October 26, 2023
More than three weeks have elapsed since Hamas' terrorists murdered, raped, tortured, kidnapped, and maimed more than 5,000 Israelis, including children, mothers, grandparents, and numerous others. Many of us have friends and family in Israel who were impacted by the events of October 7; we are filled with sadness and grief. Several decades ago, one of my Israeli first cousins died during his service in the army. In June, I attended the wedding of my other first cousin’s daughter in Jaffa; her husband is now deployed on the Gaza border. Another daughter re-enlisted in the IDF last week after two of her husband’s cousins were killed by Hamas when they learned about the attack and drove to a kibbutz on the border to help.
This crisis is profoundly personal to me, and I know, to many of you. As American Jews supporting Israel, we must act now.
The Jewish people just experienced the most unimaginably brutal terror attack. Entire families were burned alive, infants and children were murdered in front of their parents, and parents in front of their children. Women at a music festival were raped and then murdered, taken hostage, and paraded naked before cheering crowds. Every Israeli knows someone who was killed or kidnapped; the entire country is collectively traumatized, attending daily funerals, and preparing for war.
“Never again” – is right now. Israelis of all political persuasions are showing up for this existential fight. 150% of those in the reserves who were called up reported for duty – for every two who were called up, another voluntarily showed up. Israelis living overseas came home in droves to defend the Jewish homeland, our homeland.
At this moment, most thought leaders and political leaders in the US and Europe are still supportive of Israel and its planned offensive against Hamas. This is no time for nuance or equivocating – what Israel is facing is pure evil, and it must destroy Hamas’ terror infrastructure and its ability to ever attack Israel again. But in the weeks ahead, as deaths mount in Gaza, including children and others being used as human shields by Hamas, we will hear many say that Israel is overreacting, that its response is disproportionate; we will see scorecards about more Palestinians killed than Jews; and there will be mounting pressure on Israel for a cease fire. We must defend Israel’s ability to protect its citizens by destroying Hamas.
The situation on many college campuses is horrifying; student groups are celebrating Hamas’ atrocities, stating as fact that there has been a 75-year long colonization of the Palestinian homeland and defending the murder of Israeli civilians living in the south of Israel by claiming that they are “settlers”. Make no mistake, Hamas is not an organization fighting for the freedom of the Palestinian people; its clearly stated goal is the murder of Jews and the elimination of the State of Israel. This fight is not about settlements or the Temple Mount, it’s about Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state. The homeland they are talking about is Israel – from the river to the sea.
The next few years may well be the most important in our lifetimes to participate in Israel and antisemitism advocacy. There is no better platform than AJC to support or participate in this vital mission. Here are some of the ways you can help:
Contact me, or someone on our regional staff and get in
Subscribe to our newsletters, stay informed, and educate your friends and colleagues, especially those who are not Jewish.
Follow AJC’s social media posts -- www.ajc.org/social
Speak out if you hear someone condemning Israel. This is not the time to be timid or afraid of what others will say; we all must forcefully condemn Hamas and defend Israel.
Write to your representatives – AJC makes that easy – just click a few links here – keep up the pressure for Congress and the Biden administration to support Israel’s offensive against Hamas.
Donate to AJC’s Israel Emergency Fund 100% of every dollar collected goes to Israeli NGOs to help our Israeli family at this terrifying time.
Please give generously to support AJC’s advocacy efforts. AJC is working day and night supporting Israel and fighting rising antisemitism following the Hamas terror attack, so your support is more critical than ever. If you’ve already contributed, thank you, but please consider giving more.
Thank you so much for everything you do; together we can help Israel win this war for survival.
Am Yisrael Chai. The people of Israel live.