UPDATE: Oct. 15, 2023:
This was a pogrom--with a difference. When pogroms came, Jews were stateless refugees, fleeing to Germany, Hungary, America, England. Jews are no longer stateless--try a pogrom--the Cossacks will not gain our wealth, our land, our homes. What they get is vengeance. Disproportionate. So don't be on the side of the Cossacks. Support those who are righteous. Peoples planning pogroms pique pitiless plagues portending their own pitfalls.
UPDATE: October 10, 2023
I feel betrayed. By all those who draw false equivalencies between Hamas and Israel--killing people is wrong. Massacres. Torture. Desecration of corpses. Rape. Orcs do that. Not humans. What Hamas did was wrong and all those who do not say so unequivalently and openly are naught but sniveling cowards.
Am Israel Chai.
Original post: 10/8/23
On route to work, I looked at the headlines of the NYT's (on my smart phone) and found out the news--Israel attacked by Hamas. Sneak attack. Shabbat violated. Fifty years since the Yom Kippur war. Rockets fired all over--Jerusalem struck.
I felt the same sense of dread, helplessness, dizziness, and dissociation I did on 9/11, 22 years ago. And outrage--how could they let this happen. How could they let the same playbook--Shabbat, holy days---interfere with watchful alertness? How could they not see? All this would be the first attempt of the enemy.
I want to think Israel's leaders are more alert, more prepared, more aware of the psychology of the other. It's been done before--so it was thinkable. Just like here--1993--maniac attacks the WTC. We know the WTC was a favorite target for terrorists---yet, 8 years elapse---Guiliani decides the WTC would be the plum site for the Emergency Preparedness Nest.
In 1999, Christopher Buckley wrote an essay in THE ATLANTIC. He was a guest of Saudi oil billionaires. A bunch of them were laughing in their clique, emitting verbal slurs against Americans. They were giggling about using jets as airplanes against symbolic American buildings. And he thought, "Bastards are crazy enough to do it." This was at least 1 1/2 years before 9/11. Obviously, Bush and his crowd did not read such fodder. That day was a tribute to the power of group think in tragedy--no one elicits information outside their little group. The others are demonized as bozos who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.
And this is Israel's time to be ambushed by groupthink--only the ultrareligious are to blame. They're so busy plotting on how to foist their version of the Shariah state on Israel, that they pay no attention to threats from without. Palestinians are just so much intrusive noise that will soon be eliminated once they obtain power.
Right now, there is much finger pointing. It is Israeli leadership which failed. They, and no other. They are responsible for reading the tea leaves. They are responsible for monitoring the chatter. If they were diverted--it is on them and they must bear the consequences. Israel is responsible for Israel's survival. No one else really cares for us Jews except another Jew.
And, as has been said by Oz, abused siblings don't make common cause with each other. They attack each other. And now we have tragedy and unspeakable atrocities being committed against Israelis.
I really can't breathe. I tried to go to Simcha Torah celebrations to find solidarity with my people. I went to one--noisy bunch of jays dancing, cackling, taking up too much bandwidth. The women stood around and were cliquey. Children running around. It was a surreal scene. I couldn't be with them and left. I was tired and hungry and felt too lonely to try another celebration. It seems wrong to celebrate without addressing the great tragedy in the air.
Schma Yisroel, Adonai Elohainu, Adonai Echad. We are one people. We can have divergent viewpoints. We can have divergent visions about how best to govern Israel. But we are united in our vision--Israel lives.