Nothing will ever be the same again
If you are encouraging Palestinian "resistance" and "decolonization" from the comfort of your home, Israeli and Palestinian blood is on your hands.
Sorry we haven’t recorded or written for a while. It’s been a combination of grief, horror, disbelief and rage. I tried to put some in writing for you. Hope to record again soon xo -Yael
In October 2000, I watched on TV as two Israeli reserve soldiers who took a wrong turn into Ramallah got lynched by a bloodthirsty mob, their corpses thrown out a window by a smiling man covered in their blood. I thought I would never be the same again.
Since then I’ve served in the IDF and have gotten a BA in Counterterrorism, specifically studying the Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel that I had lived through as a teen. I was shaped by the images of that lynching and by what I considered “normal” back then like busses exploding in the name of “Jihad” and teenagers slaughtered by suicide bombers in night clubs. The mind manages somehow to push those things away, and over the years the impact of those memories have faded, and maybe I even believed there wasn’t really that much evil in the world. This weekend changed everything.
I will spare you the videos of the massacre the last few days (you can see some on my Twitter/X if you wish) but here is a description of some of the images we have seen and eyewitness accounts we heard:
· A mother holding on to her two children for life as the 3 of them are dragged into Gaza, her husband begging for help on national TV
· Women’s naked and mutilated bodies dragged down the streets of Gaza to cheering crowds.
· A young paramedic hiding with a pile of bodies, her last words to her family are “they shot my legs, I don’t think I’ll make it, I love you”. She hasn’t been found yet.
· Screaming young women being snatched up by motorcycles as they are trying to escape, dragged into Gaza.
· Terrorists talking on victim’s cellphones telling their parents they just murdered them.
· Elderly women being forced to pose for photos with their captors, to the sound of laughter.
· Children on the phone begging for help, their murdered parents beside them.
· Parents screaming on national TV “where is my child?” Help me!”. You don’t need to speak Hebrew to understand:
The situation is still ongoing. Hostages, gunfire, northern and southern borders. To truly understand this, you need to comprehend how small Israel is.
The drive between the Gaza border and the Lebanon border, south and northern Israel, is 3 hours. About 170 miles in between. In the middle the West Bank, where the explosive Islamic Jihad and others await, smack in the middle of the country surrounded by our holiest sites (the length of Israel from East to West by the way is about a 20 minute drive, in some areas less.) We are a small country of 9 million roughly the size of New Jersey. Everyone knows everyone and there is not one person who hasn’t been affected personally by the massacre. On Sunday, which seems like an eternity ago, I watched veteran newscaster Danny Kushamro, who has seen so much in his life, barely manage to speak the words “one hundred”, as the death toll reached these unimaginable heights. We have never seen these kinds of numbers. Today we are estimating more than 900 dead, with over 100 more kidnapped.
Through the fog of rage, heartbreak, and fear I am trying to hold on to a few truths that I know today:
Truth: Hamas and its supporters in the world are killing Israelis and Palestinians. This is not about freedom or land. There is zero occupation of Gaza. ZERO. Hamas is being sent billions of dollars in US, EU and Israeli (yes, Israeli) aid. Their leaders ride around in Rolls Royce’s and shop at Gaza’s luxury malls, but live in the Gulf. I recommend going to Twitter and typing #TheGazaYouDontSee
I can’t believe I still have to say this, but Israel uprooted 8,600 people in 21 towns, along with entire schools, houses, and cemeteries (!!) from Gaza in 2005 so that it could go back to Palestinian control. One of these small towns is “Netiv Haasara” which moved over to Israel and called themselves a gateway to peace. The whole town is decorated with images of doves and olive branches. Yesterday 15 people were murdered there in cold blood.
When we left, Israel hooked Gaza up to power, water and gas, left the Palestinians living there entire buildings and greenhouses (which they destroyed) and said to them, “here is your land back. You win.” I supported this in my naivete, thinking that now that they were “liberated” they would leave us alone. It has been a non-stop barrage of rockets and terror since, with the horrific atrocities these days being their biggest show yet. Palestinians and Arab countries have refused EVERY SINGLE attempt at peace since 1948, when they decided to attack instead of living alongside us. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
This couldn’t have just been over - it never had to start.
Israel has limited the Gaza border on its end due to ongoing terrorism, as any normal country would do. So when you hear “siege” or “occupation” what they mean is Palestinians can’t go in and out of Israel freely. Why on earth would they? They used to come in and work every day, but some chose terror, so we limited exit and entry to check carefully for terrorists and supplies (we still don’t catch them all) which is what any normal country would do. Actually, a normal country would refuse any cooperation all together, but we tried to reason with our neighbors instead and give them a little. Today this doesn’t seem normal anymore.
Truth: We will get through this. The heartbreak is unbearable but we are strong and will come together, we already are. The stories of heroism are also mind-blowing. A 62 year old father driving to rescue his son and grandkids, shooting terrorists out of the way. Party-goers grabbing guns from terrorists. An elderly lady bribing her captors with food and trying to comfort them while distracting them from information she is giving police. A father who just heard his son was killed showing up for reserve duty because he has nothing to lose. Hundreds of people gather spontaneously in a famous Tel Aviv square, where just a few days ago we were at each other's throats over religion and politics, to donate supplies. Lines out the door to give blood and buy groceries and supplies for others. Every Israeli, young and old, Jew and Arab, is coming together to help one another. We are good at this. I hope it can last.
Truth: The failure of some people in the world to hear our screams is scarier than anything.
Americans chanting “700,” the Israeli death toll at the time, with joy in Times Square while celebrating the victory that is burning people alive in their homes (that death toll is now 900). Harvard and Columbia students blaming Israel for being slaughtered. Burning Israeli flags in Sydney. Vandalizing Jewish businesses … everywhere.
Nothing excuses this evil. No one is so miserable that they need to slaughter young children and post it on Facebook for shits and giggles. Poverty doesn’t cause barbarism, that’s an offense to human beings everywhere. Neither does misery. How would you feel if after a school shooting in America, we counted the shooters in the total death toll on the news? Would the headline be “gunfire and conflict in Columbine”? Would we be writing statements blaming the slaughtered children for being mean to the shooter? Would hundreds be marching in New York, San Diego, London, Sydney, celebrating the shooters and encouraging more acts of violence against children for the cause the shooters supported? It’s unimaginable.
Some of the media coverage has been heartbreaking. The same media that decided that objectivity is not relevant in dark times has committed itself to false moral equivalence that anyone can see through. A friend texted me to say she can’t understand why she is so outraged by the coverage since she is not even Jewish, to which I responded – because you have eyes. Watch Jonathan Greenblatt1 tear into MSNBC, as the chyron beneath him displays jaw-dropping distortion.
“3000 Americans, 19 Saudis, killed in Saudi-American war in New York City.”?
Yes, Palestinian civilians are hurt too. They are hurt by targeted attacks to places where Hamas operates out of and stores weapons, notably civilian buildings since they are deemed the safest, since they know if Israel attacks Palestinians will be hurt, and that’s good PR2. Israel even goes as far as dropping leaflets and sending text messages to people before they attack, essentially warning Hamas that we are coming to minimize casualties! The Air Force even uses a practice called “Roof Knocking” in which they drop small non-explosives on roofs to warn civilians to evacuate.3
Don’t believe me? Listen to Hamas in its own words, and read their charter. They spell out perfectly what every western apologist refuses to believe, like article 13: “there is no negotiated settlement possible. Jihad is the only answer.” or article 8 “death for the sake of Allah its most sublime belief.”
Does anyone know that Egypt also controls a border with Gaza which it could easily open if they cared so much about Palestinian lives?
Egypt and Jordan could save each and every Gazan by just opening a door. But this has never been about loving Palestinians, it’s always been about hating Israel.
Look, if you support bloodshed in the name of Islam, and you want Palestine “from the river to the sea,” and all the “Yahood” dead – I guess I appreciate knowing where I stand with you. There are millions of people like this, mostly in the Arab world but in the West too. Go to any “Shabbat Shalom” Instagram post by a celebrity or announcement of an Israeli soccer player joining the team (before this war) and you will see it littered with “Free Palestine”. Many of them are from countries where they have never seen a Jew in their life.
Some people also see the failures of media and elite institutions yet draw the conclusion that the Jews have this coming anyway. This the type of reactionary that knows the mainstream media lies, but thinks the guy they met on 8Chan who “knows” the Mossad is coming for their unemployed ass doesn’t. They are all experts in “research”, and can tell you with authority which photos of the the massacre are fake, how everyone is a crisis actor, and that jet fuel doesn’t melt steel. They can’t trust the images coming out of a vibrant, diverse democracy, but Hamas propaganda is the real deal. So all in all, they come to the conclusion that US Aid to Israel (most of which goes back into the US economy btw) is the reason they don’t have a girlfriend. Shh. Your secret is safe with us.
But by far the most loathsome type of person is the useful idiot. This is the same person that thinks words are violence, but microaggressions are scarier than Hamas. They think Silence is Violence but violence is necessary for “liberation”. They want to “Decolonize”, yet can’t point to Israel on the map. They have an “everyone is welcome here” sign, but they oppose the Abraham Accords. The word “normalization” is triggering to them. They think arming terrorists is a human right, but arming police officers is genocide. They don’t want to condemn brutal massacre because they think Muslims support it so they will be offended, which shows how racist they truly are. Some of them may have even posted a blue square to Instagram when a homeless person in the East Village drew a half-assed swastika on a bus, but they pick and choose which antisemitism they “stand against”.
Long live the Intifada, along with a fucking hanglider that terrorists use, at Cal State Long Beach from the LatinX group:
The most incredible thing about this type of person is they think they are helping Palestinians. They are actively oppressing them. They continue to encourage them to wage violence, not to give up on their dream of a state free of Jews, and supporting a murderous regime that supresses every minority and spends their aid money on weapons. They egg them on from the sideline, from the comfort of their homes in Brooklyn or Berlin. If you are encouraging war over peace, the blood of Israelis and Palestinians is on your hands.
Here is my last truth: I still believe in peace. I used to think most Palestinians wanted it. Then I changed my mind and thought fewer did, maybe 50%. Now I don’t even know if it’s 10%. But if there is one person in Gaza who wants peace I will talk to them and hug them and share a meal and together we can build a new world. I want to tell them that it doesn’t need to be like this. We can stop this madness. If they put down their weapons now, so will we. As Golda Meir once said, there will be peace when they love their children more than they hate us.
If the father of an Israeli girl who was kidnapped and continues to be held in captivity still believes in peace, so can I. Listen to what he says through tears: “let’s use our emotions. We are two nations. Please, please let’s have peace. Real peace.”
If you want to help Israelis, if you want to help Palestinians, spread the story of the last few days. The world needs to know about this massacre, everyone should get a glimpse of the evil so they can help fight it with light. I understand you don’t want to get in the middle of it. That it’s a hot-button issue, and you feel maybe you don’t know enough so best to stay out of it. But now is the time to speak up for justice and for the victims. Share the stories so that they are not forgotten. Share the horrors so that they are never repeated. The goal of terrorism is to scare entire peoples, so their leaders capitulate. Let’s use this tactic against them: share the horrors, the pain, the cries, the screams - but not so that it scares others, but rather to expose the cowardice of those behind the camera, documenting their “victory”.
This doesn’t make you pro Israel or pro Palestinian – it makes you pro-humanity.
This has been particularly confusing for progressives, because Elon Musk hates the ADL. So if Elon Musk = bad, then ADL = good. But Israel = bad and ADL = Israel, so it’s quite the pickle.
Also, please remember that there is no such thing as “media” in Gaza, so take the images you see from there for what they are. Journalists don’t go in and out. Every bit of information you see from Gaza is controlled by Hamas. Understand that what you are seeing has been perfectly curated to support the “resistance.” Matti Friedman writes about this in The Atlantic.