind; charitable, kind. They refuse to take up their new role as the prey of barbarians who want them not only dead, but dead in the most painful, humiliating way possible. The heartbreaking news that beautiful festival goer Shani Louk – seen half-naked, spat upon, and kidnapped by Hamas barbarians – had been beheaded, was sickening proof that sometimes, you have to say: NO! No sympathy, no reconciliation, no deal. Just no. Die.
Luckily, I spent the day with my beautiful seventeen year old granddaughter whose company could not but help to cheer me up. It was interesting to talk to her and get a look at what Israel’s kids are going through.
How was she doing?
Maybe because she’s older and the area she lives in has had only a few sirens, her answer was reassuringly stoic: “I don’t know, not bad. You know my whole high school education has been so weird, with Covid, and all the restrictions and Zooms. This is just more of the same,” she shrugged.
Not all of Israel’s children are faring so well. I won’t go to the children caught up in the Hamas kidnapping whose situation is unspeakable, but just the average Israeli child being rushed to air raid shelters in the middle of the night. Tamar Haya Torphiashvili , age 9, suffered cardiac arrest last week during an air raid siren in Ashdod. Yesterday, she died.
Logging bombs at civilians is a war crime which Hamas has been guilty of for decades. So I find it hard to sympathize with them and the civilians who have supported and nurtured them and given them their money and their hearts. I must separate my pain from theirs. I’m sure the little Nazis in Dresden suffered terribly when the Allies obliterated them. That’s what happens when you start a war.
But then my granddaughter and I got into a completely different area of conversation. “I look at Tik Tok. This one guy wrote: ‘Six million wasn’t enough.’ And he got twenty thousand likes!” She shook her head. “I’m just a normal teenager, just like everybody else. I like coffee in the morning, and listen to Taylor Swift, and watch Netflix, and enjoy dancing.” She looks at me. “Why do they hate me so much? What did I ever do to them?”
Her question broke my heart. Moving to Israel in my early twenties, I never thought my children or grandchildren would ever have to encounter antisemitism. I had no easy answer for her. “They hate us because we are smart and successful and educated, because we’ve built a beautiful country out of dust and stones. They hate us because we have our own God and our Torah and won’t become one of them. Because we are different, and proud of it.”
“You know, even with everything that’s going on, I’d still never want to live anywhere else,” she said.
I feel exactly the same way. Whatever happens here, we are home. We are not going anywhere. Maybe our leadership is not what it should be, but we trust the IDF to protect us. Still.