I’m not writing this for the antisemites or closeted Jew-haters. They will always think and believe what they want to think and believe.
But for the Jews who are confused; for our friends who want to support us but are being bombarded with false information; and for the youth on college campus and even high school who are pressured to stay quiet and hide—this is for you.
We are one people, and when one of us bleeds, we all bleed. I know that you are also hurting inside, ever since the day you saw 1,400 of our people slaughtered in the most vicious way. And our friends worldwide who want a world of good, you also feel the pain of 200 kidnapped people—babies, children, and grandmas being held by terrorists.
Let’s take a moment to understand what is really going on, and address the claims you may have been hearing.
For perspective, let’s first look at what happened on Tuesday night, when suddenly every news outlet across the globe headlined that Israel bombed a hospital in Gaza and killed 500 people.
The news outlets all published these headlines based on word they received from Hamas—a recognized terror organization that had just slaughtered 1,400 Israelis. None of them took a moment to consider that it was impossible for Hamas to know the death toll within mere minutes of the blast. None of them listened when Israel said that it does not target hospitals. It took until the next day when President Biden confirmed evidence that the blast was in fact from a failed Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that these outlets changed their headlines only slightly.
But the ridiculousness of it all came glaringly obvious in the morning, when photos and video footage showed that the blast had been in the hospital parking lot, where there was nothing but damaged cars. Realizing they were caught in a huge lie, Hamas dropped their death toll estimate to “10-40.”
Take a moment to consider how eager everyone was to share word from a terror organization when it would make Israel look bad—even with significant evidence that it was false. Think how reluctant they were to correct the error, if they did at all. Now have this in mind whenever you hear any anti-Israel headlines. Consider how comfortable people feel with a lie when it’s to prosecute Israel.
With that in mind, let’s look at some popular anti-Israel catchphrases going around these days:
*”Israel’s response is disproportionate.”*
After decades of firing tens of thousands missiles and mortars at Israeli civilians, on October 7th, terrorists from Gaza launched a full war on Israel. An estimated 2,900 Hamas terrorists broke through the Israeli border and tortured, raped, and murdered 1,400 Israelis, and kidnapped 200 more. The vast majority of those killed were civilians, including babies, children, and elderly Holocaust survivors.
To quote one of the terrorists describing their cruelty, “we behaved like animals.”
The terrorists chose October 7th in order to target a music and peace festival being held in the forest near Gaza, which was full of teens and young adults. They stormed the festival and turned it into a bloodbath.
Since October 7th, terrorist faction in Gaza fired 7,000 rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians, adding an entire Bedouin family to the death toll amongst others, displacing 500,000 Israeli civilians, and destroying homes, schools, playgrounds, and even a wing of Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.
The only proportionate response is the complete eradication of Hamas, and a guarantee of safety to all Israeli citizens.
*“Israelis are European colonizers!”*
This one is disgusting and blatant antisemitism. It’s shameful that we even need to respond to it.
Israel is and always was home to the Jewish people. For 3,377 years there has never been a time when Jews did not live in Israel. Most Jews were forcefully exiled by foreign conquers and occupiers, but never once stopped praying for the return to Zion and Jerusalem, and attempting to return when possible.
My husband and I can both personally trace our lineage to when our families were expelled from Israel, and when we returned, as can most Jews from both Europe and the Middle East. We are the indigenous people here, and it is racist to call us the occupiers or colonizers of our own land.
In addition, not all Israelis are Jewish. Many are Muslim, Druze, Christian, or others, and they serve in the military too, and are also being killed by Hamas terrorists.
*“The Palestinians just want a State!”*
In 1947 the Arabs in the British Mandate of Palestine were offered more than half the land in a partition plan. They refused it and chose instead to attempt the annihilation of all the Jews. They failed.
Notably, when the land from the partition plan was mostly taken by Jordan and Egypt, no one called for them to make it into a Palestinian state.
The Palestinians were again offered a state in the 1993 Oslo Accords, but Hamas opposed it, and instead chose to launch terror attacks on Israel.
In 2000, at the Camp David Summit, the Palestinians refused an offer that included even more territory, and instead launched the Second Intifada.
In 2005, Israel evacuated all 8,000 Jewish citizens from their homes Gaza, and gave the Palestinians a state with beautiful beaches and infrastructure. Countries worldwide poured in billions of dollars, hoping that the Palestinians would make it into a paradise. Instead, they elected Hamas as the government, and spent all the money on terror.
The Hamas Covenant is very clear in what they actually want:
“Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious… The Islamic Resistance Movement is but one squadron that should be supported…until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realized. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine…”
*“Israel maintained a siege on Gaza.”*
That’s literally impossible, since Gaza also has a border with Egypt.
Israel maintained security borders like any other country. Due to Hamas’s tendency to import rockets which are used on Israeli citizens, Israel inspects all imports at the border, and in non-war times, allows all safe materials through.
To enter Israel, you must have a visa or work permit, which plenty of people from Gaza had. Many of the small Israeli communities near Gaza are made up of people who dreamed of peace with Gaza, and therefore hired many Gaza workers. In a horrific turn of events, several of those permit-holding workers assisted in planning the terror attack, and stormed Israel on October 7th to murder and kidnap the very people they worked with.
This pulls into question whether Israel should ever have given work permits to Gaza citizens at all.
*”Israel stopped supplying water and electricity to Gaza!”*
This sounds ridiculous when you think about it. What country supplies electricity and water to a people that declared war on them and slaughtered their civilians?
Gaza had its own power plant and water supply, but Hamas plundered the equipment to make rockets which they fired into Israel. Despite this, Israel had been supplying them with electricity, gas, and water. All three were turned off at the start of the war, but the water was turned back on shortly after.
If Gaza can’t produce their own electricity now, they can turn to their other neighbor, Egypt, who they did not declare war on.
*”Israel is killing civilians in Gaza!”*
Sadly, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists hide in between civilians and use them as human shields. Historically, Israel has made a huge effort to minimize civilian casualties, by giving warnings before bombing any building, and using precision targeting.
This time Israel has a moral obligation to the safety of its citizens to eradicate Hamas. Therefore the IDF gave Gaza civilians a safe evacuation route away from areas which will be under heavy fire, with two weeks notice to evacuate. Hamas has been making an effort to block civilian evacuation, though most have thus far succeeded in moving to safer locations.
In addition, since October 7th, 1 in 5 rockets fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad fell short—that adds up to 550 rockets that they fired on their own people, contributing to an unknown but high number of civilian deaths in Gaza.
*”Israel is committing an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians!”*
The Palestinian population has been growing at the same rate as the Jewish population in Israel. That’s not how ethnic cleansing or genocide works. This is a bigger lie than the Gaza hospital bombing, and reeks of antisemitic undertones.
*“Israel is apartheid.”*
All Israelis have equal rights, at every level. There are even Muslim parties in the Knesset (parliament), holding 10 of 120 seats. A quick stroll through any major Israeli city will show you Israelis of all religions getting about their day together, happily. My dentist and my husband’s primary physician are both Arab, and that’s the norm!
Often when people cry apartheid, they are referring to Palestinians. They are not Israeli, they live in either Gaza, which is under Hamas rule, or parts of the West Bank, which are under governance of the Palestinian Authority. They are treated like any other visitor to Israel – they can apply for a work or tourist visa to enter, and then work or tour like any other visa-holding visitor.
*“Zionism is evil. Not all Jews are Zionists.”*
Zionism is a longing for Zion – Jerusalem, and Israel. Jews are from Zion. For over 2,000 years Jews have been praying three times a day, and after every time we eat bread, for the return of all Jews to Zion. You cannot separate Jerusalem from Judaism.
Stand strong. The world has become a frightening place for the Jewish people. We remember those who stayed silent enablers during the Holocaust, and those who managed to resist the pressure and become heroes. We see you, and we respect you for making the right choice.
Pictured: In between collecting mutilated bodies of Israelis killed by Hamas, and seeing the torture inflicted on families with small children before they were murdered, a ZAKA worker breaks down in tears.
©2023 B. Efune