At 7 a.m. on Saturday, October 7, not dawn but dusk fell onto the open desert of the Jewish homeland. The festival of “friends, love, and infinite freedom” was over. As trance gave way to the din of wanton rockets, the Jewish people were called once again to defend the existence of their Israel. And by God, they shall.
Let us stay for a moment on that day. Survivors describe women raped beside the strewn corpses of beloved friends. For some, their bodies, still bearing the horror of moments ago, were heralded to maniacal crowds and then to the world. For others, their fate remains unknown.
In the homes and cars of nearby kibbutzim, Hamas henchmen killed many Israelis and dragged others into a living hell. Men, women, and children were burned to ashen stone.
I do not recall these events to inspire pity. Rather, we must look at evil because evil looks back at us. Hamas is not like you and me. The fervor of their malice, the primality of their perversion, and the brutishness of their aggression know no end. They will sacrifice their own in order to tell you themselves: “We love death more than you love life.”
You may see the schools in which they hide their guns. The hospitals under which they run their lines. The children—their own forsaken children—behind whom they stand. Sometimes, it is true that imagination makes things out far worse than they are. Yet, from time to time, reality lies at the border of imagination, scarcely recognizable.
In the immediate aftermath of Hamas’s grim attack, we saw people near and far take to their platforms with cheers to death and jeers to the dead. Do not be mistaken, this is not the reverence of resistance, but the celebration of slaughter.
To those who feast on fresh wounds, let me say this: the eye of history is unforgiving. To those who revel in darkness: we shall never forget. Indeed, if you stand in support of Hamas today in our university home, you are not welcome here. You have shown your true colors.
Whatever the present threat, if there is to be one lesson learned from the Jewish people and the span of their time, surely it is this: They will stick it to the end. Remember, the Jewish memory is a living thing.
To our Jewish brothers and sisters and to the rest of the world, be assured there is a modest yet formidable few who hold the candle of hope to the lights of perverted science benighting our universities.
You may feel alone, but you are not. From D.C. to London to New Delhi, from the free world to the Promised Land, we are with you.
Upon this battle against evil depends the survival of the Jewish state. Upon it depends the right of morality and the long standing of life over death. If Israel can—as she surely must and she surely shall—stay and stand in the face of this wretched force, the sun will rise over Masada again.
And as you will, keep with you those defiant words of each new generation. In Egypt as in the Rhineland, in Strasbourg as in Khmelnytskyi, in Hebron as in Auschwitz: “I am a Jew.” Today, I also am a Jew.
Terror shall never win. Not on our watch.
Am Yisrael Chai.
* The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.