Jews call for ceasefire during Hanukkah celebration in Manhattan
Hundreds of Jewish people gathered at Columbus Circle in Manhattan for a traditional holiday candle lighting – but also to advocate for peace in Gaza.

Thursday evening marked the first night of Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah), the Jewish Festival of Lights. 

But what is typically a holiday of great joy – complete with menorah-lighting, gift-giving, and special festive meals – has taken on a slightly different shade this year amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza and reports of rising antisemitism around the globe. 

Against that backdrop, this Hanukkah season, many Jewish people are feeling more solemn than celebratory. 

Some report feeling on edge or downright worried about being targeted for their identity. 

Others are feeling deeply conflicted about that identity as bombs continue to fall and the death toll ticks up ever further in Gaza. 

Jews Call for Ceasefire

This year's Hanukkah in New York City is marked by complex emotions, particularly among Jewish communities. Rising incidents of both antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes have heightened tensions. 

Moreover, many progressive Jews are voicing their concern over civilian casualties in Gaza and Israel, seeking to dissociate their Jewish identity from the Israeli government's actions.

Hundreds of Jewish people gathered at Columbus Circle in Manhattan for a traditional holiday candle lighting – but also to advocate for peace in Gaza.

They lit a nine-foot tall menorah that read “ceasefire”.

Wrapped in winter attire and holding menorahs, the participants' mood was one of solemn remembrance rather than festivity, reflecting on the lives lost in the recent Israel-Hamas conflict since the October 7th incidents.

“This just feels like a very powerful opportunity for us to continue to be very, very loud and clear that we see no military solution to this conflict,” said Audrey Sasson, the executive director of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice.

“As a Jewish person, my identity is being used to kill innocent people,” added participant Ben Sullivan. “It makes me really upset, but it gives me a lot of hope to see so many other Jewish people who feel the same way.”

Related: The Religious History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Non-Jews Standing in Solidarity

Others see things in different terms. In the aftermath of the October 7th massacre by Hamas, individuals from various backgrounds are “adopting” Judaism and standing in solidarity with the Jewish people. 

Among those beating the drum is former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who wrote a piece in the New York Daily News urging people to “stand with Jews” this Hanukkah season. Here’s an excerpt of what he wrote:

“Tonight marks the first night of Chanukah, a holiday commemorating religious freedom and the perseverance of the Jewish people.

This occasion of celebration and reflection takes on a new urgency this year as Jews across the world grapple with rising antisemitism to a degree that has not been seen in generations. They need more than words of support. For non-Jews it is critical that in deeds and actions we stand by our friends and neighbors in this crucial time.

In 186 B.C., the Jewish community was under assault and their Temple in Jerusalem was desecrated. The Maccabees fought off those who would destroy their way of life and reclaimed the Temple. When the Maccabees went to rededicate the Temple and to light the Menorah, the ritual candelabra, there was only enough oil for a single night. Yet the oil burned for eight days, enough time to allow for sufficient oil to be obtained for the restoration of worship.

These events for which Chanukah is celebrated took place more than two millennia ago; but they are as timely as if they happened on Oct. 7.

Jews targeted. Their Temple desecrated. Their right to worship assaulted. Their very existence threatened.

This was true then, and sadly it is as true today."

Identity in Crisis

But as evidenced by the protest in Manhattan, for some in the Jewish community, the issue remains immensely more complicated than simply “stand with Jews”. 

They report feeling a deep internal conflict regarding their identities, torn between their allegiance to Israel and the Jewish community, and their distress over the actions of the Israeli government and the escalating death toll in Gaza. 

On one side, there is a sense of kinship and loyalty to Israel as a central aspect of Jewish identity and heritage. This bond often includes a feeling of solidarity with fellow Jews and the desire to support Israel as a homeland and a symbol of Jewish resilience.

However, on the other side, there's growing unease and horror about the Israeli government's policies and military actions in Gaza, which have resulted in significant loss of life and suffering.

Many feel that these actions contradict the core values of Judaism, which emphasize peace, justice, and the sanctity of life. This dissonance has led to difficult conversations within the Jewish community about how to reconcile these conflicting feelings.

What is your reaction?

49 comments

  1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

    Yes, cease fire, absolutely, as soon....as Hamas is obliterated and it has been impressed upon the "Palestinians" people thar it's much better to decide to grab a cup of tea and sit down to a game of dama rather than to even think about attacking Israel.

    Let's not forget that Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005 including using the Israeli Army to evict 9,000 Israeli settlers from the area.

    After which in 2006 there was an election in which Hamas got about 40% of the vote. Despite that they staged a bloody coup killing many fellow Palestinians who did not support them (that's why the Fatah members of the Palestinian Authority fled to the West Bank)

    Meanwhile, what did Hamas do with all the homes and greenhouses ( and we're not talking a little backyard greenhouse to grow orchids) and other infrastructure left behind by the Israelis they were kicked out? Did they turn it all over to Palestinian civilians to make nice driving little communities? No. They destroyed it all and turned it into terror training camps.

    Then since taking over and being the government of Gaza they have received many billions of dollars of foreign aid materials and monies EVERY year from a variety of nations, including the US.

    But did they use that money to build schools or hospitals or power/water plants or any other infrastructure to benefit and make life easier for the people of Gaza? No.

    Instead they immediately started sending rockets, suicide bombers and armed raiding parties into Israel and they have been doing so for over 17 years.

    Each time Israel responded then deescalated and stopped until the next attack from Hamas and the next and the next and the recycle kept repeating itself UNTIL October 7th when the Israelis finally had enough of the BS.

    Now it's very sad that so many civilians are caught in the crossfire. I'm sure it's was it was very sad for the German and Japanese civilians of World War II to have your country bombarded nearly back to the stone age. Especially if you lived in a couple of little hamlets called Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Unfortunately it was just something that just HAD to be done to defeat the militarist of Japan and the Nazis of Germany.

    Imagine in Europe/Germany if there was a ceasefire in early March of 1945 where the Allies said

    "Okay. We've punished you enough you silly rascals. We're pulling out. Just don't be naughty again. Goodbye."

    It's the same in Gaza. What's happening there is unfortunate. But just as the Allies were not to blame for what had to happen to get rid of the Nazis in Germany and the militarist in Japan, neither is Israel to blame for what has to happen in Gaza to get rid of Hamas.

    1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

      By the way, other than prepubescent children, the number of "innocent" civilians is Gaza is questionable.

      If you will go back and look at a number of the videos that Hamas themselves took at the time they breached the border fences in various locations you will see hundreds of people pouring into Israel that are not caring weapons.

      These people were not Hamas fighters they were the innocent civilians pouring into Israel to participate in the brutalities thefts and vandalism inflicted by Hamas.

      Also, even pre Hamas, if you will recall back to shortly after 9/11, thousands of people in Gaza were dancing in the streets in celebration. Just as they were doing after October 7th.

      THAT is the real attitude of the majority of people in Gaza

    2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Very well said, Michael. The only thing I might add is that I'm disappointed that the article failed to even mention Hamas's role in all of this, and its unforgivable crimes. That's a very big omission! Therefore, I, regrettably, cannot say it was fairly written. I also think that an article about Hanukkah and antisemitism is not the appropriate time to mention any perceived or real harm to Muslims. They have their own holidays to mention those concerns. No Muslims were chased down on our elite campuses causing them to run to safety, there were no chants to wipe out Muslims from the river to the see, and there were no mass protests crying out to gas the Muslims. The ULC is better than to gaslight us into seeing any semblance of equivalence between the Jewish experience and that of Muslims in the last few months. Disappointed 😞.

    3. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

      Well said. I couldn't have said it as good as you did. Too full of anger and fascist tendencies and genocidal thoughts of just wiping out all the Palestinians. But I keep telling myself that they're are a select few who hate the terrorism. The terrorists feed on fear using it to recruit and brainwash the young boys. To bad our Department of State doesn't have the common sense and Truth that was well stated in your comment. We have armed and given aid to the Hamas knowing full well it wasn't going to the people. Obama is especially to blame for that. He is the most anti-semitic jerk in the U.S.

    4. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      You have my vote, Sir Michael. ✅

      🦁❤️

    5. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Just a comment and a question from an atheist…

      You’re obviously not Islamic. So are you Xtian (upper case out of respect for it being Xmas) or are you Jewish?

      1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

        My faith has nothing to do with this. This has to do with right and wrong and moral clarity.

        Unfortunately when I come to radical islamist, THEIR faith has everything to do with it

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Moral clarity? Let me see now 🤔

          Slavery, and stoning people to death, just to name two that is approved by the biblical god. I won’t cover infanticide, or genocide.

          🦁❤️

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            Lionheart, those things are also approved in the holy writings of the Islamic faith, they are also practiced in real life. When was the last time you heard of a Christian stoning someone to death today? I haven't. But I have heard of Muslims cutting off people's heads, burning children to death, and raping women after which they then cut off their breasts and threw it around to each other like it was some sort of a fun toy.. So, I'm going to look at what these faiths are actually practicing today and not worry so much about what was written 3,000 years ago by a group that was still struggling to find its way to a more perfect practice and acknowledgment of the presence of God both in nature and in our lives.

            1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

              Yes, that is true, Lord Russel. Islam has taken over from the Inquisition. Such is religion! The edicts from the mythical Abrahamic God has a lot to answer for.

              🦁♥️

    6. Donald G Magel's Avatar Donald G Magel

      Hamas should declare a ceasefire. Why is the initial victim required to stop a war that they did not start? Hamas planned this war and they could stop it.

  1. Alun Lloyd Palmer's Avatar Alun Lloyd Palmer

    I am a ULC minister and an Atheist. My parents were agnostic. On my mother's side they were Christian, but her father was Catholic and her mother Anglican. On my father's side they never followed any religion, but there were rumours that the family may once have been Jews. I always got Hannukah Geld in my Christmas stocking.

    It seems clear to me that Israel has placed little or no emphasis on reclaiming the hostages and most emphasis on killing or evicting as many Palestinians as possible. They have targetted hospitals, which is a war crime. In fact, they have deliberately tried to close down ALL the hospitals in Gaza. What Israel is doing is despicable. They need to stop.

    America vetoing the UN ceasefire resolution is also despicable. This now means that many Democrats will not turn out to vote, as they can no longer support Joe Biden. This increases the likelihood that the US will elect Trump, a man that is a fascist, like Netanyahu.

    1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

      As usual, with Dems, everything is politics.

    2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      Alun,

      There was a cease fire during this broken cease fire.. It lasted until Hamas started shooting again.. Don't you watch the news? All cease fires between Israel and Hamas end with Hamas shooting and killing Israelites. Oct 7 2023 hamas ended the last cease fire. It's one broken cease fire after another. Hamas uses hospitals and schools as bases. Don't yo pay attention?

      You blind peace lovers need to take a cold shower or something to snap out of it.

      EVIL DOES NOT WANT PEACE. Read that again.

    3. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

      It is NOT a war crime to target facilities, be they hospitals, churches, mosque synagogues, schools apartment blocks and so forth, that are being used by the enemy for other than their intended purpose.

      You want to hide fighters, weapons and rockets launchers etc. in any of those facilities they become legitimate targets of war.

    4. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Alun, I must disagree with you. Israel's best chance right now to get the remaining hostages back is to continue to put pressure, that is military pressure, on Hamas. As for Israel targeting and hitting any hospitals or schools or other items or buildings that ordinarily would not be struck with bombs under the UN, that same UN recognizes that when the opposing enemy places their weaponry and their military in those buildings or compounds then they are legitimate targets. Israel has gone out of his way to tell people to get out of those buildings because they are going to bomb those buildings. Therefore if they have bombed any hospitals or schools or similar type buildings it is not a war crime under the UN. I have listened to at least six lawyers who specialize in this very type of law explain this to the American public over and over again. But many people want to continue to believe that it is a war crime simply because it is one of those types of building. That is not true when that building is being used by the enemy as a base of operations.

    5. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

      Your family was once possibly Jewish. First and foremost they still are by blood. Being Jewish is not a race or a religion. They are a cultural group of people who.once had a country taken from them with their own religion. And if we want to get racially technical. They are Caucasian. In fact , all of the Middle Eadtern people fall in that category including the Indo-Asian/European groups. But, there really are no races e cent sociogically. There is only one race: THE HUMAN RACE. And being Jewish isn't based on religion but being a special.group of people who now have their country back.

  1. Mark Stricklett's Avatar Mark Stricklett

    This Isreal/Palenstine war could be over quickly if the Palenstines would turn over the Hamas!

    Until then the war will continue. Isreal has been waiting for this war for 1000 years.

  1. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

    May I clear up a few things that you are misinformed on. Bebe Netanyahu made it clear the other day that Israel is not responsible for war crimes. The Hamas are. Targeting the hospitals a war crime!. REALLY! The Hamas use the hospitals as shields. Many who work in the hospitals are aligned with Hamas. You could see that very clearly when the press were allowed to film them as hostages were taken into the hospitals to the tunnels. The Hamas are therefore responsible for war crimes.Not Israel. As for getting the hostages back. Israel has done as much as possible to get hostages back agreeing to a cease fire. They should have been all released. But, during the cease fire Hamas still kept firing rockets. So who's really committing war crimes. The Hamas took hostages on purpose, so as to use as bargaining chips. They had this all planned. We really shouldn't be having a cease fire because that is appeasement. You don't negotiate with terrorists. You annihilate them. You have to. Most of them won't conform if caught. The ones released will go right back to terrorism. Apparently you know little about negotiating with terrorists. It doesn't work. So as you turn on 🇮🇱 Israel you are only playing along with the terrorists and aiding them in their own propaganda. What Israel is doing is only necessary. Please stop the trolling. It is not only propaganda but truly reeks of hatred towards Israel. They have every right to defend their borders and their people. And do you really think all those hostages are going to be freed. HELL NO! The Hamas are using them and when they can't use them anymore they will he killed. They have already killed some of them on purpose. I can guarantee the Americans will not be released except by a miracle.
    I think you seriously need to read the writings of Netanyahu. He is not a facist. And the Biden Administration is. You are only gas lighting when you claim Trump is a fascist. Far from it. Yes he sounds like he'll go after the Democrats if he gets elected. He should after all the bogus propaganda used on him. Going after him.like he's a southern Confederate. The Demicrzts in power and now and in the present are all a bunch of criminals. January 6th was no insurrection by any means. You clearly just hate Trump and Israel. You clearly know nothing about American history or political philosophy or terrorism. There can be no appeasement. NEVER.Every time you negotiate and give one inch, they turn on you and demand and take 12 inches. In the Middle Eastern conflict it constantly happens. You don't negotiate period. Same goes with the Ukranian debacle. It is a proxy war. We need to stop aiding Ukraine and let Russia have what she wants. Warm water ports which Ukraine and NATO agreed to then turned on the agreement. Russia for once is not at fault. Constantly Putin has said he wants the old Russian Empire. That's not the communist Empire. Just Ukraine up to Kiev which had originally been the capitol of Russia centuries ago.
    And seriously, do you think the democrats won't still support Biden. They will unless that jerk from California enters the race at the last moment. All of the Demicrats need to be arrested, convicted and imprisoned. It truly is a Mafiaoso in power from the Clintons, Obamas, and the Biden's.
    So please , quit trolling and gaslighting against Israel. It shows complete contempt towards an age old historical and spiritual.problem that you truly don't understand. It's truly anti-American and inhuman. My heart bleeds for the Palestinians who truly are innocent. But it's war. And war can be justified by St. Augustine 's "just war theory". It's a war. Get over it. The policies that Israel is following is similar to what the U.S. did in WW II. Destroy the enemy and then liberate the death camps. If we had liberated the death camps first Hitler would have only dug in deeper . And the same for dropping the two atomic bombs on Japan. It was the only true humanitarian thing to do to end the war on both fronts to ultimately save more lives. In war, people die. Sad but true. I despise it. But, I cannot sit idly by while someone spouts absolute hatred against a nation trying to defend its borders. It's truly and totally lack of common sense and love of the human race. If you knew anything about real peace it only comes to turning to the Creator and realizing real peace will come when Jesus returns. I've said my piece.

    1. Rev'd Andrew's Avatar Rev'd Andrew

      That's the most intolerant, anti-American rant I've read in a while.

      Xtians can be so hateful.

  1. Michael Sciulli's Avatar Michael Sciulli

    From minster mike pray for peace in the Middle East and Ukraine merry Christmas and God bless everyone

  1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

    In any conflict there has always been collaborators and traitors and this conflict is no different. Very ironic that the subject of this article should come up invoking Hanukkah.

    During that time in the land the area was controlled by the Seleucids, a Greek Kingdom that came out of the breakup of Macedonia after the death of Alexander the Great. This was a time known as the Hellenistic. or Greek period In the area.

    During that time many Jews were more than happy to simply give up their identity and participate in the excesses and paganism of Hellenistic society. This even included some the so-called High Priest of Israel.

    That eventually led to the Maccabee rebellion and the event gave us the celebration of Hanukkah after the cleansing and rededication of the second temple to the one true God.

    Next came the Roman Empire in 40 BC where are they installed a "Jew", Herod, as their puppet King. Here yet again you had Jews that tried to romanize themselves to appeal to their new masters.

    However, the problem with this was that Romans were more "supremacist" than were the Greeks and they generally viewed the Jews, all Jews as lower than warm dung.

    In fact the land started to be called Palestine in about 130 AD when the Romans renamed Judea as Syria Palaestina to give a big finger to the Jews by naming for their old arch enemy the Philistines from David & Goliath name.

    So yeah, there was no Arab Palestine that the Jews conquered and took over. They were already there when the Romans named it that

    So it surprises me not one bit that there are "Jews" today who are very willing to collaborate and betray Israel.

  1. Andy Anderson's Avatar Andy Anderson

    No ceasefire until Hamas fully surrenders.

  1. Takaya Kovani Sweeney's Avatar Takaya Kovani Sweeney

    The racists of ULC comments never sit quietly and it’s always the same people...no surprises here.😂

    Goodness, I hope y’all are all very old so we can be rid of people who hate like you.

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    The situation is very sad, but the Bible states that there will be no peace in that area until Christ comes to take care of it. Until then I will pray for the peace that is to come when Christ comes back.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      @ Colleen McAllister We had peace and Christ didn’t come. What happened?

    2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      It’s still only a book, Lady Colleen, much of it written by people that never met those they wrote about. No one knows how much of it, or any of it, is actually true. We now know for a fact that much of it is false. There is still no supporting evidence that even the god that’s listed in it is actually real, and I won’t even mention the talking snake, or talking ass, or unicorn, or an Adam and Eve, and the ridiculous claim of a deity of some sort impregnating a virgin. Oops, I guess I just did 🤭

      🦁❤️

      1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        Actually lionheart, the old testament passed my first round of litmus tests. That which is discoverable showed the places all existed and were destroyed in the way the bible says(if they were destroyed). Even satanic temples turned into latrines as documented have been uncovered to my surprise. Of course we know all the Kings mentioned are real. Pre-exodus and the supernatural are in question which science can not detect yet.

        The serpent is a person/entity, all animals talk, man can impregnate without intercourse, let's see, what else...oh unicorn.... I have never ever ever seen an animal or creature with a single horn on its head. Well, there are quite a few mammals that have single horns but all those are extinct. Well, not all, some are still around but we don't call them unicorns. We've got a one antler deer that's been hanging out on the property for a few years we call lefty but I don't think antlers count as horns. You might have me on the unicorn.....

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Ha! Should have known better! Unicorn comes from the Hebrew word 'reem' which in English means Wild Ox. The bible does not support unicorns. Not that spectacular at all, rather boring.

          Bummer, they're pretty cool.

        2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Thank you, Sir SOJ. Yes, places exist, listed in that book, but then again, many of the places mentioned in Harry Potter, and many other works of fiction exist also. It’s always nice to weave real places into stories. Robin Hood is a classic. I used to live in an area very close to Sherwood Forest before coming to the US. Robin Hood wasn’t real, by the way, but there were many people like him who fought against the rich to give to the poor.

          As far as I’m aware, there is still no archaeological evidence yet of Moses, or even Abraham. I doubt we’ll ever find anything related to Adam and Eve, which is hardly surprising.

          Still no demonstrable evidence of any god yet though. It would be nice if one of them would make a curtain call to take a bow once in a while though. 🤭

          Thank you for your kind reply. 🤗

          🦁❤️

          1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            Lionheart,

            There may be a way to verify Abraham existed. His burial place is known. His alleged tomb is in Muslim country and can't be studied. If it could be and hasn't been plundered they should find carbon data and DNA of a couple Egyptian style mummified people. The DNA should like all genetic Israelites together.

            Alas, your right in the end. Proof of Abraham, Moses and who pharaoh was is not proof of God.

            1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

              I did once hear someone say there is proof of God….and then pointed to Raquel Welch as the proof. 🤭

              Those were the days. 🤗

              🦁❤️

    3. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

      Absolutely true Colleen. In 1978, the Chief Rabbi walked into the Temple Mount and declared this was now the Messianic Age we had entered. The Age of the Gentiles had ended. And the Jewish people will accept the Christ as the Messiah. So will all of the Middle Eastern peoples of Semitic origin. God will fulfill all of his covenants with the Children of Abraham.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Happy Hanukkah to our jewish friends across the globe and i pray for peace and a permanent ceasefire also i wish you all A Merry Christmas love from England

  1. Theresa C. Marquess's Avatar Theresa C. Marquess

    May you all have a Happy Chanukah! Peace be with you, yours, and theirs...

  1. He Who Breathes's Avatar He Who Breathes

    The "progressive" Jews, would be delighted to know, that when Hamas invaded Israel on Oct 7 they did not discern between who they murdered, raped, and tortured. In fact many of the victims were "progressive" Jews...

  1. Tom Herman's Avatar Tom Herman

    I wish I knew the answer to this dilemma. Warlords have ruled in this part of the world for thousands of years. You would think a two state solution would be the logical outcome but eons of religious wars have shown that seems only temporary. Hamas by its long term planning and actions declared war on Israel. Hamas is a political party living within a densely populated society. Urban warfare is a whole new world of death and destruction. Hamas has integrated its militarism into its institutions and social structures. For the people of Gaza to claim ignorance of this is simply disingenuous. Actions have reactions. Hamas was elected by the people of Gaza. Government exists by consent of the governed. Seems pretty clear what needs done to bring back peaceful coexistence. Until self determination manifests itself, Israel has every right to protect itself and try to recover their people taken hostage. History has shown that proportional retaliation does not work when you're dealing with zealots who glorify martyrdom. Who knows if a Diplomatic solution is feasible given religious dogma appears the foundation of decisions. I think the nation's still need to at least try. I can only hope the hostages are still alive and not being brutalized.

    1. Rev'd Andrew's Avatar Rev'd Andrew

      Unfortunately your post betrays considerable ignorance of the reality of the situation in Gaza. Hamas, a group sponsored by the State of Israel in an attempt to undermine the Palestinian Authority, took control of Gaza in a coup after NOT winning the majority of votes in the 2006 election. So no, Hamas was NOT elected by the people of Gaza, and their continued control of Gaza is NOT with the consent of the majority of Palestinian people (especially given that the majority of Palestinians are minors).

      The Israeli government has admitted that the reports of rapes and beheadings by the IDF were false, and they have also admitted that the IDF is responsible for the bombing and shooting of many innocent Israelis who lost their lives on October 7. The Israeli government has the blood of tens of thousands of innocents on its hands, including the blood of Israelis. Hamas has the blood of innocents on its hands. The innocents, contrary to your assertions, are both the innocent victims of the October 7 attack by Hamas, the innocent victims murdered by the IDF on October 7, and all the Palestinians who have been murdered by the IDF, and Israeli settlers since their land was stolen from them and given to Eastern European refugees in 1947.

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Andrew, your comments are not correct and are part of the problem. I am surprised you had the audacity to even post such inaccuracies.. such lies continue to cause trouble not only in Israel but within Western society at large. To insinuate that the state of Israel would ever condone the blatant killing of innocent Jews or anyone else is unthinkable. Yes, people who might well have been innocent have been killed as collateral damage as Israel goes after Hamas. But that is far different than what Hamas, not the IDF, did on October 7th. Such blatant lies and misinformation is worthy of a member of Hamas itself not one who seeks truth in order to gain understanding.

        1. Rev'd Andrew's Avatar Rev'd Andrew

          I look forward to your proof that my comments "are not correct" and that instead are "blatant lies and misinformation."

          I let the Israeli government and military condemn themselves:

          Citing new data released by the Israeli military, [Yoav Zitun, the military correspondent of Israeli outlet Ynet] wrote that: “Casualties fell as a result of friendly fire on October 7, but the IDF [Israeli military] believes that … it would not be morally sound to investigate” them.

          He reported that this was “due to the immense and complex quantity of them that took place in the kibbutzim and southern Israeli communities.”

          The Ynet article also reported that “at least” one fifth of the Israeli army deaths in Gaza since the ground invasion began were also due to “friendly fire” incidents.

          Israel’s military and government have a long and well-documented history of making false and misleading statements to cover up and deflect responsibility for war crimes they commit against Palestinians. Here's some recent examples:

          Lying about use of white phosphorus in violation of international law - October 2023

          On October 10 in Lebanon and October 11 in Gaza, the Israeli military used white phosphorus shells in violation of international law. Israel denied the claim, stating it was “unequivocally false.” However, Human Rights Watch verified videos of “multiple airbursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus” launched by the Israeli military over the Gaza City port and along the Israel-Lebanon border, labeling it a violation of international humanitarian law. Amnesty International also documented the presence of white phosphorus shells at an Israeli army base in southern Israel near Gaza. In 2009, during Israel’s attack on Gaza known as Operation Cast Lead, Israel initially “denied outright” that it used white phosphorus. However, Human Rights Watch subsequently documented Israel’s widespread use of white phosphorus shells in Gaza, including in densely populated urban areas, a UN compound, and a UN school. In total, Israel fired more than 200 white phosphorus shells during the assault. Israel also accused Hamas of firing a white phosphorus shell in 2009, a claim that Human Rights Watch concluded was false.

          Unsubstantiated claims about beheading of children - October 2023

          Israel’s military and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office claimed that Hamas fighters beheaded up to 40 children during their October 7 attack on the town of Kfar Aza. The incendiary allegations spread quickly and were widely repeated in the media and by President Joe Biden, who falsely claimed during a meeting with Jewish leaders that he personally saw photos of beheaded children, which the White House later walked back, admitting he had not seen any such photos and that the US had not verified the claim. However, Israeli journalists who visited the scene of the alleged beheadings saw no evidence to support the allegation and the Israeli military officials accompanying them made no mention of it. The Israeli army subsequently refused to confirm the claim and more than a week later no evidence has emerged to support it.

          Lying about deadly airstrike on civilian convoy seeking safety in Gaza - October 2023

          On October 13, a civilian convoy fleeing Gaza City as ordered by the Israeli military on a road identified as a “safe route” by Israel, was hit by an Israeli airstrike, killing 70 people and wounding at least 200. The Israeli military denied attacking the convoy. However, Amnesty International verified videos of the attack and concluded it was the result of an airstrike.

          Lying about the murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh - May 2022

          On May 11, 2022, renowned Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the neck and killed by an Israeli sniper while reporting on an Israeli army invasion of the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, even though she was nowhere near any fighting at the time and was wearing a vest clearly marked “Press.” Then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the Israeli military blamed Abu Akleh’s death on Palestinians, distributing unrelated video of Palestinian gunfire during the invasion as supposed proof. However, multiple independent investigations, including by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and CNN, as well as by human rights groups like Amnesty International, and the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, all concluded that Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli soldier. The Israeli military itself later backtracked, stating that Abu Akleh may have been killed by one of its soldiers.

          I suggest you take you own advice and "seek truth in order to gain understanding."

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            Andrew, your response went on and on conflating collateral damage or 'friendly fire' with Hamas's terrorist killings, torture, and kidnapping of innocent civilians which included toddlers and young children. You also stated that the land of Israel was stolen from the Palestinians which is false. That is the rhetoric you used to twist the truth. Your entire argument comes down to 'just blame the Jews for everything.' That is the crux of your motives. You wish to describe Hamas as the underdog freedom fighter of the Palestinians against the colonizing Jews. No where that I remember did you condemn Hamas or reveal that the vast majority of Palestinian adults support Hamas's goal to wipe out the Jews from the river to the see. Your comment was one sided and Pro-Hamas. That is an inaccurate presentation of a very complicated situation and caused the inaccuracies of your comments. That is unworthy of someone seeking the truth and understanding.

            1. Rev'd Andrew's Avatar Rev'd Andrew

              Do you still stand by your pro-Zionist propaganda? Having seen "the worlds most moral army" use snipers to murder old women waving white flags, to shoot young children in the back of the head, to bomb trucks carrying humanitarian aid to the people the Israelis are literally starving to death, do you still maintain that the zionist occupiers are the victims? Oh, and nothing I said is a case of 'just blame the Jews for everything.' Far from it. It is, however, a case of blame the zionists for the turmoil in the Levant. Hamas is the result of decades of abuse by an illegal occupying force. And contrary to your claim, Hamas is not anti-Jew. They are, however, anti-zionist and do want them to leave Palestine. That is NOT the same as wanting to "wipe out the Jews." I understand that you are uninterested in seeking the truth, but I do hope that the realities of this attempted genocide has opened your eyes a little.

  1. Brian H. Miller's Avatar Brian H. Miller

    Adults SUCK!

  1. Ravi R Maharaj's Avatar Ravi R Maharaj

    Happy Hanukkah to you all have a great and holiday

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    It seems to me that, after all this, if there’s one Israeli and one Palestinian left, there will be no peace.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Correct, the Palestinian needs to go, then there might be peace 🤭

      🦁❤️

  1. Rick E. Olsen's Avatar Rick E. Olsen

    Servantofjudgement: Narwhals are “unicorns”?!

  1. Ken H's Avatar Ken H

    As A Man Who Was Raised In The Baptist Church. Who Studied And Practiced Islam For 25 yrs. Who Is Now Studying Judaism. Has Come To The Conclusion That There Are NO WINNERS In The War Between Israel/ Palestine. What "WE" As BELIEVERS Must Understand That There Are MANY ROADS To The Kingdom Of Heaven And All Of Us No Matter What Faith or Way Of Life We Choose To Practice or Live By "Shall Be Judge" By The Creator Of Heaven and Earth. And Shall Also Be Judged By How We Treat One Another. (Spiritualist/Cleric: K.Haamid)

  1. Carol M. Anaski-Figurski's Avatar Carol M. Anaski-Figurski

    Happy Hanukkah & happy holidays! We are living in exciting times with religious freedoms & dangerous time are growing. Be safe my friends, may god bless you & your families always. I pray for world peace. Count me in your prayers too!

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