Oct 25, 2023  By Vivian Grossman  Category: Blueprint Negev,

If Not Us, Then Who?

When I walk my dog, I assume cars will stop for me. I assume my neighborhood is safe and I don’t have to be hyper aware of my surroundings. I assume people are going about their business. Sadly, and tragically, the same can’t be said for those in Israel.

While walking my dog, I got a text from my cousins in Tel Aviv. “The last 15 minutes were terrifying. So many rockets around us.” Tears streamed down my cheeks as I walked my dog across the street, without even looking up. His two boys are terrified. They just want to escape. They asked if they could come to my house, where they know they can walk my dog without much care about who is around, where they could just feel normal.

As soon as the savage terrorists attacked, kidnapped, murdered, and raped civilians, my husband was on a plane to Israel. He couldn’t allow himself to stay in the safety of our comfortable home. Whatever the need was, he stepped up.

The second line of defense for any nation is the farmers. We tend to forget how important farmers are, but they feed the nation – and in Israel’s case, many who work the farms are foreigners, and were called home. So, the crops are lying in the fields and on the trees, waiting for some loving hands to come and help bring them to market. My husband is now working on a farm, just 20 km from Gaza, picking olives and helping in the winery. He no longer crosses the street without looking. He no longer has the comforts that we in the United States take for granted. As a runner, he’s used to taking long runs without a care. He no longer can take leisurely runs without a care.

Our collective family is in pain. We know time is short before the world decides the savage brutality brought upon Israel by the monstrous terrorists is not as great as Israel’s response. Our minds wonder how that is possible. It is Israel’s duty, responsibility and right to protect and defend. To ensure when we say, ‘never again’, we mean ‘never again’, not ‘never again, again.’

I cannot wait until Israel can once again take that sigh of relief, that sigh of crossing the street without fear that a barrage of rockets will come, aimed at civilians. In the meantime, we need to step up and be there for our collective Israeli family. We need to be their eyes and ears on the street. We need to be the voice of reason that reminds the world that this is truly about good and humanity vs. evil. We need to give until it hurts because if not us, then who?

Remember the famous story by the German pastor Martin Niemoller: "First they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I’m not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I’m not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I’m not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me."


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Thank you to David Pollack, a civilian volunteer from New York, for sharing his experiences in Israel this past week.