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The Lonely People of History

When even Israel’s allies begin to lose moral clarity about the justness of this war, Jews will stand and proclaim our truth.
Yossi Klein Halevi is a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University and Jennifer Raskas, he co-directs the Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative. Yossi is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor and co-host with Donniel Hartman and Elana Stein Hain of the Institute’s award-winning podcast, For Heaven’s Sake. He is also the author of Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli

“Perhaps the most enduring wound for Jews from the Holocaust is the memory of aloneness. For 12 long years, the international community scarcely intervened as Nazi persecution gradually turned to extermination. Even as we established a sovereign state and created thriving communities in a free diaspora, there remained a lingering anxiety that the post-Holocaust era of Jewish acceptance was an aberration and that someday we would once again be alone.

The ancient fear of the Jews is immutable otherness. “They are a people that shall dwell alone and not be considered among the nations,” declared the pagan prophet Balaam in the Bible. The miracle of the post-Holocaust Jewish recovery was that, just as history seemed to confirm Balaam’s prediction, we managed to become a “normal” people, securing our place in the world.

But now we are at one of those defining moments in Jewish history when we find ourselves at a moral disconnect with much of the international community. As we struggle to absorb the enormity of the October 7 massacre and to confront a global wave of antisemitism, the trauma of aloneness has returned.”

Read the full blog on Times of Israel.

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