From the River to the See

It’s not an easy time to be a pro-peace, pro-two state solution Jew. On one hand, you’ve been fighting against Bibi and his increasingly right wing, anti-peace, settler-expanding, democracy-challenging government for years, and now he’s the leader at the top of the effort to protect Israel and free the hostages. On the other hand, you’ve had to experience the rabid, relentless rise of antisemitism, chiefly exemplified in the uninformed (and often stupid), protests of fellow progressives that have somehow progressed past calls for Israel to show military restraint to protect civilians in Gaza into the bizarro support of a terrorist organization turned death cult; a social movement that has turned Hamas into a symbol of peace fighters, instead of viewing them as what they are, a murderous, blood-thirsty organization that has worked to decapitate peace (often by decapitating Jews) at every turn, uses citizens as human shields, and is preventing people from moving to safe areas and preventing Americans from leaving Gaza. Of course, I’m thinking of this from the perspective of an American Jew whose parents survived the Holocaust. My anger and anguish is nothing compared to those whose loved ones have been kidnapped by Hamas. Many, many of the families impacted by the October 7 massacre had spent their lives working for peace and equality in a region that self-assured American campus protesters have never visited and might have a hard time finding on a map. And it’s of course nothing compared to the families of innocent Palestinians who have gone from living under the thumb of Hamas to living and dying under a storm of bombs.

+ “American colleges and universities are the hotbed of antisemitism, by a liberal mob that has not taken the time to understand the issues. I love the ‘Queers of Palestine’ – try being Queer in Gaza … When they chant ‘From the river to the sea Palestine will be free they are calling for the destruction and massacre of Israel and Israelis. Between the river and the sea are Palestinian territories AND the state of Israel. And where were these voices protesting the Russian war crimes in the Ukraine? Where is the call to release the kidnapped Israelis as part of a ceasefire? The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complicated and has no good guys. Hamas is not part of that – it is something different.” Noam Bardin: Day 24 of War.

+ David Remnick with a must-read in The New Yorker: “The victims of the Hamas attack—the dead, the survivors, the kidnapped—were not settlers or fanatics; they were, in the main, the liberals of Israel, a breed that still speaks (with caveats and shades of difference) about peace and two states for two peoples. They tend to loathe Netanyahu for his hubris and corruption, his disdain for the Palestinians, his attempt to diminish the Supreme Court, and his alliance with such lurid reactionaries.” In the Cities of Killing. “The coffins were carried in and the names were read: one by one by one by one by one. At first, there was silence, but now a great communal lamentation convulsed the assembled. I have never heard such weeping as I did that afternoon. There would be many more funerals to come, many more convulsions of grief. But the sounds of lamentation never carry as far as those of rockets, missiles, artillery, bombs.” (On whichever side of the border your politics lie or your tribal connections align, your heart should ache for the innocent people getting killed on both sides of it.)

+ “It’s well past time for the long-suffering Palestinians to have their own state. But what we are hearing from the far left — in rallies, online and on campuses — is something else entirely. They are attacking the Jewish state’s very existence. They are celebrating the mass murder of Jewish people. And they have, predictably, set off an orgy of violence and harassment directed at American Jews.” Dana Milbank in WaPo (Gift Article): What a lonely time to be a Jew in America.

+ “It seems odd that one has to say: Killing civilians, old people, even babies, is always wrong. But today say it one must … Hamas set up a one-party state that crushes Palestinian opposition within its territory, bans same-sex relationships, represses women, and openly espouses the killing of all Jews. Very strange company for leftists … Israel has done many harsh and bad things. Netanyahu’s government, the worst ever in Israeli history, as inept as it is immoral, promotes a maximalist ultranationalism that is both unacceptable and unwise. Everyone has the right to protest against Israel’s policies and actions but not to promote terror sects, the killing of civilians, and the spreading of menacing anti-Semitism.” Simon Sebag Montefiore in The Atlantic (Gift Article): The Decolonization Narrative Is Dangerous and False.

+ “Benjamin Netanyahu apologized on Sunday for blaming his country’s security services for the lapses that led to the surprise attacks by Hamas on Oct. 7.” The most deadly attack in Israel occurred and hundreds of hostages are in grave danger: But a narcissist only knows how to protect one person: himself. America, take note.

+ “A mob stormed an airport in the Russian republic of Dagestan … Hundreds of people, some chanting antisemitic slogans and waving Palestinian flags, rushed onto the landing field to seek passengers on a flight arriving from Tel Aviv.” Israel-Hamas War Sparks Wave of Antisemitism in Europe.

+ “The people in Gaza, every house has death, has a kid lost, died, or a father died, or a cousin died. It’s not even one house in Gaza that they don’t have death.” For Palestinian and Israeli Americans, the unimaginable is now a reality.

+ “At a moment of heightened concern that the Israel-Hamas war could spiral into a broader regional conflict, Biden has begun to emphasize that once the bombing and shooting stop, working toward a Palestinian state should no longer be ignored.” Biden says Mideast leaders must consider a two-state solution after the war ends.

+ 63 UN Aid workers have been killed during Israeli airstrikes, the ground incursion continues as tanks approach Gaza City, hostage videos released by Hamas, one hostage rescued, Biden presses Bibi to increase humanitarian aid. Here’s the latest from BBC, CNN, and NBC.

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