By Leah Garber
The truth: In an orderly world, there is truth, which is backed by facts, by proofs. In a distorted world, the standards by which injustices are responded to are subjective. Truth stands at the mercy of false propaganda and various interests.
For decades, our world has been one of interests that come before facts, prejudices that outweigh evidence, twisted truths, hypocrisy, ignorance, and outrageous superficiality. When you present clear facts to people who spread hatred and incitement against Israel on social media and ask them to point to Gaza on a map, to share their knowledge about the conflict, about Hamas and its agenda, the answer is an embarrassing silence, stupidity, or simple shallowness. They know very little but that doesn’t prevent them from spreading lies. In the name of an enlightened worldview in which they believe, they adopt fabricated stories and slander Israel to shelter under the umbrella of the Palestinian cause—which for some reason is better photographed on social media.
Where were the tens of thousands of demonstrators who support the Palestinians in 2001 when the U.S. fought the Taliban regime in Afghanistan? Were they out in the streets protesting against the U.S., calling for a “Free Afghanistan,” or did they understand that the horrors of 9/11 justified a war to eradicate evil, protect the world from terrorism, and eliminate moral deterioration?
Are there any supporters of Gaza today who see the cynicism in Hamas’s manipulations? Did anyone notice that when Hamas accused Israel of bombing the hospital last week, they claimed hundreds of dead, but from the moment it was proven beyond a doubt that the bombing was carried out by Islamic Jihad, suddenly the number of dead dropped to a few dozen? Is anyone talking about Hamas’s 600 failed missile launches from residential neighborhoods—aimed at Israel—that caused the death of dozens of civilians in Gaza? Are any of those peace seekers protesting against Hamas for brutally killing their own people? Do these ” justice seekers” recognize that the humanitarian aid loaded onto dozens of trucks Israel has been allowing to enter Gaza in recent days will not be delivered to the innocent citizens of Gaza who need it, but rather to the Hamas terrorists?
Today I am venting pain, frustration, and disappointment because the images of the protests against Israel from around the world are outrageous and unimaginable. How far can the hypocrisy spread? Haven’t enough babies been burned and slaughtered to show the world the magnitude of the catastrophe, the unspeakable crimes against humanity? Aren’t 222 hostages— children, sick, elderly, women—more than enough for people to understand who is the evil force here?
And what about the murdered people, the entirely destroyed kibbutzim, the evacuated cities, and the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees? Are they not convincing enough? Not photogenic enough? Do we need to remind those who incite against Israel precisely who desecrated a joyous Jewish holiday? Who launched an entirely unprovoked killing spree against innocent families and festivalgoers? The answer is the same as all previous rounds of fighting in Gaza: They were all initiated by Hamas and, as always, targeted Israeli civilians.
Will knowing that among the murdered, about 200 people cannot be identified—even with the most advanced technology—make the case? Two of the bodies, a charred black block, were a father hugging his small child. After both were shot at close range, the murderers burned the bodies and wrapped iron wire around them. Father and son, burned together in an eternal embrace.
I apologize for these horrible, painful descriptions but in the face of the blind eye of all those protestors, we, too, must remove our kid gloves. The world has changed and with it the sterility of sharing the atrocities.
If these ghastly descriptions aren’t enough, perhaps the chilling story of Shlomo Ron will evoke some empathy: On that black Shabbat of October 7, Shlomo and his family hid in their safe room while the murderers roamed around the kibbutz, slaughtering everyone they could find. In an act of sublime heroism, Shlomo left the safe room where his family was hiding. He sat down in the living room and waited for the killers.
And they came.
When they saw an old, seemingly senile man sitting alone in his living room, not even trying to hide, they thought he was troubled and left alone in the house, so they shot him and moved to the next one, to continue the killing. Shlomo Ron thereby saved the life of his beloved wife, Hana, and the lives of his cherished daughters and grandson.
Shlomo was buried on Kibbutz Kinneret. Nearby are the poets Rachel and Naomi Shemer, who wrote about their love for the Land of Israel, its landscape, its people. Now, buried next to them, they have a true hero who sacrificed his life so his family could live.
Maybe the stories of the children who hid under their beds from the Hamas knives will be more photogenic? Even now, safe in hotels in central Israel, they continue to sleep under the bed.
What about the members of the extended Haran family, two of whom were murdered and 10 (!) of whom were kidnapped to Gaza, including children? Can anyone imagine that? Has the world become numb to terrorism? Are we expected to restrain ourselves until the next time murderous terrorists in the thousands invade Israel for another bloody killing spree, or is it our duty—all of ours—to ensure that such horrors never, ever repeat themselves—whether aimed at us or at others?
But there is hope, and I choose to believe that the people of light, those who see the truth, far outnumber the hypocrites. Across the world are millions who stand by Israel in this difficult time, including, most certainly, the line of leaders from the wider world who came to Israel and issued statements of support that are not ambiguous.
Moving displays from across the world try to overpower the hypocrisy and anti-Israeli incitement, such as this exhibition of baby carriages in London.
And this Shabbat table in Rome, with similar tables on display in other places around the world.
Pictures of the 222 abducted are seen in New York’s Times Square and in this moving video from Green Point Cape Town, South Africa, as well as in many, many other places.
The pain spans the world. Stretching from the kibbutzim in the south of Israel—from the rivers of blood, the burned homes, and the endless newly dug graves—into the hearts of Jews and people of all faiths around the world. This is the chain of brotherhood and solidarity, the chain of truth that must prevail over lies.
Please help the truth be revealed, facts prevail over ignorance. Otherwise, as long as there are those who support and justify the atrocities, they will never stop. Not here. Not anywhere.
Together, united, we will overcome.
Leah Garber is a senior vice president of JCC Association of North America and director of its Center for Israel Engagement in Jerusalem.