The people who want dead Jews will never get it.
By Sadie Hilf
“People love dead Jews.” It has been a phrase I have heard many times throughout my short life. From the pogroms of Czarist Russia, European and Middle Eastern expulsions, brutal terrorist campaigns in Israel, and the Tree of Life shooting, I was familiar with this sentiment.
Despite it all, I had maintained hope that people no longer loved dead Jews. That people had learned their lesson from the Holocaust, and would speak up when Jews are slaughtered en masse for the crime of living.
But I was wrong.
When Israel was attacked by Hamas on October 7, 2023, people still loved dead Jews. People shared sentiments of “resistance by any means necessary,” “all Israelis are valid targets.” and much more abuse.
Perhaps love is a strong word for many people. Some people simply do not care about dead Jews, because it does not fit their narrative of what a Jew should be. As the conspiracy theory goes: Jews are strong, mighty, powerful, all-seeing, all controlling. The Jews simply must have done something to deserve it. This war has completed the recognition of Israel as the “global Jew” responsible for all the evil in the world. We see the news articles slandering us and claiming that Israel is responsible for American police forces’ abuse of power.
We have seen attempts, by a radical segment of the American population, to rationalize our family’s murder and kidnappings. Our people have seen the sudden attempts to provide “context” to an issue we had been attempting to educate on for years and were told that it was not complicated. We have seen people on American college campuses tear down the pictures of our abducted children and grandparents, and laugh as they do it. Jews see the posts from American college students calling for an unconditional ceasefire minutes after we celebrate the rescue of Israeli hostages.
We have watched the blood libel. Our people read the Instagram infographics quoting HAMAS as a legitimate source of news. We watched those same radical segments of Americans deny the rape and murder of our families. Jews heard the demands for photographic evidence of our burned and decapitated babies.
Ignoring the Evidence
We also heard the insistence, from pro-HAMAS American and Palestinian voices alike, that the images were manufactured. We have heard the narrative pushed that Israel murders Palestinian children and harvests their organs. And when we explain that this is modern-day blood libel, we’re told “shut up, it’s not your turn.”
We have watched others apply American racial dynamics to us. Jews have been deemed ‘white settler colonialists’ by hyper-racialized political actors. We have had our connection to our land denied time and time and time again. Jews have heard it screamed “land back,” while insisting that our indigenous liberation movement is colonialism.
A New Rise in Antisemitism
Since Black Saturday, global antisemitism has spiked. Synagogues are firebombed, airports are raided searching for Jews, Jews are banned from shops and attacked in the streets. Jewish schools around the globe are closed due to bomb threats, and Kosher dining facilities are threatened. We hear the silence.
We hear the silence on social media, as Jewish content creators are attacked for expressing concern over family members living in a war zone, and Jewish young adults receive death and rape threats for existing online as Jewish. Many said they would “punch a nazi” and insisted they would hide us if the Holocaust had happened when they were alive. Yet, many cannot even point out friends’ and family’s antisemitism.
Worse, some Americans have chosen to spread it themselves.
But Jews love life.
On October 7th, the Jewish people mobilized. We raised funds, wrote letters, checked in on friends and family, sent supplies, and bought flights for our reservists. Our people have continued to cook food and bake bread for our soldiers. We have said thousands of chapters of Tehillim. Our people housed 60,000 displaced Israelis within 45 minutes as people opened up their homes. Two anonymous US based donors housed 160 Israeli families in the Jerusalem Plaza, providing all the necessary supplies they had left behind. Israel called up 360,000 reservists, and 450,000 showed up.
Those murdered without family in Israel have had thousands attend their funerals to ensure all are able to receive their burial rites. Allies around the world have hosted fundraising efforts to purchase our soldiers protective equipment.
Our young people have found love and companionship in this time. Many soldiers are getting engaged, and their friends are organizing surprise weddings so that the terrorists do not win. Our new babies are being named in honor of those who have been murdered or taken, so that everyone’s memory lives on. Young reservists have organized B’nei Mitzvah ceremonies for older reservists’ children so that their parents do not miss some of the most crucial moments of their children’s lives.
Jews must no longer accept the slaughter. We have our state; we have our army. Our people must no longer silently tolerate the murder of Jews as we had for thousands of years. We must no longer rely on others for our protection. Our people are our own deliverance. We will live in spite of the desire to see us killed.
Am Yisrael Chai.
The people of Israel live. That has been our rallying cry for the last two thousand years. It will be our rallying cry forever. The Israeli national anthem, HaTikvah, meaning “The Hope” in English, will remain as our hope. Our hope is still to be a free people in the land of Zion and Jerusalem.
The people who want dead Jews will never get it.
About the Author
Sadie earned her degree from Grove City College in Mechanical Engineering in May 2022, and a certificate in Diplomacy through the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MASA Israel Journey. She has worked in Israel Education and Advocacy since 2019 with organizations such as the Tel Aviv Institute, New Zionist Congress, and the Rimon Movement.
Sadie joined the Hasbara Fellowships team in the summer of 2022 as a regional advisor. She is currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, studying for a Masters in International Relations.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the writer alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grove City College, the Institute for Faith and Freedom, or their affiliates.