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The Jewish Report Editorial

Witness to a massacre

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How is it that there are people questioning whether 1 400 Jews were killed on 7 October in the south of Israel? How dare people challenge the 5 240 Jews who were injured and the 222 Jews – mostly women, children, and the elderly – who were abducted into Gaza and are being held hostage? Why on earth does Israel need to prove that it happened?

How is it possible that when the Hamas killing squads used body cams to glorify their own depravity as they mowed through the country, butchering whoever they could find, there are many in this world who disbelieve it? They did to our people the most unspeakable atrocities that are more heinous than anyone’s worst nightmare, but there are many who disbelieve it quite simply, it seems, because it happened to Jews.

What must it have felt like for Israelis to have to call the foreign media to attend a showing of raw and unedited footage of the horrific crimes against Jews committed by the Hamas death squads? The footage was from the terrorists’ body cams. It was shown to prove that it happened, and to show the serious depravity and extent of Hamas’ brutality and perversion.

The Israeli government did it so that the international media who attended would bear witness to the horror that happened so that they could quiet the strange Holocaust-like denialism that’s spreading across the world.

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy called on the international media to come and witness it “if they could stomach it” to tell the world what happened, saying, “I cannot believe as a country we have to do this.”

As a human being who has never had to face someone looking me in the eye with real hatred simply because I was born Jewish, I cannot imagine how or why anyone would want to do this to us.

People in Israel were attacked simply because they were Jews, no other reason.

In most of our lifetimes, we’ve never faced true antisemitism, but it seems that slowly but surely, this sentiment is spreading and as a people, we need to stand together with love and be strong in the face of it.

Last Sunday, we held our Absa Jewish Achiever Awards 2023, which was truly phenomenal! But because we’re all still reeling from and mourning what happened in Israel, it was a much quieter and more sedate affair than normal. It wasn’t a great party, like last year. It wasn’t a big, sumptuous celebration, but it was a magnificent evening in which the community got together to honour the outstanding people in our community who have achieved so much.

It was noticeable how many of the winners focused on education and the upliftment of the people in our country. It was inspiring to hear that, while these issues may have fallen off our government’s radar, they are right up there on the priorities of the go-getters and people whose mission it is to make this country and its people better. Our Lifetime Achievement Award winner Robbie Brozin and Humanitarian Award winner Dr Taddy Blecher are forces to be reckoned with, and their achievements are so inspiring.

Every single one of our winners this year and in previous years prove how much our community punches above its weight. They prove just how much our community contributes to this country we love.

However, it certainly doesn’t feel as if our government, the ruling party, and the Economic Freedom Fighters values the lives of Jewish people as much as other folk. Hence, they clearly found it difficult to condemn what Hamas did to our brethren in Israel. In fact, in some cases, they overtly sided with Hamas.

As for our incredible array of winners and nominees, I’m always blown away at how every year, there are a whole new selection of phenomenal people who make it extraordinarily tough for our judges to select winners. This year was no different.

You can find out more about the winners, nominees, and actual awards in this newspaper and the magazine insert.

I have to say, many of us were astonished by our youngest winner, David Teeger.

This young man, who is the Under-19 Proteas cricket captain, didn’t expect to win because he believed his competitors were far greater than he was. However, standing up in front of us, he proved he was so much more than a young sportsman – not that being top sportsman is something to frown upon. He’s clearly someone who will be remembered long after putting down his cricket bat for doing great.

Teeger said that although he was grateful to win the Rising Star Award, the true rising stars were the Israeli soldiers fighting for Israel.

It’s hard to keep being reminded of what happened and is happening in our beautiful Jewish state. It’s hard not to worry about the people we love. And it’s important to keep in touch with them so they know we’re thinking of them.

It’s also important for every one of us to stand up and be proud Jews. We don’t need to cower. We don’t need to hide our love of Israel and our support for the people going through such pain. We need to keep calling for the 222 hostages to be released.

As a mother, I do hear people worrying about Palestinian children. Unlike Hamas though, the Israeli army doesn’t go out to harm Palestinian children or innocent Palestinians. What so many don’t understand is that this isn’t a war between Israelis and Palestinians, it’s a war between Israel and Hamas, a terrorist organisation that calls for the death of Jews.

I hear the call for a ceasefire and a peace treaty, which sounds wonderful, but exactly how do you even consider it while 222 Israelis are being held hostage in Gaza and Hamas, which brutalised our people, is running free? Seriously, that’s too much to expect.

Israel didn’t ask for this war. Israel didn’t want this war. But the Hamas death squads and the people who planned the massacre on 7 October wanted it and made it happen. Israel has a right to defend its people! Am Yisrael Chai!

Shabbat shalom!

Peta Krost


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Taubie Michelson

    Oct 26, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you for writing such a great article. I feel that your heart is truly with us all.
    Continue your amazing work.

    Taubie Michelson

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