December 2023 Update

December, 2023

Kfir and his ‘big’ brother Ariel Bibas, before being kidnapped

Poster of kidnapped parents, Shiri and Yarden Bibas, are flanked by orange balloons, echoing the bright red of the children’s hair.

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you two months after Hamas’ October 7th attack on Israel, where the world witnessed some of the most barbaric acts in modern times—limbs severed, babies burned in ovens, parents murdered in front of their children, children mutilated and murdered in front of their parents, and widespread gang rapes, so violent that the victim’s pelvis was broken. And 240 innocent hostages kidnapped—ranging from 9 months to over 90—taken as bargaining chips. And the murder of 1400 Israelis, over 250 celebrating PEACE at a Rave concert, others burned alive in their homes.

The agony has been unimaginable—both on the Israeli side and as well as for the innocent Palestinians, who are being used as pawns by Hamas .

Like all reasonable people, I want an end to this horror.
Like all reasonable people, I want the hostages returned and the war over.
Like all reasonable people, I want a peace settlement that allows Israelis and Palestinians to begin living normal lives again—whatever ‘normal’ means in these far from normal times—and to start to rebuild safe, secure, and peaceful lives.

Is it possible? I do not know, but I can hope it is, as I continue to educate about the dangers of hate, about ‘othering’ each other, and seeing those who are different, not as people whose humanity is as important as our own, but as something less than human.

“Less than human” is how the Nazis saw the Jews, and that’s how they treated them.
“Less than human” is how Hamas treats BOTH Jews (any Jew, anywhere, but especially Jews in Israel, must be destroyed) and to also their innocent Palestinians, behind whom Hamas hides and uses as their human shields.

Whereas Israel and the IDF specifically warn Palestinian civilians to evacuate areas BEFORE they bomb —what other country does that??—(because Hamas locates their command centers UNDER hospitals, under schools, including UN schools and many other ‘soft civilian targets’, Hamas especially tries to attack Israeli civilians in their peaceful communities, at their peace celebrations, even in their beds.

I am writing just as I’m about to board a plane for Israel, where I will be celebrating Hanukkah with my family, as well as volunteering to help the traumatized, displaced families who escaped Hamas on Oct. 7th. Since their homes and communities were destroyed, over 300 families are being housed right now in my daughter’s small community.

For the Foundation, I will continue my work to teach Tolerance and to personalize history by focusing on the unknown photos Jews carried to Auschwitz, photos Hitler never wanted anyone to see, and continue to share stories about people that the Nazis never wanted the world to know.

I feel as if now, in 2023, we are entering a dangerous time, similar to Germany in the 1930’s. It has not yet reached the point of broken glass or death camps [Note: I said ‘yet’], but it is definitely a time of vilification and hate. And the longer this world-wide anti-Semitism and Jew hatred continues (especially from Progressives, with whom we were so often aligned), the harder it will be to ever come together (diverse people from diverse communities, religions, and national origins) to build a world of hope, justice and peace.

I pray it is not too late.
I will continue to believe it is not…and to work toward that end.
Thank you for your help in helping to create a better world, in whatever way you can, in whatever place you can.


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