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I’ve been keeping fairly close track of events in the Middle East ever since Hamas launched its horrific attack against Israel on October 7. Previously, when thinking about the Jews and Israel, and their struggles with the Iranian-supported Hamas in Gaza and Hizbollah in Lebanon, I tended to view them as ‘they.’ But this time around, while reading about the atrocious brutality displayed by Hamas since the conflict began, in my mind ‘they’ quietly became ‘my people.’
If you have read my author’s biography, you’ll notice my family name is Gallagher, a good Irish name. What my author’s bio doesn’t say, however, is that my mother’s maiden name was Libman, and I’m pretty sure that name was Americanized after my mother’s relatives emigrated to the USA after the 1918 Russian Revolution.
In other words, despite the fact that my father was Irish Catholic, I’m legally Jewish. So I’ve come to feel that I’m in the same leaky boat of tolerance that the rest of the international Jewish community now finds itself in after October 7. Pro-Hamas protesters in the supposedly ‘liberal’ West chanting “From Palestine to the Sea,” does, like Boswell’s saying about being hanged in the morning, tend to concentrate a person’s mind.
Still, at this point in time, it’s highly unlikely I’ll start wearing a yarmulke, put on a prayer shawl, fly off to Jerusalem, and bob up and down in front of the Wailing Wall chanting verses from the Torah. However, the deep hatred of Jews that has shown up in the last few days, not only in the Middle East but in much of the West as well, may have driven me into a psychological corner. Yes, I’m most definitely not a practicing Jew, and probably never will be, but that won’t matter to the anti-semites that have popped up in the media and on university campuses since the Hamas attack. From their standpoint, I’ll always have a target painted on my back.
My secularism wouldn’t have helped me with the Nazis, and it certainly won’t help me today with Hamas, Hizbollah, the mullahs in Tehran, or their hate groupies in the West. They’d all want me dead, and if not dead, at least down on my knees whining for mercy.
So with Hamas, the Israelis should take their cues from the books of generals William T. Sherman and Philip Sheridan (Crow rations and the Shenandoah Valley).
As for their supporters in the West, these people should all be offered lucrative employment opportunities in the fast-food industry in lieu of their current jobs.Published in