In the aftermath of the horrific Hamas terror attack on the people of Israel, and as Israel continues to work to defend its people and return the hostages taken into Gaza, President Herzog has issued a heartfelt message of solidarity and thanks to the Jewish communities around the world.
In his message, President Herzog said:
“Dear brothers and sisters, Jews from all over the world, and all Jewish communities around the world.
I have just returned from a kibbutz in southern Israel. The name of the Kibbutz is Be’eri, an incredible community who made the desert bloom, building immense industries, raising crops and families – a story that shows the incredible accomplishments of Israel and our people.
Eight decades ago, the Jewish people saw the worst of human cruelty. We stood on our feet, fought for a home, and created something wonderful.
When I returned from the kibbutz, I had to wash the blood off my shoes.
Hamas terrorists murdered more than 100 people there. Ten percent of the Kibbutz. They took others hostage. The houses of the kibbutz are blackened shells.
What we have seen in the past week has changed us forever. Israel was founded, as a response to the atrocities of the mid-Holocaust and World War II, as an expression of the values of civilization. These values have been violated with unimaginable cruelty – and live-streamed on social media by our enemies. Children were slaughtered, women raped. More than one-thousand-three-hundred innocent Israeli citizens, Jews, and people from all over the world, from thirty-six countries, were murdered in one day. I have seen things I don’t want to describe.
This isn’t a fight between one small state and a Palestinian terror group – this is a battle between civilization and barbarity. If you are against the bloodthirsty disregard for human life – you stand with Israel. If you are on the side of human dignity and civilization – you stand with Israel.
In 1948, when our new state was attacked and outnumbered by the Arab world, when our very existence was in doubt, our brothers and sisters in Jewish communities around the world mobilized and helped save the Jewish state and make it bloom and flourish throughout the ages. And you have continued to stand by us all along the way.
I know that many of you have families in Israel who are worried. Many of you are watching in agony and pain. Your best friends are in Israel. I know you feel the same grief we do. And I know you share our pride and trepidation as our sons and daughters take the fight to the enemy. I know you share in our frustration and anger when our actions to defend ourselves are questioned – even when we abide entirely by international law.
So dear friends, there are painful and decisive weeks ahead. Our history teaches us that when the Jewish people is united and resolute, there is nothing that is impossible. I thank you for all you have done to support and stand up for Israel. I am so overwhelmed by the incredible show of support, as if the entire Jewish Mishpacha has woken up again as a lion. And thank you for continuing to stand by us. This is moment of tragedy but also a moment of rebirth. The paradise in Be’eri which was turned into Hell, please God, will turn back into paradise. Am Yisrael Chai.”
Is your synagogue or organisation thinking of joining the Board of Deputies?
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about what is involved, the election timetable and procedures.