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Gaza War Diary: 31 OCTOBER 2023

As I sit here after a day of nail biting and constant news updates, I cannot know what is happening as the war against Hamas intensifies. Other than the information that there is fierce fighting between Israeli soldiers and Hamas terrorists as Israeli forces move ever closer into Gaza where terrorist are hiding behind their civilians and shooting from hospitals and tunnels. All civilians were warned by Israel to leave over two weeks ago. Israel just warned them again. Now, any civilian blood spilled is on their own heads. I just pray that our soldiers do not put themselves in harm’s way to save them from Hamas and their billionaire leadership.

Yes, you heard right. Billionaires. While Gazans are some of the world’s poorest people despite billions in aid, the leadership now watching the war they’ve started on televisions from their cushy five star hotels in Qatar are some of the richest people on the plant. Taylor Swift has 1 billion? Small change to Hamas leaders who are worth triple or quadruple that, and more:

  • Abu Marzuk $3 billion
  • Khaled Mashal $4-5 billion
  • Ismail Haniyeh $4 billion

The Hamas’ organization itself has an annual turnover of $1 billion. All that money, just to rape and murder Jews, especially babies. What an investment.

I wonder, can’t anyone empty their bank accounts? After all, they took this money from Europe and the Arab states for the “poor Gazans.” It’s stolen loot. Someone uploaded a video showing how beautiful Gaza could have been. Little houses by the sea. Industry. It’s after all the same size as economic powerhouse Singapore. As for the much maligned “blockades,” the State of Israel was blockaded and boycotted on all sides when she was founded. She still managed. But then Ben Gurion never became a billionaire.

On a different topic, Israel has its hands full on so many fronts right now. But one of the most important is taking care of the emotional and psychological needs of its traumatized children. Some 21 children lost both parents in the massacre. Many of them saw it happen, and many waited hours for rescue alone and afraid. Even before this happened, Israel was experiencing a severe shortage of social workers and psychologists, with underfunding for social services at a critical juncture. Now, the overloaded system has no choice but to care for these children immediately, and they are doing their best to cope.

All the children have been taken in by their extended families, people they already know and love, so that should be helpful. But many of these families themselves are now uprooted and in chaotic temporary housing situations, suffering from dislocation while trying to shower love and attention on the precious remnant of their families. I hope postwar there will be an influx of social workers and psychologists who come to live and work in Israel, and charities dedicated solely to their funding.

Our Whatsapp family group reminded me that it was almost exactly a year ago that my grandson Eilon got married. He was called up at the beginning of the war to join his special combat engineering unit, while his bride Hadar is doing her internship at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, treating the hundreds of injured who were brought there immediately following October 7.

Yesterday, their first anniversary, our family group posted pictures of the red roses that were waiting for Hadar when she got home from a long day’s work. But better than that, so was her weary but happy young husband, who had been given a day off from his military service. God bless them both, the most wonderful young people in the world. And may their second wedding anniversary take place in better circumstances., with both of them healthy and happy and secure in their land.

I think all of us Israelis are fighting on so many fronts right now. Militarily, there is Hamas holding our hostages, and Hezbollah logging rockets to the North. Then there are the Houtis in Yemen, whom Iran pays to kill people, actively sending rockets over the Red Sea to Eilat. All the while, the more successful we are in Gaza, the more militant Iran’s leaders sound, warning they too will be getting directly involved. Putin too has ordered the restaffing of his deserted army base in Syria. I guess with the Ukraine war not going too well, he thinks his people need the good old fallback charm of a pogrom to rekindle his waning popularity.

May the God of Israel thwart all their plans.

We, on the home front, try to be upbeat and most of all, useful. We volunteer in a million ways from giving blood to picking fruit and milking cows; collecting toys and clothing for the displaced in our neighborhoods, and making sure our soldiers aren’t lacking anything from potato chips to bulletproof vests. It’s amazing how it all gets done.

But now with the clock on winter time, it gets dark so early. We can’t help the scenarios that go through our heads as we struggle to mourn our dead, and protect our living. We worry too about Jews elsewhere. Antisemites are becoming very creative these days in looking for a dwindling number of Jews to murder, i.e., a plane with 15 Jews from Tel Aviv that landed in Dagestan, Russia was surrounded by a foaming at the mouth mob delighted by the mere rumor they might finally have their Hamas moment as well. Thank God, the passengers managed to escape.

What is the answer? We rely on our faith, and on our military. As an emotional Margalit Megidish, mother of rescued soldier Ori, was quoted as saying yesterday: “Thank you to God, the Shin Bet, the IDF and the security forces, thank you all.”

One of my dear readers suggested yesterday, reading Isaiah 41 is also helpful. Thank you, John.

Love you all. Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring.

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9 comments on “Gaza War Diary: 31 OCTOBER 2023”

  1. Toby Bulman Katz

    I would like the Israelis to come with loudspeakers and shout “Allahu Akbar!” every time they drop bombs on Gaza and every time they kill another terrorist.

    I would like them to take out all the Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons, one by one, one each day, and shoot them while shouting in their ears, “Allahu Akbar!” On live television, to be screened all over the world, especially Al Jazeera, BBC and CNN.

  2. Patty Belkin

    I think so many people would benefit from your diary, post on facebook?

  3. Vivian Davis

    You give me hope. Never forget. I live in Alabama and I am not Jewish,but now my heart is in Israel. America stands with you.

  4. Elaine Rockoff

    You are, as always, the voice of sanity, wisdom and reason. I just read your new book “The Enemy Beside Me” – an excellent and important and not to be missed read. The only difference between then and now is we – B’H, have a Jewish state. They hated us then, they hate us now. May you, your family, my family and all in the sane, decent world be safe.
    Am Yisrael Chai.


    Your posts bring us there, by your side —Sending love and prayers
    MeraLee and Jay

  6. bonnie kolton

    I remember you giving a talk in skokie years ago. Thank you for being our eyes and ears.
    At 74 I am too weary to go to Israel to volunteer. We give as much money and as often as we can.
    I never realized how we need to be one people regardless of our religious beliefs..we are all jewish. I am through hiding and being silent.
    God bless you and keep you and your family safe.

  7. Isabel Ringer

    You give hope to me, Naomi. I am off in distant Idaho but I and my synagogue are in constant prayer, as are many Christians here.

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