By Rabbi Michael Schwab.
This past weekend we commemorated 100 days since the terrible and despicable attack by Hamas against Israel and their kidnapping of over 200 hostages, many who still remain in captivity. Rabbi Freedman and I have shared abundant words with you about this travesty over the last 100 days. Therefore I thought that instead of sharing my own today, I would present to you some thoughts by some other important thinkers and figures of our time who wrote something or gave speeches to mark the 100 days.
President Isaac Herzog:
I am speaking from here to the hostages, our brothers and sisters, whoever can hear me — we are not giving up on you. We have not forgotten you. We are all working and will continue to work here in Israel and around the world 24/7 in order to bring you home! . . . I call upon the entire family of nations to do your part. This isn’t just our battle. It is a battle for the entire world. Stand with life and liberty. Stand with freedom and democracy, against barbarism and hate.”
What I find so troubling is not just that the appeal of universal principles or that the role of truth in politics has collapsed, but that so many people are cheering it on. It seems to me like people were tired of reason and truth. Such principles are too boring compared to the thrills of enmity and hatred.
Bruno Maçães is a columnist for the New Statesman, a former Portuguese Europe minister, and the author of “Geopolitics for the End Time.”
Haviv Rettig Gur:
When it set out on the morning of October 7 to kill and kidnap Israelis, Hamas knew what its actions would bring upon Gaza. And it welcomed it, not because Hamas are “extremist” or “radical”—easy but meaningless designations—but because it believes it is fighting a much larger fight than the Israeli-Palestinian one. . . . Iran did not build Hezbollah to not use it, nor the Houthis or its militias in Iraq and Syria. A war one side thinks is being fought to reclaim Islam’s rightful place in history will not end in Gaza. It has, alas, only just begun.
Haviv Rettig Gur is a senior analyst at The Times of Israel.
Since October 7, the atrocities carried out by Hamas have been tolerated, contextualized, and hailed. Since October 7, Israel itself has been accused of perpetrating them and worse. All of this has brought a great and terrible clarity: Jew-hatred has been revealed as a permanent and pervasive reality in the West. Jews in America, especially, now have three choices: stay and fight, stay and hide, or move to Israel.
Michael Oren is a historian, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., and the author, among other books, of “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East
President Joseph Biden:
Today, we mark a devastating and tragic milestone—100 days of captivity for the more than 100 innocent people, including as many as 6 Americans, who are still held being hostage by Hamas in Gaza. For 100 days, they have existed in fear for their lives, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. For 100 days, their families have lived in agony, praying for the safe return of their loved ones. . . I will never forget the grief and the suffering I have heard in my meetings with the families of the American hostages. No one should have to endure even one day of what they have gone through, much less 100. On this terrible day, I again reaffirm my pledge to all the hostages and their families—we are with you.