APN Community Thoughts and Responses- Gaza

Last week, we asked you-- our community-- to share how you’re feeling in these difficult times. We have selected some responses to share back with you. We hope that in reading them, you can feel a sense of solidarity and community.

"I just feel so angry with all the people who think what Hamas did was justified, who lay all the blame on Israel and the US. I've taken so many risks in my career in the Jewish community to stand up for Palestinian rights. I still will. And I feel betrayed by the very people I built coalitions with, who I've marched with, who I've broken bread with who can't condemn Hamas. I can't believe how hawkish I sound now, but I am radicalized. Jews have to be allowed to defend themselves. I'm sick of the left only liking Jewish victims, dead or alive. How can there not be a response to this massacre? All I want is a free Palestine alongside Israel. Yet what Hamas did..." -- Joe Goldman

"I feel alone as a pro-just peace, person who believes in Palestinian sovereignty with a war that is making the two sides even more vocal, and the left pro-Palestinian side making statements that this is the price of liberation, while American Jews pleading for the politically left to recognize the difference in this situation. I feel helpless, but also confused. What does support look like when everyone is traumatized? Can I scream that none of it is justified and all of it is tragic? From an anti-racist, peace-loving Zionist American Jew." -- Anonymous

"I am beginning to calm down. The first few days were difficult as I could feel this attack and our collective trauma throughout history. As a child of Holocaust survivors, born in a ghetto in Shanghai surrounded by barbed wire, knowing the immediate losses my parents suffered, brought their pain to the present in concert with the pain Israelis are experiencing now. Your letters and the webinar have helped me process all this and calm it. Thank you." -- Anonymous

"I have no home for what I feel. The "stand with Israel" crowd seems so oblivious to the real suffering of Palestinians under the occupation and the frustration that is being expressed, as well as the horrific harm being perpetrated on Gaza in the aftermath of Saturday's events. The American far left, with which I usually identify, seems to think that absolutely anything goes to right the wrongs perpetrated against the Palestinians, including horrific human rights abuses against civilians. No matter where I go, people are angry with me. For not being Zionist enough or for being too Zionist. My first reaction on Saturday was 'this is really really bad for everyone.' I'm shocked that that sentiment seems to be such a rarity." -- Anonymous

"Very saddened, sick to my stomach, and much in need of hearing a different way out of this morass, this mad cycle of atrocities. what is the paradigm shift needed so that this savagery doesn’t happen again? What steps to take now. Will Israel endure? What now?" -- Anonymous

"I am grateful now more than ever for APN. You are a remarkable group of people, and it is a comfort to be part of this community and see the work you are doing. Ironically, in some terrible twist of fate, the company I work for is based in Tel Aviv - and half our software developers, in Ukraine, have been fighting in the front lines since the invasion. It is an unusual company, very diverse, full of warmth and caring. Our corporate liaison is a beautiful young Israeli woman (well, I'm 75 - everyone is young, lol) who has joined us on Zoom a few times, and she is in my heart right now. My brother-in-law is from Israel and has family there; my nephew's in-laws live in Tel Aviv. And a dear friend moved to Ashkalon years ago to teach English in a high school where she later became the principal. We corresponded by email for awhile, but lost touch. That is haunting me, because I have no way to know if she and her family are dead or alive. I cannot begin to imagine what those with more connection must be feeling, or those whose loved ones are missing or taken hostage. Like so many, I am in a state of existential dread and cannot see a clear path forward for Israel-Palestine. Simply gut-wrenching. Just monitoring day by day and trying to maintain some sense of hope." -- Susan Cohen Fullar

"When I woke up early on Saturday morning and saw the text messages from friends and family I started to cry - for the people that were obviously already dead, for the chaos that was already evident, for the invasion of Israeli space, but also for the retribution against the Gaza strip that was inevitably going to come, where once again innocent Palestinians would pay the price for Hamas's terror. I just want to pound into Israeli politicians' heads that there is no military solution, there is only a political solution, and the fighting has to stop. The occupation is horrible for everyone, Israelis and Palestinians." -- Joanie Calem

"I have been talking to my relatives in Israel every other day. The crimes Hamas has committed are sadly, not beyond belief, they are not an entity that can be negotiated with. Unfortunately, we cannot stoop to their level by creating an embargo on food, water, medicine & electricity. I don't know what the answer is, a ground campaign in Gaza may succeed in greatly wounding Hamas, but at what cost? How many future Hamas recruits will it create. What is the future? How can Israel share the land with 7 million Jews, and 7 million Arabs, both claiming the same land?" -- Mike Rahimi