Obsessed with the Israeli War

 

Ever since October 7, I feel like I’ve been living in a kind of fog. I hate that feeling; I thrive on trying to be clear-headed and practical. As the days pass, I’m feeling more like myself, which also means that the numbness is dissipating and the realities of violence and chaos are tugging at my brain.

Many factors are contributing to my disrupted state of mind. For one, I still can’t imagine the savagery and hatefulness that permitted Hamas to act as they did on October 7. It is beyond comprehension. These are human beings destroying human beings in the vilest way in the 21st century. And yet these same people put their children to bed at night, break bread together, and laugh with their friends. The women talk with each other over their tea, and the men meet to pray to a G-d that is incomprehensible to Westerners.

These mixed images prevent me from understanding what has taken place. The enormity and ugliness violate my spirit.

And the Israelis. They, too, put their children to bed at night, but many are sleeping in bomb shelters. I wonder what it would be like to grow up fearing for my life, for my entire lifetime. I’ve heard Israelis travel internationally as much or more than any other country; I often heard Hebrew spoken around me during my international trips. I suspect that, in part, the travel provides an outlet, some relief from living next to “armed camps.” At times, I wonder if others’ borders seem to close in on them. When your neighbors compromise your well-being with their psychopathic obsessions, what mental and emotional adjustments must a person make to live in relative peace?

My own country provides little peace of mind, either. I keep waiting for signs that the anger is ratcheting down, but colleges all over the country are even more obsessed than I am as they defend Hamas and attack the Jews. The atmosphere has been contaminated by an evil and sick belief, like a new pandemic. Do we know where it came from? Has it always been here, lying dormant until just the right conditions unleashed it?

But I will not allow myself to become a victim. I am a proud American Jew. People have endured much worse compared to what I am struggling with now. I will do those things that fill my spirit rather than degrade it. I will pray and meditate. I will write. I wish I felt like writing about something other than the raging war or anti-Semitism or Hamas. Certainly, there are important issues happening in our own country. But for now, I’ll let my friends write about our national issues.

And I will write what I’m called to write.

Published in Islamist Terrorism
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  1. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Susan Quinn: The women talk with each other over their tea, and the men meet to pray to a G-d that is incomprehensible to Westerners.

    I think they pray to a false god.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Susan Quinn:

    My own country provides little peace of mind, either. I keep waiting for signs that the anger is ratcheting down, but colleges all over the country are even more obsessed than I am as they defend Hamas and attack the Jews. The atmosphere has been contaminated by an evil and sick belief, like a new pandemic. Do we know where it came from? Has it always been here, lying dormant until just the right conditions unleashed it?

     

    Mass expulsions. They might as well get busy in their careers as baristas and start paying off those tuition loans they took out for those Theoretical and Applied Puppetry degrees.

    • #2
  3. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Thanks so much, Rodin. I really do feel a bit nutty in terms of how I’m reacting, so I appreciate your reassurance that I’m normal–whatever that means!

    • #4
  5. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Seeing these incomprehensible anti-Israeli/Jewish demonstrations in the USA, especially at colleges and universities, makes me consider what it must be like to be of the Jewish faith and always have to wonder if the people I associate with judge me by my character, or by my being Jewish. Although Jews certainly are not the beneficiaries of Affirmative Action, it must be sort of like what black persons feel when they achieve something in society… “is it me as an individual or is something else at work here?”

    Being of Scots-Irish descent, that is a question I have never had to deal with.

    Susan, you have my sympathy as well as my admiration for what you contribute to this forum.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Seeing these incomprehensible anti-Israeli/Jewish demonstrations in the USA, especially at colleges and universities, makes me consider what it must be like to be of the Jewish faith and always have to wonder if the people I associate with judge me by my character, or by my being Jewish. Although Jews certainly are not the beneficiaries of Affirmative Action, it must be sort of like what black persons feel when they achieve something in society… “is it me as an individual or is something else at work here?”

    Being of Scots-Irish descent, that is a question I have never had to deal with.

    Susan, you have my sympathy as well as my admiration for what you contribute to this forum.

    Thanks so very much, Jim. I can tell you that I think a number of people on Ricochet would have my back if I needed their help regarding my faith. I think your analogy with Affirmative Action is apt. No offense to those who despise the Left, but Rico feels like a “safe space” for me.

    • #6
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    it must be sort of like what black persons feel when they achieve something in society… “is it me as an individual or is something else at work here?”

    Considering how the Kamala Harris-es etc of the world seem to believe they’ve gotten where they are by merit, I doubt there’s much introspection going on in most cases.

    • #7
  8. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Thanks so much, Rodin. I really do feel a bit nutty in terms of how I’m reacting, so I appreciate your reassurance that I’m normal–whatever that means!

    All Jews in the world are targets but for Hamas’ reach. 

    This is personal and you should take it personally. 

    • #8
  9. Chris Gregerson Member
    Chris Gregerson
    @ChrisGregerson

    I wake up in a nightmare every morning now. I’m filled with anger at not just those deplorable acts, but my lack of power to right those wrongs. My first career was 30 years in the military to fight this kind of evil and now I feel powerless. 

    • #9
  10. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    As you probably remember, I’m not a religious man.  But I’d like to think that I am a wise man, at least to the extent that a man can be both wise and a skeptic.  Those who perpetuate this archaic generational blood feud seem to me to be tools of evil, which also forces me to rethink my skepticism.  But upon further contemplation, I do not find a need for a binaary struggle between good and evil.  Men can still be raw, tribal creatures prone to and bound by pride and grudge and to false worship.  That’s what we have here.  It is concerning to the extreme that Jews are once again the target of evil fools, but if they are, then the fools and their supporters must be exposed for what they are and dealt with.  I hate it, but it must be done.  Stay safe and be vigilant.  Surround yourselves with friends and family.  Find courage.  Be prepared.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    Men can still be raw, tribal creatures prone to and bound by pride and grudge and to false worship. 

    If that’s all it was, it might not be so bad.   

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Chris Gregerson (View Comment):

    I wake up in a nightmare every morning now. I’m filled with anger at not just those deplorable acts, but my lack of power to right those wrongs. My first career was 30 years in the military to fight this kind of evil and now I feel powerless.

    Yep, they’re lucky I’m not a Douwd.

    • #12
  13. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris Gregerson (View Comment):

    I wake up in a nightmare every morning now. I’m filled with anger at not just those deplorable acts, but my lack of power to right those wrongs. My first career was 30 years in the military to fight this kind of evil and now I feel powerless.

    Yep, they’re lucky I’m not a Douwd.

    That was some very good writing. “You don’t understand what I did…”

    My wife and I have had similar thoughts and emotions. I struggle to stay off of Twitter, because I have other paid to work to…responsibilities to my family, ministries, and so forth, but …I have blocked, reported, filed criminal reports on internet incitement to violence against more often in the last month than in my entire life prior to October 7th, and I could pursue such a campaign for hours every day. I’m also obsessively checking news from Israel. Some days every ten minutes.

    • #13
  14. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    For what it’s worth: It is absolutely normal (and in some sense necessary) to feel “foggy” in the aftermath of a period of intense stress, which is what 10/7 and its aftermath has imposed on all of us, but of course, some much more than others.  It is also absolutely normal (and necessary) to be a little obsessive about seeking information regarding the threat.

    Your fine brain is attempting to do two things, one short-term and one long-term. These are a.) to determine the level of danger so you can prepare to meet it and b.) to turn the suffering into wisdom. Item (b) is a long process, and works a whole lot better if you are surrounded by love while you perseverate. I’m glad Ricochet can be one source of that love.

    • #14
  15. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Chris Gregerson (View Comment):

    I wake up in a nightmare every morning now. I’m filled with anger at not just those deplorable acts, but my lack of power to right those wrongs. My first career was 30 years in the military to fight this kind of evil and now I feel powerless.

    It’s horrible, isn’t it? 

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chris Gregerson (View Comment):

    I wake up in a nightmare every morning now. I’m filled with anger at not just those deplorable acts, but my lack of power to right those wrongs. My first career was 30 years in the military to fight this kind of evil and now I feel powerless.

    I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be for you.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    For what it’s worth: It is absolutely normal (and in some sense necessary) to feel “foggy” in the aftermath of a period of intense stress, which is what 10/7 and its aftermath has imposed on all of us, but of course, some much more than others. It is also absolutely normal (and necessary) to be a little obsessive about seeking information regarding the threat.

    Your fine brain is attempting to do two things, one short-term and one long-term. These are a.) to determine the level of danger so you can prepare to meet i int and b.) to turn the suffering into wisdom. Item (b) is a long process, and works a whole lot better if you are surrounded by love while you perseverate. I’m glad Ricochet can be one source of that love.

    That makes so much sense. Thanks.

     

    • #17
  18. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    “Wonderfully concentrated”?

    I’d be totally paranoid and sleeping with a loaded gun under my pillow.

    • #18
  19. QuietPI Member
    QuietPI
    @Quietpi

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    Men can still be raw, tribal creatures prone to and bound by pride and grudge and to false worship.

    If that’s all it was, it might not be so bad.

    But that’s not all it is, and it is very bad.  It’s not a false worship.  It’s a very real worship, to a false god.  I was recently reminded of a favorite line from an old friend, a history professor.  He said that human nature is one of the constants of the universe.  And the nature of that nature was ably captured in Dr. Sowell’s quotation in this recent Ricochet post:  https://ricochet.com/1510892/the-hollow-men/ 

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):
    I’d be totally paranoid and sleeping with a loaded gun under my pillow.

    Well, it’s not far away…

    • #20
  21. QuietPI Member
    QuietPI
    @Quietpi

    And by the way, thank you David Foster.  Your excellent post is, in a way, a gift that keeps on giving.

    • #21
  22. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    “Wonderfully concentrated”?

    I’d be totally paranoid and sleeping with a loaded gun under my pillow.

    Not under my pillow, but there are two in my bedroom.  I am surrounded by lefties and have no illusions about their sympathies.  As much as I’d like to be flying an Israeli flag, I’m keeping it inside.  We’ve actually had an American flag torn down and taken from our porch; no telling what vandalism an Israeli flag might invite.  

    • #22
  23. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Caryn (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    “Wonderfully concentrated”?

    I’d be totally paranoid and sleeping with a loaded gun under my pillow.

    Not under my pillow, but there are two in my bedroom. I am surrounded by lefties and have no illusions about their sympathies. As much as I’d like to be flying an Israeli flag, I’m keeping it inside. We’ve actually had an American flag torn down and taken from our porch; no telling what vandalism an Israeli flag might invite.

    And those lefties would assure you that they are the “reasonable” and “moderate” and “peaceful” people.

    • #23
  24. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians?  Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.  

    • #24
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

     

    Please check all that apply:

    __  poor
    __  tired
    __ wretched 
    __ huddled 

    • #25
  26. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Please check all that apply:

    __  subsidized
    __  excitable
    __ entitled
    __ violent

    • #26
  27. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    …. the realities of violence and chaos are tugging at my brain.

    “… the realities of violence and chaos are tugging at My Soul.”

    • #27
  28. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

     

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    • #28
  29. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

     

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen. 

    • #29
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen.

    I guess they didn’t have room on the plaque for the “non-homicidal” part.

    • #30
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