31 Comments
Dec 9, 2023Liked by Joshua Hoffman

I wish you could write this not on SUBSTACK because Elon Musk shadow bans SUBSTACK posts. But I will post it anyway & on Gettr & TruthSocial. It’s a very important article. A well written explanation of the evaporation of empathy. As an American Jewish woman you have explained my feelings exactly. I have family in Israel and my husband z’l was a Sabra whose family came to Israel before the State as Pioneers. Tel Aviv was only a few streets. He was in the underground as a youth and then the IDF. He fought in the War of Independence & the 6 day War. I have spent much of my life in Israel. It’s time Israel took care of business. Its existential.

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Dec 9, 2023Liked by Joshua Hoffman

When I saw the title of your article I was taken aback, until I read what was written below it. Your perspective is never disappointing. This article educated and enlightened and brought out the absolute ugliness and barbarism of Hamas and so called "leadership". It also reminds me of all the times rockets were fired into Israel and suicide bombers killed people in Israel. The pro Hamas lunatics in he US seem to have forgotten the past violence perpetrated by Hamas. So have our politicians who think they can make demands on the war Israel is fighting. Two of our unJews, Jon Finer and Antony Blinken, giving ultimatums about how long the war should be fought, the "concern" for the Palestinian citizens. I suffer from THEIR incognizance of the situation. But who am I? Just one person in this money influencing world that has turned things upside down. Thank you again, Joshua. Let's keep light in the darkness at all times.

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Blinken...🤮

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and many others with their heads convenientl in the sand. Where are their solutions? Oh, the two state solution? Where have these people been iiving? Good assimiliated Jews who live a fantasy of really belonging to the "outsiders," when in reality, the 'outsiders' would turn them over in a heartbeat. Guess they forgot about the friends of Jews in Germany and Poland. Sorry I didn't get back to you. My head was spinning as it does by the end of every day. The comments I read in US papers is unfathomable to me as to how ignorant, uneducated, and uninformed many Americans are. What's scary is that they think they are so clever and smart, ugh. One of the things I wanted to say to you is that if and when you return to Israel, I will pray for your safety and that you are able to contribute to the cause for Israelis without any adversity. Happy to be approaching 3rd evening of Chanukah. Latkes and lox this evening! Making Sufganiyot tomorrow.

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Yes ma’am. You’re correct on all points. The two state solution is more odious, childish, unrealistic and downright offensive than Blinken’s performative mention of his stepfather’s holocaust survival that he conveniently exploits for I’m not even sure what. Does he think that Jews in Israel aren’t aware of the significance of survivors? Like that’s a unique perspective somehow that only he figured out? Jesus. Seriously, in Israel, you don’t think we get what that means? Stupid tone deaf idiot scaredy cat- I wish there were a stronger word than idiot because he just inspires that in me. But that’s a pervasive standard he’s following, as much as I hate to admit it, he didn’t invent those standards, but he is pretty good at enforcing them. Yet, what’s most disconcerting and alarming, more than ever before, and it’s always been horrible-I’m looking at you CNN Jews who are so shocked at how bad antisemitism is even though you’ve been peddling it for years- is that sane Jews everywhere are being forced to watch news that tells them what fundamentally bad people they are. I’m also growing quite tired of hearing about how many correspondents have unfortunately perished already while covering this war, and to be absolutely crystal clear, I think it’s awful and in no way am I apathetic to it nor am I trying to be flippant about it-but how about it’s truly dangerous to be in a war zone?!? I mean, it’s a f’n war zone. I heard a veteran correspondent this morning on Bill Maher’s show point out that they were clearly wearing Press vests, with the insinuation of course that what, IDF soldiers are doing it on purpose? If I’m wrong then I genuinely apologize. Really. If there’s some sort of movement out there within the IDF that is doing this on purpose, or is purposely less careful because it’s the press, then that is reprehensible. Full stop. My long winded point is that Israel’s perception, now and until the end of time, will never get better while the media equivocates, ‘yea truly terrible what hamas did, but think of the children’, that ole trite chestnut. Our empathy has evaporated because we know the reality on the ground, because we understand the existential importance and implications of this horrible yet necessary fight, and frankly if they minded their own damn business, who even wants to think about f’n gaza, it wouldn’t factor into mine or any Israelis’ lives in the least. Though as long as mainstream news media outlets have an agenda, the perception of Israeli soldiers being cold hearted baby-killers, a term that I believe was used for those who served in Vietnam that’s now been revived for the IDF on social media, as I’ve noticed, and Israel’s awful image in general that’s accepted as an uncontested given, no one will take our side or even try to understand where Israel’s coming from, so to speak. Israel’s been losing the information/perception war for a long long time. The media has accustomed many, over the last two-three decades, to black and white absolutism or some pretend contextual bs, dealer’s choice I suppose, as our esteemed Ivy League university presidents have so sagely advised the world this week. So even our well justified lack of empathy makes us evil because it denies OUR experiences.

When I go back to visit Israel, I’ll be staying with my mom and dad in Holon or my brother in Rosh ha’ayin, so I think I’ll be ok but I take your point 😘. That’s for another one of my diatribes, but another thing hamas butchered, is my sense of reality of the safety I never really questioned before there, despite being realistic about the situation.

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Wow! What an excellent piece you've written hitting on the major points of this ridiculous campaign against Israel and the Jews. The only time I have seen anything on CNN, MSNBC, or the other Nazi driven stations is when pieces of their idiocy are displayed. My favorite, though I don't believe American, after all, stupidity doesn't discriminate, I think it was an Israeli general who told about the "poor Palestinians" having no electriciy, no power, what are they to do? The general responded with, did he see the video of the hostages being taken onto the Red Cross van and the "kids" and others with their cell phones fully charged taking pictures of it and shouting. At that moment, the lunatic host said, "I'm sorry, we're out of time" and cut off. This is typical of the nonsense that goes on. These are not journalists. They're good useful idiots for the government. Regarding the other useful idiots of Qatar donations, the uni presidents, I only wish Jewish and Christian parents would pull their kids out of those places. Let the Woke jokes survive with their pro Palestinian/Hamas supporters and BLM activists. See how that works for them. I will say you are more compassionate than I about the killing of Palestinian children, women, etc. I don't have one ounce of feeling and will shed no tears for them. They support Hamas who is responsible for their deaths. Israel cannot let anyone influence what they're doing or they will be doomed. No sacrifice of an Israeli should be to avoid a civilian death in Gaza. We know that no matter what Israel does, it will never be good enough. It has little to do with the cry for humanity and laws. It is Jew hate, pure and simple. It's always been there, but now it's been able to rear its ugly head. I'm glad to hear you will be staying with family. That is a lovely thing to be there for them and support them. Mainstream media is a poison that cannot go away soon enough. War correspondents know they're putting themselves at risk, but they go to get a story, so I'm sorry but no sympathy there either. What happened on October 7th has hardened my heart. I forgive no one for what happened in Israel that day.

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It was the general who was told by the host that they had no electricity. My sentence sounded as if the general said it.

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I saw that! lol. What a dick that host is from BBC or Sky aka Joseph Goebbels truth and facts news agency. I think it’s lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus (I may have misspelled that 🙃), what a damn genius and glutton for punishment and true Jewish warrior for putting up with those type of stupid questions and a hostile Jew hating media. Brave, brave man. And you’re right about correspondents, absolutely. I’m just always so conscious of objections in advance and or an understanding that I may not be aware of all facts or issues so I concede in advance, I don’t have a problem being wrong, I just never want to appear ignorant, a point with which our esteemed media has no issue. Love your mind, Diane. My mom would really love be your thinking.

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Thank you Jenny. I do try to hear all sides, but stupidity is something I can never tolerate and it seems to always be coming from the Progressives and the Left. I just read that Hamas is sending rockets into humanitarian areas in the south set up as safe spaces by the IDF, and the useful idiots will believe Hamas when they say the IDF is killing civilians in the south. Their propaganda is so blatantly obvious and it's getting tiresome listening to it. The IDF also found a teddy bear with weapons stuffed inside it. Must be for those wonderful fairy tales they tell their children at night. I know and I've heard Israeli leaders say Israel isn't perfect and they've made mistakes (who doesn't), but have you ever heard Hamas say it's made mistakes. I haven't even heard the leaders in the US admit to mistakes. The WH likes to put the blame on others. Enjoy the rest of your day/evening? It's time to rest our minds and celebrate Chanukah.

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I know, Diane and you’re so right. Stupidity truly does hurt. I saw that on the IDF channel online teddy bear/humanitarian rockets- I know you’re not shocked, neither am I or any else who doesn’t have their head stuck far up their own you know whats. Oh well. But Happy Hanukkah, my sister. it’s 3pm on the West Coast. I’ll be lighting them candles soon! Can’t say I’ve been as excited about Hanukkah since I was a little kid but it’s cool to feel that way again. Stay safe 😘🕎

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Okay, wasn't sure about the time. 6:11 here right now and candles lit. It is good to be excited about Chanukah, especially so this year. Enjoy the holiday and you stay safe as well. Am Yisrael Chai!!

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Dec 9, 2023Liked by Joshua Hoffman

Powerful, fierce, nakedly true.

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founding
Dec 9, 2023Liked by Joshua Hoffman

This is exactly how I feel. My only connection to Israel is as a Jew and falling in love with this magnificent country when visiting. I immediately felt home upon planting my feet in her soil. Thank you for writing compelling and provocative essays which capture how I feel as a Jew half a world away in the US. I don’t always share your opinion, but I always know it will be thought provoking, well written and researched and prompt a conversation in my family.

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Empathy evaporated. Yup. I always used to feel guilty that children are involved and pay the price for the perpetual leaderless Palestinian existence. But I’m over it, not because children deserve this or that somehow children’s suffering is acceptable, but because I care more about us and our children and I’m absolving myself from the burden of worrying about other people’s children, especially those who endure to destroy us. Oh how I wish we had leaders like Golda and Menachem Begin right now.

Great article, Joshua.

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Mar 20Liked by Joshua Hoffman

The world has NO right to come in and tell Israel not to defend her people. Any other country on this dust bowl we call Earth has the right to exist- and would defend itself from attacks by enemies. Why are we the only ones who have no right to exist- as was once said by a person of infamy "the only good Jew is a dead one"? How dare people criticize Israel for wanting the same thing as every other nation on this planet- to live in peace and watch her children grow up. We have all seen that Hamas cares not for Palestinians- they are just the pawns in a deadly game, used as human shields, and to manipulate the press. Thank you for your voice in a world that seems deaf to the cries of Jewish children and many others facing persecution for just being Jewish. We are the canaries in the mine- make no mistake. This evil goes beyond the only democratic nation in the middle east- every Jew is at risk.

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Thank you for this powerful explanation.

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Dec 9, 2023Liked by Joshua Hoffman

The truth is sometimes difficult to face. But the opposite, moral bankruptcy, is, as we have seen, far more dangerous. Thank you for writing this.

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Apr 11Liked by Joshua Hoffman

Over 80% of the Palestinian citizenry were delighted with what Hamas did on Oct. 7th and children as young as ten years old participated. Do I feel sorry for them and how they raise their children to hate? No. I do not, they cannot live in peace and enjoy live, they prefer a culture of death, which is anathema to the Jewish people.

The "Palestinians" (they even stole the name) have had a state since 2005 and they built tunnels and bombs and attacked Israel over and over again. Now the evil American government wants to force them to have a state. How insane. I don't want them in the US, and Israel doesn't want them in Israel. Arabs live free in Israel, but not the people of Gaza. Israel needs to be free of them and retake Gaza.

You cannot appease people who want you dead, why didn't Ariel Sharon know that!!!

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The foundational principle of the establishment of Israel was to create a place for Jews to be safe and enjoy peace. This was a wonderful goal, but sadly, Israel has consistently failed to fulfill that promise for 75 years.

The founders of Israel were bold, smart, determined people with the best of intentions. This did not however prevent them from making a serious tactical error. If you want your family to live in peace, you don't build your house right in the middle of one of the most dangerous neighborhoods on Earth.

Example: I'm a well to do old white man. If I were to move in to the the ghetto of an American city, and build a big beautiful house that makes my neighbors feel even poorer, what do you think is going to happen? And what if my neighbors have been invaded by people who look like me for 1,000 years. What do you think is going to happen? What if I get attacked on the street, and so I start shooting back? What do you think is going to happen?

What's going to happen is that I will never find peace in that neighborhood. What's going to happen is that I will live in permanent state of conflict until that one bad day when my neighbors get lucky and get the drop on me.

Everyone wants to frame this conflict as a moral question. That's a waste of time. This is a tactical question. If one wishes to be safe, to raise one's children in peace, one does not build one's home right in the middle of a viper's den of psychopathic despots.

There's a special name for this approach to the question. It's called common sense.

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author

You make good points, Phil! However there is a lot of nuance. For example, the Arabs living in the Levant were not as many as they are now. It was only after Jews eradicated malaria in the 1920s that Arab population greatly increased.

The other point is, if you’re asking Jews to choose between indefensible homes in other countries that have historically been very unsafe for Jews — I’m talking about European and Middle Eastern countries, mainly — or a defensible home in an unfriendly area, I think the proof is in the pudding: The majority of Jews have chosen the latter.

Yes, it’s a bit of pick your poison, but such has been the Jewish narrative for thousands of years, far preceding the State of Israel.

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Hi Joshua, thanks for your gracious reply.

If I'm asking Jews to do anything, it is to model the mindset of IDF commanders in the field. That is, to do a very Jewish thing, and take a clear minded view of reality without illusion. IDF commanders are not dreamers, but are dedicated to the safety of Jews in a very practical manner.

The reality I see is that:

1) Israel has never succeeded in making Jews safe, and...

2) Given recent events, peace in the region is now dead.

If we are concerned with Jews being safe, it seems we should be aiming our attention beyond that which has never worked, and shows no signs of ever working. This is the main idea I'm selling. How to proceed from here can of course be reasonably discussed and debated.

I'm sorry, but the majority of Jews in the world have decided NOT to live in Israel, even though they would be most warmly welcomed there. They have decided instead to live elsewhere.

Over to you!

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Making Jews feel safe is not just an external threat. It’s an internal threat of not having to wake up every day and wonder what your neighbors think about you, a Jew.

And I meant that Israel has the largest Jewish population of any country in the world, not that there are the most Jews in Israel. My mistake!

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Israel is the safest country in the world! So said the Lubavitcher rebbe many times. Terrorism is not the primary cause of death: car accidents and smoking are. I have never been pickpocketed burgled or molested in Israel — unlike in every other country where I have lived or visited.

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I’ve been trying to talk to young people about why they are on the side of Hamas. A lot of it seems to be from pure ignorance of Islam, and b/c they think Jews are “white” (I wonder would that make Hitler laugh or cry?) It is so disturbing to me b/c they seem to have made up their minds and the truth makes no difference. They are unable or unwilling to extend basic empathy anymore.

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It is a heart breaking situation but it has to be finished, otherwise it will never end.

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I think it is such a shame that after the Madrid talks Arafat and the PLO were formerly brought back in.

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I can feel the deep emotion in this post: it’s almost impossible to feel empathy for another when our nervous system sees that ‘other’ as the perpetrator of such a colossal, barbaric attack. The problem is - our nervous systems are wired for survival, not truth. And the truth is, those Hamas attacks were perpetrated by a relatively small number of criminals who can and must be brought to justice; not by the over 1/2million people who Israel is now starving to death. The Israeli attacks are anything but surgical. They are total, indiscriminate and often inhumane. The language of Israeli leaders is systematically dehumanising all Palestinians. And Israel of all countries should know what happens when that kind of dehumanisation begins.

I’m not saying you should care about their fate; caring is asking too much of your human nervous system right now, particularly while hostages are still held captive. But I am saying that in the midst of this trauma, emotions are flooding, and truth and reason are being lost. And that’s dangerous, because when the cloud clears, it will be obvious just how much lasting damage is being done right now - damage that serves no one and will hurt everyone.

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You’re a riot.

The IDF attacks are anything but indiscriminate. If they were indiscriminate Gaza would simply have burned on October 8. All of it and all of the residents.

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Wow, that comment says it all 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Yes. It does. Hamas is morally and legally culpable for all the noncombatant casualties in Gaza since 7 October 2023.

Hamas could end the war by capitulating, releasing hostages and surrendering the Hamas leadership to IDF for war crimes trials.

They won’t.

*Ceterum autem censeo Gazam esse delendam.*

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Thank you for making it easy for me to mute and block your vile content.

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