In recent weeks, the phrase ‘an inconvenient truth’ has popped into my mind on a number of occasions. It’s wording that many of us recognise from that important 2006 documentary film by former Vice-President of the United States, Al Gore, when he drew attention to the reality of the impact of climate change on our world. The inconvenient truth he referred to concerned the fact that, in order to make the changes needed to stop the negative impact of climate change, the whole structure of the US economy would have to be relooked – clearly something that those with vested interests in business would not be keen to do.
It appears to me that there are a number of inconvenient truths about the current conflict in Gaza – and, because they are so inconvenient to those driving a particular narrative, these truths are simply being ignored.
Take, for instance, the overwhelming evidence of sexual assaults by Hamas on Israeli women and girls on October 7th. These attacks must surely constitute crimes against humanity and against these civilians’ human rights. However, have you heard any of those who identify as crimes against humanity the conflict affecting Palestinians also calling Hamas out for these atrocious sexual attacks?
As for Israel being portrayed by so many people as the aggressor in this current conflict, no-one seems to be willing to recognise the spark that set it all off. After all, if the Hamas attacks on the 7th October had not happened, the thousands who perished would still be alive. Again, too inconvenient a truth to acknowledge since it may dilute the strength of the anti-Israel argument?
Then there are those who regard Israel as a colonial authority – as if there were no presence of Jews in the area today called Israel/Palestine. Clearly, it would be an inconvenient truth to acknowledge the reality of centuries of Jewish settlement in the area since that would weaken their argument.
Finally, where are the thousands, if not millions, of people who should be calling for a return of the hostages taken by Hamas? Surely, this is an absolutely horrendous infringement of human rights. Surely people all around the world – and certainly within our own country – should be demonstrating against what Hamas did. Or is it too inconvenient a truth that Jews are human beings and deserve to have their human rights protected?
One thing is for sure: the biggest victim of all these inconvenient truths is truth itself.
The Chronicle took a break during January after a bumper issue for December/January. In the new year we will continue to bring you information about the Israel/Hamas conflict.
We’re excited to have our regular columnist, Julian Resnick, visiting Cape Town. Julian has kindly offered us an hour or two of his time to talk about life in Israel right now, and the issues that the country is having to address. If you’d like to join in for the meet up and hear more from Julian, please RSVP to email@example.com or see the invitation on Page 17 (and here).
This month we also carry some lighter and happier news: the outstanding results of the matriculants in our community, including one particular huge achievement by a Herzlia learner.
We’re also thrilled to be able to share photographs from the summer wedding season, as well as other simcha pictures. Mazal Tov to everyone!
• Published in the February 2024 issue – Click here to start reading.
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