Ali, sorry to say, my comments are largely nationalistic. I am not happy that this conflict has spread itself onto Canadian soil. I am not pleased that so many Canadian are supporting Hamas, without actually knowing that the leaders of Hamas are living in Qatar, and are reportedly worth over US$10 billion. To me, it is clear that Hamas leaders are a despicable group, who have used Gaza as a criminal enterprise, extorting 16% in a so called tax from everything that moves in Gaza. Yet they do not have to actually spend this money. Instead, the money is collected for the leaders - not for services to the people of Gaza. The international community is funding the people of Gaza - and Hamas is siphoning off from this for their leaders and terrorist activities. I wish this story was better told to Canadians by the media. If you have any ability of actually telling the truth about Hamas - I think that would be great to do. Regards

Expand full comment

I am really disgusted and frustrated by the anti Jewish bigotry that seems to be everywhere from college campuses to social media. The “by any means necessary” crowd makes me fearful for our future. When I have posted in support of the women who have been sexually assaulted by Hamas, I’ve had women I thought were well adjusted & educated replying to me justifying it saying “they are military aged women who if they don’t serve in the IDF are old enough to” I’m baffled by so called feminists willing to disregard the horrific crimes and turn the other cheek to Hamas because the victims are Jewish. It feels like it’s trendy to be anti semitic and I’m baffled that I am living in the same communities as people who are calling for the extermination of a group of people.

Expand full comment

I feel so badly for all the innocent people from both sides who lost family, friends, and their homes. I keep all in prayer and pray for peace.

Expand full comment

I am feeling very strongly that people refuse to hold Hamas accountable to their actions. They refuse to treat Palestinians as adults who have agency into the decisions that were made on October 7th and beforehand. I am frustrated beyond belief that Netanyahu is still prime minister, for a multitude of other reasons in addition to this. I am frustrated that people think the only solution to this problem is to give the Palestinians a country, as if that were so easy or not something that has been tried several times. And as if we should reward terrorism?

I am irritated that people try to erase the history of the land. And suggest that Jews are not indigenous to the land.

I’m unbelievably sad to hear of dead or hungry Palestinian children. And I am painfully aware of how those children are taught in a landscape that is not open to peace or compromise.

I am confused at the indifference people show towards the hostages. Having had met a few of their family members, it’s heartbreaking to see them beg people to care or notice. Especially for the male hostages.

I am frustrated by Jewish Americans that do not see how they are being manipulated by the “pro Palestinian” crowd. That would happily cast off their heritage to be accepted. That buy into the white settler colonialism nonsense at the heart of this argument, as if half of Israelis aren’t brown. As if nearly all aren’t the refugees of some place that didn’t want them anymore.

I am sad. I wish this would end. I don’t know how it does. I feel like people don’t care or notice the impact it has on me. But it consumes my thoughts on a daily basis.

Expand full comment

I'm feeling extremely disappointed in the progressives who use an abject horror as a pretext to attack the victims and make incredibly dishonest claims about them; e.g., they're perpetrating a genocide (a claim that just indicates the person making it doesn't know the definition of the word), colonizers, apartheid, and so on. They're the first to decry islamaphobia, shout Black Lives Matter and stop asian hate, but they're more than just silent when it comes to antisemitism, they're promulgators of it.

Expand full comment
Mar 6·edited Mar 6

I feel scared to be Jewish for the first time in my 42 years of life. I feel worried for the future of the West, as uneducated or misinformed younger generations now have the platforms to spread and misuse words and information at an alarming rate (on all sides). I feel sadness that the same groups I've stood behind my whole life would throw me to the wolves. I feel moved to tears anytime a non Jewish friend offers support. I feel enormous sadness for the destruction and the immeasurable loss of life in Gaza and the West Bank. I feel horrified by Hamas and their charter to wipe out all Jews and the West, and for how little they seem to care about human life in general. I feel anger at Bibi for his "crushing response" and self serving, power hungry administration. I also feel glad I am not the one that had to call the shots after the horrors of 10/7. I feel ashamed of members of the Jewish community and even my own family who seemingly feel no compassion for "the other", or worse. I feel heartbroken that we continue to dehumanize one another with no end in sight.

Expand full comment

As a Jew in NYC, I’ve never felt so hated before, in a place where I’ve always felt so safe. I’ve lost friends because they’re unable to even listen to my perspective and I hate that it feels like no one believes us. Or believes facts for that matter. We’ve been asked to make disclaimers about our feelings, when it shouldn’t be a second thought that we want both Israelis and Palestinians to have self-determination and peace. Never in my life did I think I would experience antisemitism on this level. I have been privileged. It’s hard to see a positive end in sight. Hatred seems to be winning at every turn. I’m doing my best to hold space for all but it’s challenging to do when it feels like we can’t even take the space to properly grieve for our people.

Expand full comment

Absolutely hung out to dry by friends and acquaintances. Totally isolated by the left and right. Lost trust and faith in all leadership. Can’t understand how the rhetoric of “sides” came about, why outsiders feel the need to wedge the divide even further instead of trying to help reconcile and rebuild and understand each other. Someone is either “a terrorist supporter” or “a genocidal maniac”. Where are the rational and critical thinkers who take nuance into account, and where are the peace builders?!?! People are unable to acknowledge anyone’s pain but their own. It’s been a competition of who has suffered the most. Despite being directly affected and having lived experience, those with none - who have maybe read a handful of books in the last few months - are speaking over us. Everything is broken.

Expand full comment

Yashar, I feel betrayed by my lefty and academic community. My therapist and I feel I have PTSD, and I just doubt that many of the people I considered my friends would take it seriously. Oct 7 was a tragedy in which I watched horrible violence happen to people I might know, and it was weeks to find out they were alive - and I was by told they deserved it, they were colonisers. I teach decolonisation, and this is not decolonisation. When I told friends I was experiencing antisemitism and gaslighting, I was gaslit even more. I presented an instance of hate to a close friend who also does anti-racist work and he said "can I push back just a little? This seems political, not racist."

I don't know who to trust. I can't work in my field. I can't perform on stage - when I said that "the drag scene feels exclusive against Jews because of the rhetoric" (that phrase only), someone told me "you're excluding yourself because of your Zionist views."

I can't even think about geopolitics - my daily life is a mental health nightmare.

Every day I wake up shaking. I think about how Jews in concentration camps heard the shema coming from the gas chambers, and the videos of people fleeing from Nova and saying the shema as they feared for their lives, and when I say it in shul I start to cry. But because I dare express grief for Jews anywhere online, and I express the need for nuance and trauma-informed behaviour, I've received death threats.

Expand full comment

I feel deeply for the innocent victims on both sides. I also see this fundamentally as another chapter in the story of antisemitism. Three of my great-grandparents and countless other relatives were murdered in the Holocaust, and it was during the last Israel-Hamas war in 2021 (a picnic by comparison to this one) that I realized how wrong I was, as an American, to think that Jew-hatred was a thing of the past.

Virtually everything about this war -- the existence of Israel itself, the wars which led to the occupation, the ideology which gave rise to Hamas, the orgy of abuse and bullying directed at Jews worldwide, Hamas' knowledge that sacrificing thousands of Palestinians will only increase hatred of Jews, and the double standards which lead Western nations (which would respond exactly as Israel is if the shoe were on the other foot) to tell Israel it needs to stop fighting the people who want to kill it -- is a consequence of antisemitism.

Expand full comment

I have been overcome with constant, unending grief. Every single family member and friend I have in Israel knows someone who was murdered, maimed, had their homes destroyed by rocketfire, or kidnapped. I watched my childhood friends final moments running away from hamas at the nova festival play out on his Instagram stories. Many of the hostages are friends of family and I am constantly seeing their families desperation to get their family back. I saw a Jewish doctor, not much older than me, get slaughtered at his place of work last week and no one outside of our community said a word. I am never not on the verge of tears. There are near daily terrorist attacks in Israel now. I fear for my family and friends lives and their safety every day. I’ve broken down crying at work more times than I can count. I don’t feel safe in New York anymore. This has been the most agonizing 5 months ever.

Expand full comment

I’m terrified and raising Jewish children. No one wants to raise daughters at a time where rape and brutality against women is rationalized or ignored because of who the victims are - this should horrify everyone but it doesn’t.

The golden age for Jews in the diaspora is quickly coming to an end and I hope we as Jews have learned from the mistakes of our grandparents and get out before it’s too late.

Expand full comment

The humanitarian disaster unleashed on Gaza and the Palestinian people is deliberate, disproportionate, and evil.

The Hamas attack was also evil. May all the evil doers be held to account.

Expand full comment

My parents were teens in the Netherlands when the Germans invaded and occupied their town, so the reality of WWII was very real when I was growing up. It's astounding to me that we all claim to have learned lessons from the Holocaust and we all say "Never again" yet there are legions of useful idiots actively calling for the destruction of Jews, of Israel, who are SO confident that everyone shares their antisemitism that they don't bat an eyelash when spewing their hate. I have never been so discouraged and despondent. Just when I think something can't get worse, it does. "Comparing Jews to Nazis" wasn't something I ever thought would be -- or seem to be -- the norm.

Expand full comment
Mar 7·edited Mar 7

Yashar, I appreciate the prompt.

I genuinely wish I could *unsee* the hate and vitriol spewed out by acquaintances, friends, and even close friends of mine on the absolutest Pro-Palestine and absolutest Pro-Israel camps on Instagram and social media. Statements and posts ranging from concluding that zionists are the new nazis, to weekly posts articulating death wishes for civilians in Gaza, with a thirst for collective punishment from both sides. The statements shared by some acquaintances and friends are so disheartening and disturbing it honestly makes me not want to associate with some of them.

The innocent civilians murdered in the Kibbutzes on 10/7 did not deserve to be brutally murdered, and I can't get on the train of that attack being that of an armed resistance - it was pure terror, and the fact that this is celebrated sickens me. The level of destruction we're seeing happening in Gaza and the way we're seeing some (note, I'm saying some) Israelis and folks in the pro-Israel camp cheer on the civilian annihilation and the destruction, also sickens me. I find the opinions of collective punishment shared by friends, acquaintances, and random people I come across online to be totalitarian and disturbing. Do we look back on the bombing of Dresden or Hiroshima & Nagasaki in WWII and think "those civilians deserved what they got", or that this level of destruction and atrocity was necessary?

Yesterday I listened to one of my good friends confide in me over Facetime for an hour his genuine fear for his safety as a Jew in the United States, as some of us on the left are clearly having trouble directing their frustration at atrocities committed by the state of Israel (the government), and are instead once again using our Jewish friends as a collective punching bag. Why are we allowing this to happen again? On the other side of the coin, a Palestinian friend of mine found humiliating Anti-Palestinian propoganda leaflets on the floor of his place of work (an Israeli company). I'm hearing from my Palestinian friends (all of whom like myself are queer) that they feel silenced on a daily basis as they watch their people get massacred in Gaza while essentially being told "well, this is what happens when your government is a jihadist terrorist state".

No compassion. No nuance. No understanding. Black and white blanket statements, this or that, and no listening. Having grown up in a very jewish community feeling embraced by jews all my life, and having good friendships among folks all across the Arab diaspora from Lebanon, the West Bank, Morocco, etc, I feel upset and enraged for them and for the world every day. Seeing the images, videos, and stories coming out of Gaza every day break my heart - these people don't deserve this. Hearing people sympathize with Hamas or worship the IDF on instagram, irritates me.

People. We are all fighting against the same systems. We're treated like pawns by our respective governments. We all deserve better.

Expand full comment

Every day I see posts on social media that are on opposite sides of the conflict but I feel most for the innocent people trapped within this war. I am married into a Jewish family that is automatically aligned with Israel and does not see the plight of the Palestinian people the same way as I do. I wish that more can be done on the humanitarian end of things and let the politics go for now. Children and elderly are starving in Gaza and they have all seen atrocities and experienced trauma that will go on for generations. As a mother, it’s gut wrenching to see from here, I could not imagine the mothers in Gaza trying to survive this nightmare. I pray for the people daily. 🙏🏻

Expand full comment
Mar 6·edited Mar 6

I’m distraught that hundreds of Israelis were slaughtered. I’m shocked that people believe the propaganda put out by Hamas. I’m dumbfounded how the left wing are promoting an Islamic fundamentalist narrative. I’m depressed that antisemitism has risen to scary levels. I’m heartbroken that innocent Palestinians are losing their lives. I’m saddened that so many Palestinians support Hamas. Ultimately, I believe that as long as terrorist organisations exist in this region, there will never be peace. Hamas/Iran will never stop fighting for Jews to die and Israel will never stop defending itself.

Expand full comment

So I guess what I’m feeling/thinking about is this:

1. Real concern about the rise in anti-semitism, both in word and in deed

2. People who are making anti-Semitic comments from an unknowing place - they don’t realize what they are saying and are almost more concerning to me than the people who know they hate Jews

3. Real fatigue about being called a colonialist oppressor. If you want to blame a colonial power for the origins of this modern mess, yell at the Romans, the Ottomans, the Turks, and the British. Take your pick.

4. Continued anger and horror about what happened on the 7th

5. Continued anger and horror about the loss of life in Gaza, but also angry about people who cast the word genocide out as if it is fact. I do not believe there is that intent, and it weaponizes a word against a people who were in fact victims of one (and just because I don’t think it is genocide doesn’t mean I don’t think what’s happening is tragic, I do.)

6. Bibi and the extremist members of his cabinet can all go suck it - they helped create the circumstances where Hamas could seize the opportunity and ignored intelligence.

7. Despair for the hostages and the Israeli psyche

8. Disappointed in public figures and leaders who refuse to recognize the complexity. It’s very easy to chant slogans. Much harder to dig into the details and the grey areas.

9. Worried about what will happen in Rafah. Hamas knows Israel will not stop, and is looking to take advantage of the optics.

10. Zionist is not a four letter word.

I am worried it all is just going to get worse.

Expand full comment

I’m feeling like I died on October 7, too. I was visiting family and got woken up to actual war, then a good friend was killed at the festival he invited me to but I didn’t go, and another friend is being tortured underground for 151 days. I too feel tortured for 151 days. I feel sexually violated in the way the girls still being held captive are, the same way comments online simultaneously deny and wish the same for me. I feel hunted down by a mob of crazed bloodthirsty madmen like my friends and entire nation were. And I feel just as hunted in America with the “protests”, as exemplified by the murder of Ben Harouni. I feel it’s 15 million of us against the world. And if only they would read our history and see our view they would understand. And the situation today would be different. Not just Jewish history in WWII, but mizrahi sefardi beta Israel history, from our perspectives.

And then I think about innocent people in Gaza losing loved ones, living in chaos, breathing in the dust and debris, shell shocked frequently, and the trauma that will never leave them. I mourn the lives lost and the sheer pain of every person. But when people say “ceasefire now” I think - Where were they on October 7? Why they didn’t want the ceasefire from October 6 to continue? I wanted the ceasefire then, and demanding it now is too late. I think it shows they never truly cared about our lives. They only care when we’re dead.

But they only advocate for terms that will lead to a result that will keep my people hostage and lead to us being hunted again and again, like they did to us on Oct 7 and trying to continue now, like they did before Israel was a state in Hebron and Jerusalem and Peki’in and Safed and Moza and so on. Like we were in Iraq and Egypt and Iran and so on. And just simply ignore the fact that demanding Hamas to let my people go is the ONLY way to prevent a single death. What they’re asking for is putting a bandaid on a weaping wound which will turn necrotic. It feels the lack of accountability by the world for Hamas and in general Palestinians is extremely infantilizing. They’ve been ushering in this type of extremism which will be the end of middle eastern civilization and modernity. It feels like keeping Gazans within the war zone is attributing to their deaths and doesn’t care about their life. Not everyone is nationalistic some just want to live. The Gazans are a pawn in the muslim world’s extremist game, and Hamas has led their people into the biggest suicide mission known to humankind.

I now feel that Jews and Palestinians have something in common - that the world doesn’t care about us living, they only care when we are dead. The most tragic part is I think the same way about Palestinians, that many don’t care about their own living, the is care only when they’re dead. And the problem we’re in herein lies that the world is expecting Israel to care more about Palestinians than Palestinians care about Palestinians. I said before that everything the Palestinian media has accused us of doing will eventually actually happen if they continue with the way things are going. Now I fear everything will remain the same, maybe Netanyahu will go to jail, but the lives of Palestinians will not improve - but they are the only ones who have control over that. I think “solving the Middle East conflict” requires the Middle East to solve their antisemitism first. When they for the most part stop hating Jews, we will have peace.

So for now I feel anxious and hopeless with every day seeming worse, after I lost my life in Israel 151 days ago.

Expand full comment

I feel angry all the time. All the time. It would be great to get a full night's sleep again.

The virtue signaling by people who just learned of this conflict a few months ago, who misuse words to evoke emotional, histrionic responses, and who fundamentally don't understand anything about the region and the history and parrot what they read on the internet without any rational thought, is absolutely infuriating. The media's narrative and selective reporting is equally infuriating.

My grandfather was killed by Palestinian terrorists while on vacation in Israel. I understand that when Hamas says they'll do this again and again until we're all dead, they mean it. So many gloss over this fact like it doesn't exist. And I don't know where they get the nerve.

We as Jews are expected to (and most of us do) feel empathy for the situation on the ground in Gaza, but that empathy is never extended back to us. We're told we deserve it, we're making it up, we're genocidal maniacs.

I'm hopeful for the day that the war is over and the loud progressives move on to their next cause. This has kept their attention for longer than I anticipated.

Thanks for this forum Yashar -- it's been nice to see a message board that isn't consumed by hate and vitriol toward Israel and Jews. <3

Expand full comment

I feel fucking desperate. I am in Wisconsin and feel just beside myself with the lack of ANYTHING being done to stop a genocide. I am angry that this is the world I live in and will continue to live in. I am filled with dread thinking about the atrocities happening while I am privileged enough to be safe in my bed. The US response overall, and continued funding to Israel is completely deplorable.

Expand full comment

I will never be the same person again.

The attack on Oct 7 was gut wrenching. But I live here in America, and seeing my peers rip down posters of Kfir Bibas and draw swastikas and hitler staches on his beautiful face made me realize that I dont know my neighbors at all. That they were rotten on the inside and every call they ever made for justice and peace was just an image, a mask. Deep down they were waiting for permission to hate.

I once read a quote that said: non jews think the lesson of the holocaust is that people can do evil things. But jews know that it's really 'trust no bitch'.

I finally understand that.

Expand full comment

I’m unwell. I feel like we are being gaslit by our leaders. When we can plainly see the destruction in Gaza and the West Bank. Not just with the enormous loss of life, but the terror being inflicted on innocent Palestinian men, women and children. Aid being blocked. Intentionally starving 2.2 million people, as a means to collectively punish them, for Hamas’ actions. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It’s genocide. I feel like I can’t exist in a world, where people allow this. Where they aid and abet this. Where the cruelty knows no bounds. I have images seared in my mind. I feel helpless. I hate our options for President. I feel as though, Democracy continues to be squeezed out of every facet of our government. I feel helpless, and it’s hard just to go about my days as if the world isn’t just crumbling around us.

Expand full comment

I am disgusted by people who protest Israel, but don't acknowledge that Hamas is at least as evil-doing as the IDF, and who won't acknowledge that for Israel, this is an existential struggle. If Hamas were to lay down its weapons, peace would ensure. If Israel were to lay down its weapons, it would be annihilated, immediately.

Expand full comment

A hopelessness, sadness and fear I’’m not eloquent enough to be able describe with words. Desperately trying to hold on to my humanity, which is getting tested throughout the day, every day, for the past five months. In an extreme way. The world feels like it’s caving in, being taken over by division, hatred, bigotry and misinformation, with no end in sight.

Expand full comment

As the daughter of a woman tortured and murdered in her own home, I’m sickened by the wars the globe over that males perpetrate in which innocent women and children are slaughtered. The numbers out of Gaza are staggering and mostly women and children. The sadistic terroristic assault on Israeli women is also horrifying. I was sent Israeli murder porn on Christmas Day by a neo-Nazi cheering Hamas over their mutual hatred of Jews. I stand with the women and children and the families of the murdered.

Expand full comment

I'm trying to keep my faith in humanity but it's very very hard. I'm a Jewish Israeli women, my family members survived the massacre in their Kibutz, and seeing the everyday spewing hate against my country and against my people is unphathomable. I knew on October 7th that we are heading a massive wave of antisemitism however, this is a tzunami. Seeing in my own lifetime how people are calling me, my children and all of us demons and wishing us the worst is frightening. Knowing how much hate is around us and seeing people celebrating our death and the death of IDF soldiers, who are literally 20 years old kids who were forced into this horrific war, is just beyond my understanding. I know the sights from Gaza are horrifying, I'm sorry for all the innocent lives of the children there, who did nothing wrong to be born into this world but I truly have no hope for peace any more. I used to believe in peace, I believed there are people from the other side, Palestinians, who really just want to live their lives, raise their children, go to work, make love, enjoy life. To me, October 7th leashed an evil darkness into the world and it's saddens me to know, that no matter how much time will pass and what will happen in the world, antisemitism will stay. No logic to it. It's pure evil hate and we need to raise our children in this hateful world. I'm sad and and not optimistic but Im also strong, because we have no choice but Fighting it and keep on defending ourselves as people. For the sake of our past and for our future. Thank you for allowing this space to share our thoughts.

Expand full comment

Dear Yashar,

I’m supposed to be working on a novel right now with the #1000words project, but I’d rather put my words here. I had no idea how much I needed someone to ask how I was feeling about October 7 and the ensuing conflict—and death—until you did. I’m so grateful for the invitation and the unexpected opportunity to put my thoughts/feelings in writing. I hope you don’t regret having issued it! I’m guessing that a lot of people need to talk, but don’t have a place.

It’s hard to sort out where to start. I’m a Jew, a woman, a mom, a lesbian, a lifelong lefty pushing seventy. I identify as a Zionist; that is, a person who thinks the State of Israel should exist. Six months ago or so, I was with a large group of Israeli and American activists in Dag Hammerskold Plaza, protesting Netanyahu’s visit to the UN. Like so many Israelis and Jews around the world, I blame him and his leadership of the Israeli right for many of the ongoing problems between Israelis and Palestinians. He is vile. The Donald Trump of Israel. But enough about him. I have many other feelings.

And then, October 7.

I still feel horror at the attack on civilians, and, in particular, the sexualized violence. It’s of a piece with the Bosnian rape camps; what the Iraqis did to the Yazidis; an entire roiling, disgusting history of conflict played out on women’s bodies. Still, in the 21st century. And I feel anger and disgust, at humans—men—who could do that to other humans, and at people—my former friends on the left, where I no longer have a home—who won’t believe it. Is it just, we don’t believe Jewish women; is it just, we won’t accuse Hamas of crimes; is it, we are so ahistorical that we don’t even realize that this rape and torture isn’t even new? If we refuse to recognize it, to call it out, will it ever end?

The body count is terrible. At the same time, though, every time I hear a figure—30,000, now—I want that figure broken down. How many dead are Hamas fighters? But no, when I hear the number, it’s as if all the Palestinians are civilians. Hamas dragged the Gazans into this. I can’t help but wonder if this is what they want—if they are willing to sacrifice people for the long game; for making it harder for Israel to make a peace deal with Saudi Arabia, as seemed in the offing; for using the death count to shift public opinion against Israel? While their leadership lives large.

It seems to be working--the rise of anti-Semitism is certainly visible. And here's a feeling I don't have--shock. I knew it was still there.

I have feelings ranging from rage to annoyance to laughter at some of the rhetoric. The question of who is “indigenous,” decided by people, here in the US, living on stolen indigenous land? The idea that Israel is practicing “genocide,” practices “apartheid,” that they are “settler colonialists,” all language from the academic world that good lefties adopt without thinking. These are people that seem never to have heard of the Ottoman Empire, to be aware of its huge colonial sweep, to have any sense of how their territory was divided up after World War I. They seem to have no idea that the UN designed a two-state solution in 1948, after which the surrounding Arab countries invaded Israel. All of that infuriates me. I know I don't know everything, but I know a thing or two. The loudest voices seem the most incurious.

Is knowing the history important to generating a solution? I think it is. And here, I feel a huge sense of frustration. If we don’t talk to each other, how can we move forward? I think, for only one example, that an awareness of what the Nakhba means to Palestinians needs to be more widely acknowledged in the pursuit of any peace, AND, the fact that the Nakhba occurred during the 1948-49 war needs to be acknowledged, too. There’s lot of past pain to go around.

I am also one angry Jew. I know a lot of them these days. I wear a Star of David now every day, and an infinity loop with the Sh’ma (the basic Jewish declaration of faith) on it. I feel more Jewish than before, somehow, and that it is important to declare myself. I feel guilty for any time I walked away from “Zionist” trashing—e.g., at a women’s march—and I freely use that word to define myself. I feel insulted any time that opens me up to accusations that I must believe in genocide or hate Palestinians. I read a lot and find comfort in knowledgeable people who are pushing back against the antisemitism, Jews and non-Jews. It is consoling how many there are.

I also feel helpless. I send money—it feels like one tiny thing to do—to groups that feed and support people who are hungry and displaced.

And, finally, I have the tiniest, tiniest bit of hope. This paroxysm of violence and death may have, finally, conceivably, taken us to a place where we realize we can’t go on like this. By “we,” I guess I mean, Jews, Palestinians, the wider Arab world, the US, the world. I see an occasional thoughtful piece about what things might look like after the military action; I know there are organizations trying to get into place to maybe, really, find a solution.

So. Many. Feelings. It’s like my head will explode. And I am grateful that I am not, myself, in the line of fire, and I know that to feel all my feelings in a safe place is an incredible luxury. But I have them. And thank you for asking about them. And I'm sorry this is such a incoherent blast.

I’ll be curious to see what you will make of all the responses I imagine you will get—and I trust you to make something thoughtful if you do. I'd look forward to that.

Expand full comment
Mar 6·edited Mar 6

I feel awful a lot of the time and despair at the global outrage from day one directed not only at Israel but Jews worldwide as though we are a monolith which we aren't and certainly within Israel there is enormous opposition to the current government. But as a left wing Jew I am heartened that part of the debate is now focused on Palestinian statehood. The complexities of the 75 years of this conflict are too great for me to fully comprehend but for sure the status quo is untenable for the region. There is little doubt in my mind that Iran and its partners Hamas and Hezbollah knew what would come of their attacks and still they saw the risks and loss of life as worthwhile in propagating their hatred of Israel and Jews . Equally, I feel that Netanyahu sees his response as warranted despite the risks and loss of life as worthwhile especially as his entire career has been about denying a Palestinian state.

I remain guardedly optimistic that Israel will have a change of leadership and that some organization and or statesmen will emerge from within the West Bank and Gaza to help build an independent and viable Palestinian state.

Only then is there any chance of moving away from the ongoing cycles of violence and hatred that is tilting the region into further chaos. Surely that has to be the hope as opposed to the absurd attacks back and forth some of which are being echoed and amplified in this response to Yashar's request

Expand full comment

Jewish Israeli living in NYC. I've never felt so isolated from the rest of the world. I have always advocated for a two state solution and have never celebrated the war or said a single bad word about Palestinians, and yet the current discourse is such that simply calling out Hamas or calling for a release of hostages has caused strangers to tell me I support genocide and close friends to cut ties with me. It's been 5 months and I still can't imagine a return to normalcy. On the other hand, I have discovered that in spite of my anxiety and insecurity, I know very well who I am and what I believe in, and I have in me an ancient and incredibly powerful Jewish soul. Thank you for your work and humanity.

Expand full comment

At mass last Sunday, I purchased an olive wood cross made by Palestinian Christians living in the West Bank. The woman who sold me the cross looked tired. She told me that we don't know how many Christians are left alive in the Gaza Strip. The prospect of a Holy Land without any Christians seemed like a real possibility to her. I won't forget the despair in her eyes. Now, when I look at the cross on my desk, I say a prayer for the Palestinian Christians, and all innocents caught up in this horrible situation.

Expand full comment

I hate how much this conflict made me anxious to travel the world and accidentally speak Hebrew in public spaces. There are so many instances of antisemitic hate crimes around the world nowadays.

It doesn’t matter to anyone that I think the death of Palestinian children is horrific or that I have a lot of criticism against my government and prime minister while also 100% opposing Hamas and their atrocities.

Only a few days ago a dentist was killed in San Diego because he was Jewish. A freaking dentist.

In Switzerland a Jewish man was stabbed, too.

These instances just keep happening. The world is not safe for us Jews now more than any time post-WW2.

Expand full comment

I am sad and worried for our future. Watching the scenes of death and destruction in Gaza is heartbreaking and we need an end to bloodshed. But Hamas doesn't want peace; and Netanyahu and his cronies are too extreme. None of my Jewish friends support Netanyahu but they are being persecuted for this war. I am so worried for my Jewish friends. I am so tired of people who proclaim they want peace, while calling for the death of Jews. I don't trust any peace movement who chooses a group of people to hate. It feels like almost no one will listen to each other anymore; and this presidential election cycle will cause even more division. Praying for peace. Praying the hostages come home and and every child can have the simple privilege of sleeping in their own home, safe and secure.

Expand full comment

I was actually astounded how quickly the blame shifted to Israel, Hamas came into Israel on 10/72023 and murdered families, beheaded people, raped and kidnapped innocent people. I am sorry for the innocent people living in the Gaza Strip, however they need to look at Hamas for ruining their lives. Even before their massacre, they used monies meant to better the infrastructure of Gaza, to build underground tunnels and weapons.

Let's remember when those planes hit the twin towers on 9/11/2001, I don't think there was anyone in the United States that were concerned about the citizens of Afghanistan, we wanted someone to pay for our loss of loved ones, even those we didn't know. So I get the logic of Israel.

So we have two horrific catastrophic incidents that killed so many innocent people, both carried out by terrorists, Hamas and al Qaeda.

The one thing they both have in common, they use people, innocent people, as their human shields.

As we learned from al Qaeda, you can't negotiate with a terrorist group that has no regard for human life.

There's no right answer, other than all terrorist groups need to be eliminated, which I can't see happening as we are not inherently an evil society.....which scares me

Expand full comment

I just wanted to hop here to share my personal experience, regardless of large scale national and international implications.

I was born in the USA, and was raised there, in Israel and the UK.

As it happens, I am now in my 30s, living in Israel, with a partner and a 2 year old.

That life stopped and changed on Oct 7th is NOT a cliche.

I am privileged, and I was "unharmed" in the events.

I lost friends. I have friends who've lost their homes and their neighbors. There is a colleague kidnapped in Gaza after witnessing his daughter murdered in front of him and the rest of his family.

This isn't propaganda. This is our life.

I don't live around the Gaza strip, but I had to wait in bomb shelters with my family. I had to pull my 2 year old out of the bath in the middle of splashing because there was a missile alert. I was being shot at. My daughter was being shot at.

I am not talking about the horrors of Oct 7th, and indescribable things which I did not witness, I am talking about a citizen of the world, being attached. feeling loss and unsafe.

I still fear being outside, or far from home, in case it escalates again on our side, and I am just happy that my friends who serve in the reserves are not in Gaza right now, but I know that other soldiers are there, and I can't imagine the fear and dread their family and loved ones feel.

The levels of trauma here are so intertwined and diverse, and hit us ALL. No matter where we were that Saturday morning. And I still remember the shock of hearing the alarm at 6:30AM on that Saturday.

I wish the dialogue will not dismiss the real real real pain and trauma that is being felt here, and I am sure in other places too.

My trust in humanity (The little I might have had), my trust in leaders, and my feeling of safety has been utterly shattered.

Expand full comment

Despondent, both as a Jew and as somebody who has fought for intervention in actual genocides for 30 years. First, it is clear that much of the left, if not outright antisemitic, deploy hideous double standards against Israel. They aren't looking for a two-state solution under any terms. A Jew might believe the settlements are war crimes, that Bibi empowered Hamas as a cynical excuse to avoid Oslo, that the creation of Israel included Jewish militias that terrorized Palestinians, etc. but if you remain a Zionist at the end of the day, you are no different than Bibi himself. They truly feel what Susan Sarandon let slip out: any Jew getting harassed is just getting a taste of their own medicine. They shriek "genocide!" at Israel while breezily untroubled by far worse ethnic violence in Africa and South Asia, or the internment of over 1 million Muslims in China (and occupation of Tibet) or any wrongdoing nation receiving copious amounts of US aid (I don't know which is worse: the antisemitism or the deep racism that views victims of those conflicts as something less than human). They dismiss all discrimination Mizrahi Jews faced in greater Palestine and the Middle East in general before Israel's creation (if they even are aware of it).

For the first time in my life, I'm thankful I don't have children (my fiance passed away and I never really dated after that). I can't imagine how anguishing it must be for Jewish parents these days. And I don't think I'd have been strong enough to take it.

Expand full comment

It scares me that anti-Semitism has not only become rampant and more in public view, but that so many people especially young people refuse to accept what is deemed as anti-semitism. It scares me that so many people again especially young people are denying the horrific use of rape and sexual violence by Hamas on Oct 7. My generation spent so much time advocating for the understanding of concepts such as micro-aggressions and Me Too, but are denying blatant examples. It scares me that it seems so many hostages are being forgotten about- I think of Noa everyday hoping her mom gets to see her in her final days. I also worry about the Palestinians in Gaza especially the children. Will they all die from starvation, will they be wiped out from the lack of aid being allowed in? It scares me that other countries seem to have no control or balance of power in this conflict. It scares me that everyday the Israeli govt continues the war and yet we seem to have no idea who was targeted or if their information is accurate- and that the severity of Palestinian civilians as collateral doesn’t seem to matter.

Expand full comment

My only thoughts are questions or confused ideas. The attack on October 7 was despicable; the response has also been despicable. I don't know who (if anyone) to be angry with because of my uncertainties. Both nations should have a homeland. Both should feel safe and secure in their living. The Palestinians had their state taken from them after WW2, but the Jewish people have been persecuted even longer than that. I feel as if the U.S. and other nations who claim to love freedom, security, happiness, etc., should support both sides - but that never happens in war. One is expected to choose one side or the other. What about the hostages and their families? What about the children starving in northern Gaza? What about the dead on both sides, and the families they were taken from? The Jews deserve a secure homeland, but don't the Palestinians, too? I do not support terrorists; I support negotiators. Nothing is accomplished in war but engendering hate and bringing death, destruction, and suffering. I know this sounds like rambling, but it's what's going on in my head.

Expand full comment

I’m completely and utterly exhausted.

As a Jew, as a woman, as a peacenik liberal, as an employee of a Jewish org that doesn’t always represent my views.

As a human made in beztelem elohim.

On top of the truly horrific incidents of the past six months, the divisiveness has also shattered my heart.

I am a person who believes in the existence of multiple truths, nuanced situations. But over the past 151, our division has only grown greater. For every positive there is a negative., every fact a counter fact armed to dispute.

I feel so alone and alienated by organizations/people I considered like-minded peers, oscillating between wondering if I’m too liberal or conservative in my thinking. I feel discouraged from adding my mixed emotions to this cacophony of discourse. Where do I fit in: someone who believes Israel has a right to exist but also believes what its government is doing to the people of Gaza is horrific. That the occupation is real but that it’s not a genocide. That, yes there is argument to be made that the way in which Israel was founded was problematic but there’s nothing we can do about that now. That both Jews and Palestinians fates are intertwined. i feel like a mixed bag

To Yashar, Standing Together, and Tru’ah, thank you for being my beacons during a truly difficult period, for making me feel seen and a little less alone.

Expand full comment
Mar 7·edited Mar 7

How I'm feeling... sigh. I'm Israeli, in Israel, with a 1 year old daughter. We were both born here, just born into this gigantic story that is so much bigger than us. I carry on the day to day, and interspersed within the day to day, every day, are countless moments where the utter despair of the situation washes over me and freezes every bone in my body. It can be from recalling Oct 7 and thinking about all the future Oct 7's that are being planned and are waiting for us in the wings, it can be from seeing yet another horrific action I oppose being committed in our names, it can be from seeing yet another expression of the growing extreme dehumanization and demonization of civilians on both sides of the fence. It can be from thinking about [now former] friends who I watched elevate and amplify such dehumanizing voices, as they were directly dehumanizing me and my daughter, while not talking to me at all, not asking me a single question about my perspective on what's going on.

I had a tough high risk pregnancy with my girl, after IVF, and after the birth my life was at risk - so generally I'm a pretty anxious mom - but I had never been so terrified for her life as I was on Oct 7 and the days that followed. I'm seeing a lot of people express complete apathy towards such fear, as if it's illegitimate and unjustified, or just doesn't matter. Hard to put into words how I feel about that.

My daughter is so precious to me. I see her face in every dead, wounded and/or orphaned Gazan child that shows up on my feed (I follow Gazan citizen journalist accounts because they show what our media doesn't). I see her face in Kfir and Ariel, in Avigail, in dead babies Mila Cohen, Omer Kedem Siman Tov, the miracle twins Naeim and Wissam Abu Anza.

I have long been strongly against the occupation, and for my state acknowledging and being held accountable for the atrocities it has been committing since 1948. I also think my state has a right to exist, that the Israeli identity has a right to exist, that 'cancelling' or erasing it as many are calling for is as genocidal as erasing the Palestinian people, the Palestinian identity. I think that Palestine should also acknowledge and be held accountable for the atrocities committed in the name of Palestinian nationalism. Both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to self determination, to equality and human rights, to life, and both peoples have done awful things in the name of fighting for those values and there is no path forward for any of us without acknowledging that. We cannot end one injustice by committing another.

I think that there was no avoiding a military response to Oct 7, but I do not support THIS response. I believe that among some IDF actions in Gaza that are legitimate activity against Hamas, this war harbors many actions that are pure revenge, unjustified abuse, war crimes, as horrific as Oct 7. I'm deeply ashamed of those atrocities, and I cannot see any way that this is bringing us safety rather than compromising it further and driving us further and further away from a normal life. I'm in despair over the amount of people around me, that I knew to be reasonable people, that are unable to recognize that this is happening and take a critical look at what is being done in our name - they are entrenched in blindness and refusal to see what is actually happening on the ground. I understand the roots of this blindness, they are real trauma and it is very human, but it is heartbreaking. This blindness has rendered me mute, which I hate, because it is the opposite of what is needed and I know that. I also know I'm not the only Israeli Jew feeling this way, there are actually many more than the world realizes, but sadly we are probably still not a majority and there aren't enough of us.

That's how I'm feeling.

Expand full comment

The genocide occurring in Gaza is reprehensible. The attacks on October 7th were a disgrace. However, it is also reprehensible and a disgrace to dismiss Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine that has been in place long before October 7th and long before Hamas came into power.

Palestinians have been denied fundamental human rights and the freedom of will for several decades. Hamas is a terrorist organization, and the IDF's actions are also that of a terrorist organization.

As an American citizen, I am sickened by the fact that our country funds the atrocities occurring in Gaza. I am less concerned about those of us behind the safety of our computer screens with all of our limbs and homes intact in either the U.S. or Canada and more concerned about the innocents murdered constantly, the children with no limbs, family, or homes left - I do not care what religion you are, the stain of collusion will carry on if you support the genocide happening right before our eyes.

Expand full comment

Thank you for asking! I have been so conflicted about how I feel about this entire conflict. I was deeply shocked and saddened about the brutal attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 and then consistently confused about the response by Israel. While I fully believe Hamas is a terrorist organization and they need to be stopped. I don't understand Israels thinking and only can think that people must be right that all along Israel has just wanted to remove the Palestinians anyway they can. The attacks in Gaza are horrific to watch. It doesn't excuse the antisemitism rhetoric and attacks that we are seeing all over the world . I understand how they can be upset while watching all of this unfold, but what I'm confused about I why they are taking it out on all us Jews and Muslims from around the world and in colleges! What have those kids to do with any of this!? We're all watching in horror too! And don't dare ask a question because you'll be attacked by either side of this conflict. So I have just been staying out of it online and just talking to friends about it. The other part that is distressing is how the free Palestine movement seems to be trying to erase or revise history of the Jews. Jews have been indigenous to the land just as long if not longer than the Arab nations. I'm glad you are trying to show both sides of this because I feel badly for both groups in this. No one is winning here. I don't see anyway that this will ever be resolved.

Expand full comment

How am I feeling?

Like the sands shifted. 10/7 was an mega-earthquake, and I fear we will never stop feeling the aftershocks. On that day (and even after the bubbling over of the conflict in May 2021) I was still under the illusion that antisemitism was truly something that would never get to the level I am currently seeing (even in some of the responses here)… but in the days after, I learned very quickly I was very wrong. I consider myself a progressive, liberal Jewish Zionist (meaning I believe in the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland) but I have a greater understanding now of my Jewish family who lean much further to the right. I spent lots of time in “Progressive” (I use quotes because they proved themselves to not be in the first few months after 10/7) spaces and have had to exit stage right from just about all of them due to rampant mis- and dis- information, lack of historical knowledge of Arab Imperialism/Colonialism, lack of compassion or empathy for Jewish people, lack of any knowledge of how the SWANA works… and general assholery.

I am angry that people have infantilized Palestinians and Hamas to assuage their white guilt here in the West.

I am dumbfounded at how many ignorant people there are in this world.

I am beside myself that the hostages are still not home. I think of them daily. I don’t understand how people don’t know the bombs have flown in both directions. I hate the deniers of both 10/7 and the tragic deaths of children in Gaza.

I can’t stand Netanyahu. I wish people would understand how many Israelis feel the same.

I’m pissed I don’t feel safe putting up a mezuzah on my door and that I have to vet my doctors and my children’s doctors to make sure they haven’t spewed antisemitic vitriol before I let them treat me or my family.

I am heartbroken that many innocents in Gaza have been killed in this war and that the remaining ones are having food stolen from them by Hamas only to have to buy it back at exorbitant prices, or worse they are starving. I am irritated that people don’t have critical thinking skills anymore, can’t deal in nuance but cheer for black-and-white thinking. I am truly sad that I’ve lost trust in a lot of the non-Jewish world and feel that we are on our own for the most part save a few allies… and that some people think that it is the opposite and that Israel has so much support and that Jews are no longer a minority.

I find it ludicrous that people think that Jews who happen to have light skin are White and aren’t only conditionally privileged …right up until they become “too Jewish” or not the right kind of Jew.

I am so sad that people can’t even listen to reason or can’t fathom their own hypocrisy when sitting in their comfy couch on Turtle Island as they claim Jews are “stealing” land … when that is so far from the truth.

I an heartened by the few non-Jews who have spoken up for us. I see glimmers of hope in people like Jose Andres and his chefs who have fed the needy in both Gaza and Israel.

I am irritated AF with the Israeli “settlers” who have used this situation to attack Palestinian farmers.

I feel more Jewish than ever before.

Expand full comment
Mar 7·edited Mar 7

I am Israeli, and like many in my country I am traumatized by the October 7th events, even though I was not affected directly (only in second circles, as in family or friends of friends). I no longer cry every day, but it will take time to heal...I am horrified by the rise of blatant antisemitism around the world. I guess I always knew it existed to some extent but didn't realize just how much and how easily people who consider themselves progressive and against hate, can hate. I, and many in my country (as polls show again and again), also suffer from the most horrible government ever. Imagine going through your worst nightmare only to discover the people who are supposed to take care of you, to make sure the country in still functioning and to make plans for a better future are not only incapable of doing it, they also don't want to. Not that it's surprising, but it is frustrating and despairing. Only good thing about that is that we got a reminder of how great the Israeli people are, how everyone jumped in to help as much as they could, and without the civil organizations who took charge and the civilians who volunteered to help, we would be at afar worst place right now. Luckily we are still a democracy and can demonstrate in hopes to overthrow this government as soon as possible.

I hope so much that a deal for the release of the hostages and a cease fire will be reached soon and that we see an end to this horrific war and maybe even have a plan to make a better future for all the people of this land. Too many people are suffering.

Expand full comment

I have a really unique and interesting point of view. I'm Colombian Israeli living the past 11 years in Israel. My husband is Jewish, I'm not and have two children together, we live in tel Aviv and two days before the war started, we came back from a trip to Sinai, so literally we escaped hell.

I don't know close people that got murder but I know many that got displaced, needed to hide during the attack and the beautiful young boy that attend me for coffee every morning before work, got killed at the nova's festival. This, without telling the terrible missile attack that we went trough, I already forgot due to, I supposed post trauma. I really get panic anxiety if I hear a sound that sounds like an alarm. I experienced wars in Israel before, but not at this level. I'm surrounded by the "left thinkers" in Israel so every time I engaged into conversations about the war with people, the get uncomfortable or at least worried.

I'm planning to leave in the summer to south America where my extended family is and I feel so grateful that I have this option but I feel life in Israel will get harder mostly for me as an outsider. Yesterday I went to donate food for a convoy that standing together (if you don't know them I recommend you to follow them) will try to delivery to the border because I cannot stand the situation that people are dying from hunger a few kilometers away from where I live and not be able to do anything. I'm going to the street protest every week for this war to f***ing end, to stop the starvation of this poor people and to get a f**ING deal for the hostages to come back home.

I'm asking to the one's that aren't inside this conflict to stop to take sides and ask for the ceasefire, hostage deal and let us people that got trapped here, that want a peaceful life, to move on, choose real leaders ( I hate Hamas and Netanyahu at the same level) and start to recovery of the trauma that this conflict brought us in so many levels.

My biggest fear is that war in Lebanon could become a full scale one, and from there's no return.

Expand full comment

I am disgusted with both sides at this point. I cannot believe that anyone in America is pro-Hamas- I believe they are pro- Palestinian. That doesn’t mean they are antiemetic. What happened on 10/7 is diabolical. Hamas needs to pay. But Israel has gone too far. Why is there so much hate.

Expand full comment
Mar 6·edited Mar 6

No number of Octoper 7th's justify the genocide of Palestinian people. This is not an endorsement of Hamas and if you think it is you need to get your head out of your ass, i condem ALL violence, this includes that perpetrated by hamas, includes that perpetrated by Israel. how many people in Israel have no access to food, water, or shelter? FREE PALESTINE!

And the reason i'm picking sides is because Palestinians are the ones being most harmed and Israel has the most power to stop it.

Expand full comment

I feel all sorts of fucked up in every direction. October 7th itself - heinous, devastating. And then immediately after seeing people on the left that I followed and admired and pretty much always aligned with on most issues, coming out of their faces to pretty much join team Hamas. It was INSANE. And unfortunately it continues to be insane and upsetting- but less surprising. I follow many pro Israel and pro Palestine members on IG. I see the merit in things both camps have to say. And if I speak against something incorrect or offensive they've said, I only do so because at this point they are the only valued voices I've remained following. I get into it the comments of pro Israel and pro Palestine posts equally and it's funny to me....I do my best to speak out against injustice PERIOD. I'm Jewish and left- and it's a wild ride to be that right now 🤦‍♀️ I've learned things about the left that I never saw before. I see the flaws I hadn't previously. For the most part I'm just heartbroken everyday by what's going on in Gaza. At the same time, Fuck Hamas and fuck the insane rise in antisemitism. But right now I'm most concerned about the people there and I just want them live, be okay, survive this horror that should never have been and get to live free in their homeland, in dignity and peace. I don't know how we get there exactly but I want it so bad. I do my best to continue to listen and learn. The history, of all of it, and from different perspectives. I will say that some of the most valued accounts that I follow now are from Persians. Iranians. I have a handful of accounts that help keep me sane through this and they're all perhaps not coincidentally of Iranian heritage. Sometimes almost like they're the only ones with their heads on straight about this. And it helps me feel less alone. But overall I feel sad, helpless, scared and fucking furious. --and thank you for you though cause I absolutely adore you 💛 like every single post and story.. you're just so smart caring logical and fucking funny! Sorry, had to take the opportunity to praise you. And thank you for the opportunity to ramble on about mental un-wellness in this hellscape

Expand full comment

I’m scared (but not surprised) how rapidly and brazenly the antisemitism has surfaced around the world. People aren’t even hiding it anymore. The lack of recognition of historical facts and Jewish indigeneity, and that people will happily believe the words of a terror organisation but instantly assume everything Zionists say is false…. It’s deeply scary as a Jewish person. Not to mention very isolating to be a liberal left wing Zionist - my entire theoretical social / political world thinks I support genocide.

Expand full comment

My father was ethnically cleansed from a Palestinian village just north of Gaza in March 1948. Our family lived there for centuries, and before they converted to Islam, they were Samaritan Jews. Our land was taken away, our accounts emptied, our possessions left behind. The settlers who came to the village were Holocaust survivors, and got along well with my family. When the Haganah came and massacred Muslims in the village and forced us to leave, The Jewish Palestinians were allowed to stay along with the settlers. But not my family - because of their religion. This has been going on for a long time. Palestinians do not have agency in Gaza. Or in the West Bank. They are subject to Israel’s laws, but without any benefit of citizenship. Hamas are not a true government and never were. They are simply administrators. The water, electricity, telecom, currency (shekel), all infrastructure in Gaza has been controlled by Israel - long before Hamas came to power in 2006. For anyone to believe that Gazans have choices or a say in anything that happens to them is uninformed. I hope people can understand the apartheid that Palestinians are living through.

Expand full comment