As Hamas unleashed the worst multipronged terror attack on the State of Israel in recent memory, many there are still trying to grapple with these unconscionable systematic murders, which have befallen the Jewish people.
“To my mind, not since the Holocaust have so many Jews been killed in one day. And not since the Holocaust, have we witnessed scenes of Jewish women and children, grandparents, and even Holocaust survivors being herded into trucks and taken into captivity,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog said on Oct. 9, two days after the terror assault. “Hamas has imported, adopted, and replicated the savagery of ISIS, entering civilian homes on a holy day, and murdering in cold blood, whole families; young and old, violating and burning bodies, beating and torturing their innocent victims, Jews and Muslims and other faiths.”
This [latest assault] was an Iranian attack carried out by Hamas terrorists,” reported Tablet.
Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defense minister, in response, vowed on Oct. 11, to “wipe Hamas from the face of the earth.” Gallant’s comments came as part of a press briefing with former defense minister Benny Gantz [who agreed to join an emergency government] alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In separate strikes overnight, the IDF said it hit dozens of sites belonging to Hamas’s commando forces. The army also said that Hamas terrorists “have been unable to infiltrate via the border fence in recent days… as Combat Engineering forces worked to seal up the security barrier, and the IAF struck gunmen approaching the area.”
Muhammed Abu Shamala, a senior member of Hamas’s naval forces, has already been killed by the IDF.
In recent days, U.S. President Joe Biden has shown unwavering support to Israel. “There are moments in life, and I mean this literally, when pure unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world. The people of Israel lived through one such moment,” Biden said on Oct 10. “At this moment, we must be crystal clear: we stand with Israel. We will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack. There is no justification for terrorism. There is no excuse.”
The U.S. President has spoken at least five times to Netanyahu, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israel’s prime minister, while also visiting a volunteer center in Tel Aviv.
Biden’s speech was uniformly hailed throughout Israel as dignified, empathetic and forceful. Kobi Rasner, an Israeli acquisitions businessman who has spent a considerable portion of his life in the U.S., for instance, proved so moved that even penned a letter that he intends to send directly to the U.S. President. Rasner’s letter, in part, read, “On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I would like to express our deepest and most appreciative thanks for the moving and supportive speech given by you at the White House… Your humane, loving and firm words brought tears to our eyes… A friend in need is a friend, indeed and this is such a time.”
The mood in Israel remains perversely disbelieving and uncertain. “The whole country is in a state of shock and somehow keeps escalating and getting worse. The magnitude is astounding and impossible to bear,” says Laura Ben-David, director of marketing at Shavei Israel. “There’s hardly anyone in the country who doesn’t know people who were killed, kidnapped, injured or whose close relatives were. It’s a literal nightmare that we can never wake up from. One of my boys is in the army now and another was called in. It’s incredibly scary and we’re just praying for a swift and successful end to this trauma.” At least 360,000 Israeli reservists have been called up in recent days; a good chunk of whom live outside Israel.
Juliana Brown, a translator and editor with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literary Studies, and who lives with her husband and young kids in Pardes Hanna, a town in northern Israel, underscores, “The progressive people around the world have empathy for everyone but a dead Jewish baby or a Jewish woman dragged off to Gaza. We aren’t fashionable and we don’t make amusing merchandise for them,” says Brown. “We are so, so grateful for those people who’ve understood the level of horrors we’ve experienced, but in the end, we have only ourselves. And that’s OK because it’s the oldest story in the world. We will need a generation to get over this and I can feel all the weight of my people’s history when I see how babies were hidden in closets. Just tell people our babies are precious to us, if not to the rest of the world.”
On Oct. 8, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) “called on the European Union and its member states to prevent all funds reaching Gaza as long as the territory is controlled by the Hamas terror entity,” the statement read in part. “Hamas commits its full resources to its principal objective, which is the destruction of the Jewish State and the killing of Jews. If there was any shred of doubt about that fact, it has clearly been removed after [these] barbaric attacks,” said EJC President Ariel Muzicant.
Since EJC’s declaration, Germany and Austria halted aid toward the Palestinian Territories as Germany announced the suspension of bilateral assistance amounting to 125 million euro for this year, pending a comprehensive examination into the utilization of such aid. Austria also halted its aid, which had been valued at 19 million euro.