October 16, 2023

I am an Israeli Member of This Community—& I am Scared.

More on this topic:
Why Anti-Semitism is En Vogue.
I Do Not Believe more Children need to Die to Pay for my Family’s Suffering.
An (Incomplete) Beginner’s Guide to the Israel-Hamas War.

Today I Woke Up. [Free Palestine]
Powerful Words for Israel, Palestine & Everyone who’s on the Side of Humanity.

*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.


It has been a week since the vicious terrorist attack on Israel.

My feed is one big obituary. Young faces that will never smile again. Whole families are gone. Whole villages are gone.

Even more horrific are the posts of those still looking for clues on the whereabouts of their children. Fearing the worst, and the most probable. These kids are now held captive and being tortured by Hamas. It could have been my six-year-old out there.

My daily conversations with my homeland friends and family are constantly interrupted by sirens and missile attacks. “Sorry I have to take the kids to the shelter now, love you.”

Life will never be the same. We will never dance carefree at a party without feeling pain for those murdered at the Nova festival, and fear that it might happen to us too. We will never feel safe in our own homes. Hamas might come to slaughter us, and when they do, many of you might still support them.

No one should go through the horrors of being kidnapped by Hamas. No one should be raped next to the dead bodies of their friends. No one should watch their loved ones beheaded. No parent should see his child shot dead. How can I take their pain away? How can I help to protect them from their suffering? How can I bring them back?

I can finally understand my grandparents and parents who never even aimed for happiness. How can you be happy when your people are violently butchered? I thought that by moving to the United States I was finally going to let go of the burden of the holocaust. Now it came back to get me. To get all of us.

Some of you think that Israel has been mistreating Palestinians for years, and now we finally pay for it. Israel is the evil occupier; Palestine is the victim. Israel is strong with the U.S. by its side, Palestine is the underdog. “The Jews control the media, Palestinians have no one to speak for them.”

As an Israeli, I have always fought for peace. I wanted the Palestinians to have their own state by our side. I wanted them to thrive and be happy and free. I never supported any Israeli right-wing government. I established a Middle Eastern mindfulness magazine to promote peace in the area, and hosted peace events at my house.

But this is different.

This is something I somehow have to explain to you because right now, as an Israeli living in the U.S., I feel totally misunderstood and unsupported by my yoga community, my writing community, and my liberal community. So many of you are automatically pro-Palestine, without checking the details, and it hurts. It is scary.

It feels just like it felt for my grandparents in Poland in the holocaust. The Nazis did not only commit genocide. They also convinced everyone that it was okay to do so. Jews had the money and the power, so it was okay to treat them like animals and send them to the gas chambers.

I know you do not want to make the same mistake again. I know you have peace and love in your hearts. So please read my words.

What happened on Saturday, October 7, 2023, is not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What Hamas did on that day, cannot be equated in one breath with what Israel has ever done to the Palestinians.

Israel has never ever:

>> Ambushed innocent people celebrating in peace and massacred them.

>> Drove down the street indiscriminately shooting pedestrians. 

>> Ambushed innocent families celebrating a holiday in their homes and slaughtered them.

>> Kidnapped babies, children, women, youth, the elderly, and innocent civilians as hostages.

>> Tortured babies, children, women, youth, and the elderly. 

>> Burned and beheaded babies. 

>> Raped women. 

Hamas did all of these things last Saturday morning and continue doing these horrors to our hostages as we speak.

When you support Palestine today, you support Hamas and its actions. Do you really want to support such inhuman horrific actions?

I want to believe that most Palestinians did not want this to happen. I want to believe that most Palestinians want to live in peace. But Hamas is a terror organization and all it wants is for Jews to be dead and for Israel to be destroyed.

How can human beings behead, burn, and kill dozens of babies? The only explanation is that they do not see Israelis as humans. Hamas believes that killing Jews will reward them in Heaven. This is what we are dealing with.

We are a mindful community; we want peace. I want peace. I want all living beings to be happy and free, Israelis, Palestinians. Everybody. But what Hamas did to Israel on October 7 is not a part of this conversation.

Hamas has to be condemned and stopped. This is not about supporting Palestine. It is about supporting the core values of what it means to be a human. There is no place, no justification for what Hamas did, and that should be very clear. Israel has to act to retrieve the innocent children, women, and men held hostage and stop the missiles attacks, and that should also be clear.

My heart is broken for all the innocent Palestinians who do not support Hamas and pay in their lives for its dreadful actions. I pray that through this darkness we will all find our way towards peace, love and harmony in Israel, Gaza, and the Middle East.

I bow my head in grief for more than a thousand of Israelis, women, children, and men, who were murdered by terrorists. I pray for those who were taken hostage; may you be rescued quickly and safely. I pray for the recovery of thousands who were injured. I pray for the Israeli forces; may you be safe and protected. I pray for peace. I send love to all the broken hearts in Israel, Gaza, and around the globe. My heart is broken with yours.


Please consider Boosting our authors’ articles in their first week to help them win Elephant’s Ecosystem so they can get paid and write more.


Read 49 Comments and Reply

Read 49 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Yael Terramel Weisbach  |  Contribution: 11,355

author: Yael Terramel Weisbach

Image: @nytimes/X