One day in October (13 days later)
The fact the media immediately resorted to "both-siding" reporting of this attack is disgusting. After the March women's protest and its idiocy involving the saluting men-in-black I was immediately cynical to the govt's response of banning Nazi symbolism. I said before and say again that Australia's Jews have 1000x more to fear from leftist anti-Zionists than they do from a tiny minority of right-wing dickheads.
This is just one more sign of how unhinged the progressive movement has become. With issues such as obligatory anti-Zionism, gender ideology and performative denunciation of Western culture we are reaching "peak leftism". Israel as a nation-state and Jews have become acceptable targets since they are now perceived as part of Western culture vis-a-vis "the other" which per progressive dogma must be uncritically worshipped. Unfortunately JS has pointed out that many progressive Jews have succumbed to the pressure to "self-denounce" by making performative anti-Israeli statements. What we are seeing is precisely the social dynamics that produced revolutionary terror and the gulags: a group of people with a messianistic moral superiority imposing their values on others, fortunately today they do not have the power to kill (here at least).
If there is any positive outcome that can arise from this tragedy it should be closure of naive sympathy Westerners have toward Arab nationalism. The Arab-Israeli conflict is not about territory and politics or religion, it is ultimately a battle between civilization and barbarism, our weakness is that we must show the very tolerance and observance of human rights the other side if free to disregard.
Good luck to Austraila's Jews - please know that others are aware of what is happening and are on your side.
Thank you Julie for writing this piece that powerfully expresses so much of what I feel. The horror of the pogrom was shocking beyond belief in its brutality. Hamas' charter, which is the destruction of Israel and genocide of Jews, is somehow overlooked in almost all reportage and opinion pieces regarding the events in Israel. That its charter is not widely acknowledged, not central to the discussion , allows the pro - Palestinian 'lobby' to adopt a stance of advocating for Palestinians as an oppressed group whilst ignoring the realpolitik of Israel - that is, its persistent existential threat. I desperately listen for calls for Israel's right to exist at these pro-Palestinian rallies which purportedly represent human rights. On this is silence. I feel sick with anguish and sorrow when I think of Palestinian women and children and men who are innocent victims of retaliatory rockets from Israel that target Hamas, but I hear no equivalent empathy for the Jewish and Israeli victims of Hamas. Not from the Pro Palestinian rallies. I want to hear the Pro Palestians say that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish nation. Instead I hear chants of " from the river to the sea" at the rallies , which is code for the eradication of Israel. Apparently these upholders of morality see no problem with a Jewish genocide. With the appalling news of the hospital bombing in Gaza, Australian news sites immediately reported there was no evidence that Israel had sent the rocket- which Hamas and local Gazan civilians claimed, and whilst investigations were ongoing. Despite this, many reporters commented in the next sentence on the appalling act if the rocket was Israeli . If it was true they would be correct. But at that point they did not know, and no equivalent comment was made about Hamas. This despite the fact that Israel is a democracy whilst Hamas is a terrorist organisation. Israel's policy is NOT to target civilians whilst Hamas clearly does - remember ?? Increasing evidence states it was a failed Hamas rocket that destroyed the hospital and that hundreds of others have failed and fallen in Gaza( presumably also with human casualties). The outcry to this? - I am waiting for it. Hamas exhorts Gazan civilians to remain in areas which Israel has given notice to evacuate in advance of attacks. I am waiting for Pro Palestinian groups to call for the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state with equal rights for all its citizens. All I hear, when Palestinian leaders in the diaspora tell the crowds to stick to the main game and refrain from racist chants that we heard (fuck the Jews, Gas the Jews) , instead I hear "from the river to the sea" ( Jewish genocide), or Intafada ( kill the Jews). Palestinians need self determination. There have been no elections since Hamas took over in 2007. And Israel has the right to exist with security and also the obligation to protect its citizens, just like every other country and state.
When I lived in The Netherlands over 40 years ago - I remember the Israel / Palestine conflict was already there. The ONLY solution ALWAYS was to have 2 states Israel and Palestine. The fact that we ended up with an occupied Gaza for so many years - I'm not surprised by this outcome. - But I'm devastated.
Your comments about the Caulfield Park precinct which is indeed reflective of much of Caulfield, indicate less to me of Jewish nationalism, than how much of Caulfield reflects the beauty and peace of Jewish culture. I could not help but see in the defiled beauty of the kibbutzes and farms which occurred on that disastrous October day, the destruction of culture and homely comfort that I see on an almost daily basis in Caulfield and Balaclava. Make no mistake, October 7 was a premeditated effort to wipe out Israel, and if it were not for the effectiveness of the defence Dome and the preparedness of the IDF I have little doubt that Hezbollah would have launched an attack which is why the US fleet were so prompt in getting to Israel. Few people have an understanding of the capacity of the two biggest naval ships in the world, the USS Gerald Ford and Nimitz. For the Western media to immediately adopt and publicise the Hamas lie that the IDF attacked the hospital was nothing less than appalling journalism at least, and terrorist sympathising at worst. Again what many people do not understand, is that the IDF has Gaza and has had Gaza, under 24/7 monitoring, for years, electronically, visually and technologically. Using physics and computer algorithms consistent with GPS tracking systems, the location of each rocket launch from Gaza can be identified with reasonable precision. Within a few hours the IDF made it public that their detection systems had identified that the rocket which exploded, not on the hospital, but in the hospital car park, had been fired from a cemetery close to the hospital. The trajectory of the rocket was recorded and filmed exploding in flames and crashing to Earth in the hospital grounds. The explosion which was at and slightly above ground level, understandably incinerated all those sheltering in the hospital grounds. The size of the incineration was the result of the huge fuel load the rocket was carrying to get it to Tel Aviv. Electronic intercepts recorded Hamas operatives discussing the rocket failure. And despite this empirical evidence, sympathisers of Hamas are denying the truth. I guess that denial is to be expected. The IDF has no choice but to go into Gaza and destroy the network of tunnels and attack command centres. A failure to do so will see a repetition of this terrorist activity in years to come. Gaza in the early 2000s became a captive of Hamas. The Palestinians became subjects of Hamas domination and also became hostages to Hamas war effort. Civilian areas above ground were cleverly converted to military munitions storage areas and attack posts either in the building or below it. Gaza is not an independent country. Israel made the mistake in 1967 of acting responsibly and ceding back control of Gaza to the Palestinians who lived there. Prior to that it was under British, then Egyptian control. Since then under the control of a politico-terrorist group committed to the destruction of neighbouring Israel. Israel must destroy the subterranean military infrastructure in Gaza. There is no choice. And when Blinken and Biden warned neighbouring countries and “actors” not to take advantage of the position in which Israel now finds itself, when both linked and Biden said “Don’t. Don’t. Just don’t”, what they did not say was that the military fury of the USS Gerald Ford and Nimitz and other US forces in the Mediterranean would be unleashed. And Iran knows that. GPS tracking g devices on massive, massive rockets on board the USS Gerald Ford will have been programmed for one destination: the political and nuclear infrastructure in Teheran. The only thing Blinken and Biden did not say, in the words of Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry”, is, “go ahead…..make my day”.
Thank you for this characteristically balanced and thought-provoking piece on this horrific crisis. I have been shocked and appalled at the lack of empathy for, nay the celebration of, the grievous loss of innocent Jewish lives. The hypocrisy on display in the MSM and commentary on social media is incredible. Plainly, many people believe a Jewish state of any kind should not exist, particularly in the Middle East. I feel deeply sorry for the Palestinian people who are also suffering and dying as a result of the actions of Hamas and terror groups like it. When sympathisers shout "Free Palestine", I wonder if they even know from whom or what it should look like after their stated goal is achieved?
IN THE END, WE WILL REMEMBER NOT THE WORDS OF OUR ENEMIES, BUT THE SILENCE OF OUR FRIENDS.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
The longer Israel takes in moving the more confidence I feel about what they do next.
I am not a Jew but I totally support Israel in this war. One of my co-workers lived on a kibbutz that was over run by Hamass. She was shot and her corpse was left booby trapped. That same kibbutz is one of the ones that had Thai workers who were either killed or kidnapped by Hamass
I have a certain sympathy for the West Bank Palestinians but I have none for the Gazans who have squandered all the resources and self government they were given.
Hi Julie. Thank you for writing this. Though I largely disagree with you, I understand where you are coming from and I appreciate your honesty. I feel that now more than ever we need respect, compassion and unity with those we call "others" rather than a retreat of "taking sides" and sharply drawn boundaries around whether we support Israel or the Palestinians. As a Jew, I don't have a strong identification with Israel - I bleed as much for the suffering Palestinians as I do for the Israeli victims of the Hamas massacre. I'm sorry for the way you ended this piece, with a prayer for the IDF. Military might only leads to more might, to more bloodshed on all sides, and so an ongoing cycle of violence. We must have the courage to say "enough!" and to build peace; and if we fail, we pick ourselves up and start over again. If all this sounds naive, look at the premise, which you support, that the Israeli state is needed to protect Jews from anti-semitism and the possibility of another Holocaust: the reality is that Jews in many countries around the world are far safer and more secure than they have ever been in Israel. Far more naive, in my view, is the belief in military power as a safeguard to security. And may I also finish on a religious note. The Prophets, in seeking to understand the decline and destruction of the historical states of Israel and Judah, identified two main causes: injustice and idolatry. Zip forward 2500 years. Injustice: towards the Palestinians, idolatry: the worship of might and power. "I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, says the Lord." Jeremiah 21.14
Sorry for your sorrows, but I don't value a Jewish life above any other life, irrespective of beliefs, nationality, ethnicity, or other markers of difference. And as for your supporter's absurdly reductionist portrayal of this being a conflict between good and absolute evil, well I'd disassociate myself from such simpletons, if I were you.
The killing of innocent civilians is morally repugnant, whether in war or in peace. But it's their basic humanity that counts, nothing else. As for their murderers, I'm not sure that committing their actions remotely, with missiles and bombs, is any less reprehensible than doing it close up, with the sword. All murder is repugnant.
By the same reasoning, I would take issue with your defence of Israel when you condemn indignantly, 'the suggestion the Israeli government would, in the absence of military provocation, unleash on Palestinian civilians.' Are you willfully ignoring the ongoing oppression and dispossession of Palestinians by Israel since at least 1967?
'Unleash' may not be an apt way to describe the unrelenting bureaucratic and physical mistreatment of these people by Israel - accelerated exponentially under Netanyahu - but that is just a semantic quibble.
Inform yourself, Julie, on how they have to live their daily lives under an apartheid occupation intent on forcing them out of their homes and off their land. Or do you prefer to focus merely on thoughts of peaceful Jews, oops Israelis, in kibbutzim making the deserts fertile?
I think you are too emotionally involved to provide a balanced assessment. Covering your piece with the mantel of 'What a Jew Thinks' doesn't excuse you from your journalistic obligation to avoid obvious bias. I would commend to you something by another journalist, Fintan O' Toole, who has a more factual, moral and unemotional grasp of the whole terrible situation than you have managed this time. Give him a read. See 'Eyeless in Gaza'. www.nybooks.com/online/...via@nybooks
What Hamas did to innocent men, women, children and babies is pure evil. Even animals don't do such barbaric acts. There is no place in civilization for such monsters. Hamas also has a history of killing anyone not Muslim, including Christians.
This is a battle of good vs evil. With God's help, Israel will prevail. The rest of the world needs to decide which side it's on.
"An ABC journalist reporting on the massacre was lashed for expressing scepticism about eye-witness accounts in the Israeli press, since confirmed by Israeli authorities, that Hamas had decapitated babies, and then curated them like some macabre art installation."
This has not been confirmed by Israeli authorities.
A horrible attack by Hammas on settlers in Israel. No doubt by psychopaths who seem to rise to the top of revolutionary movements and then take pleasure in barbarism. See the IRA as an example.
I’m not sure what the response by Israel should be but telling one million people to leave their homes is not right.
As an Anglo Saxon descendant I do think, along with many others, that the oppression of Palestinians since 1947 has been wrong. They have been removed from their homeland and forced off their land. Their access to power and water is limited by Israel who doesn’t want a two state solution and yet have caused one.
I see no way out and as usual the innocent suffer.
Weep for all the innocents.