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The Jewish Report Editorial

Unedited hostility

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I contemplated going to watch the unedited footage of the massacre that was taken from the Hamas terrorists’ bodycams because I believed it was my duty to you, our readers, to bear witness to it.

I battled to come to terms with this over the weekend because I’m still having nightmares over a baby being cooked in an oven and an almost naked young woman lying head down at the back of a bakkie with a group of terrorists effectively sitting on her and treating her body like it was a dirty rag.

These images play in my head. And I didn’t even need to see the actual image of the baby to have nightmares about it.

I was in contact with a cousin of mine in Israel who is a trauma therapist, who told me to not even consider going to the viewing. “You aren’t the audience for it. You don’t need to be convinced that it happened,” he said. “It’s for those who have doubts about what happened here. They need proof. You don’t.”

I followed his advice, and forwarded names and numbers of people from my trade who I thought might benefit from seeing this horrific footage.

You see, I’ve been in contact with some who, after this horrific massacre, haven’t just questioned the 1 400 brutally murdered Jews, the 7 198 people injured, and 240 abducted and forced across the Gazan border to be held captive there, but have blamed Israel for this horrific situation.

It astonishes me that they believe the Israeli population would want to send their beloved young adult soldiers into Gaza with the potential of not coming home. Our hearts are breaking that already, 348 Israeli soldiers and 58 members of the police have been killed in the line of duty.

Israel didn’t want this war, nor does it want it now. It’s demanding the return of the 240 hostages, and it’s hard to believe that any country would expect it to go ahead with a ceasefire until these babies, children, women, and elderly people are returned home safely.

When I attempted to explain the situation to them, they pooh-poohed what I had to say, insisting I had been indoctrinated by Israel and therefore was biased. How does one argue with someone who has decided that Israel is an oppressor and everything it does is evil?

I do hope some of those people made it to the viewing.

Meanwhile, South African Jews are battling with the trauma of the massacre. We’re struggling with what’s happening now, both in Israel and Gaza. Daily, the names of young men and women who fell fighting for their country are released. We’re shocked at what Israel is being blamed for doing, sometimes by people who had been friends. We’re all horrified at the massive resurgence of antisemitism like we have never known it before.

In the past, we would speak about the “new antisemitism”, which we made clear was blanket condemnation of everything Israel did. But somehow as we said or wrote it, we still had some hope that it wasn’t exactly antisemitism and there could be some other explanation for it.

Nobody wants to believe they are being hated for something they were born into. When we look at people outside of our community, we know we’re different because of our faith and traditions, but we all want the same things. We want a good education, to be able to earn money enough to give our families the best we can, and to be happy.

And so it’s really difficult for any of us to understand why there are so many people around the world who simply hate us because we’re Jews.

But suddenly, it’s apparent here and everywhere.

Because of this, Jewish journalists from around the world got together to put out the piece on this page because we believe it’s important to show our solidarity and commitment to the Jewish world – inside Israel and in the diaspora.

I so agree that though our haters keep referring to so-called “good Jews” who agree with them, we cannot give these folk a platform. These people sprout the same hatred for Israel and Jews as those who hate us. I find it astonishing that they make a big deal about being Jewish, and condemn the very reason they are able to hold their heads up high as Jews. That is because there’s a Jewish state, one that’s on our side. Without Israel behind us, we have no support. So, these “good Jews” are being used by our haters to condemn us because they are proof that even Jews can see that Israel caused its own massacre. They, too, should have been to see the unedited footage this week, but unfortunately, much like our haters, they don’t want to see the truth. It’s way more convenient to sprout hatred.

Meanwhile, we watch as our government closes down relations with Israel because of all these trumped-up atrocities they claim Israel committed.

Our minister of international relations and cooperation is still denying the murder of babies. She’s still denying that it was a Palestinian rocket that bombed the hospital. She also still insists that Gaza is occupied.

The truth, dear minister, is that by cutting ties with Israel, you aren’t punishing the Jewish state, you are harming us, your South African Jewish community. We, as a community and individuals, contribute a great deal to this country that we love dearly.

We may not be a huge community, but we punch way above our weight and, in everything we do, we enhance this country. Are you sure you want to harm us?

Israel couldn’t care less if you cut ties. It’s only concerned about us, not the ties.

We’ll prevail and survive because we, as a global Jewish community, will stand together as a force to be reckoned with.

You may have noticed a yellow ribbon on the masthead on our front page. This is a campaign launched in Israel that the SA Jewish Report has adopted to show our solidarity with the effort to bring home the Israeli hostages being held in Gaza. We’ll continue to wear our yellow flag until the hostages are returned. Join us!

Shabbat Shalom and Am Yisrael Chai.

Peta Krost


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