Dear World: I don’t care – 2.11.2023

By Avi Lewis (C)

Avi Lewis. (C) Avi Lewis, with kind permission.

The War & Humanity project Introduction:

This is what we would call ‘a writing on the wall’. On our Jewish wall world-wide. Avi Lewis, software engineer working for Meta and well-known videographer from Israel, succeeded in a perfect formulating what all of us, Diaspora Jewry, is feeling today. Slightly ironically, it comes from the person who lives with his family in Israel and who is currently on his IDF reserve duty. Avi’s monologue has become an instant classic because of a simple reason: it tells in a clear way what we all are feeling today.

Avi was born and raised up in Australia and his family is friendly with members of our family in Melbourne. Avi made aliyah, carried on his service at the IDF, worked as a news writer for The Times of Israel, and now works for Meta.

Avi has told us that he is currently on duty at the IDF reserve – and his observations from there is also one of the most inspired one can read these days.

Avi and his wife have three children and they are living in Modin.

We are proud to present Avi’s manifesto on behalf of million of Jewish people worldwide in our War & Humanity project, and thank him lovingly for his vision and clarity.


By Avi Lewis (C)

I don’t care that you sympathize with Hamas

I know you wouldn’t tolerate any of the things they did to us if they would’ve done it to you

I don’t care that you’re outraged by Israel’s response to the massacre more than the massacre itself

I know you would do everything to eliminate such pure evil if you experienced it yourself

I don’t care that this doesn’t fit neatly into your carefully constructed narrative of ‘Israel as aggressor’ and ‘Palestinian as victim’

The truth hurts sometimes, but hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your feelings

I don’t care if you think we are at fault, that we had it coming, that Hamas’ actions’ didn’t occur in a vacuum (or to deny they ever happened)

If you feel that the poster of a kidnapped child hurts your cause, maybe yours is a lost cause

I don’t care about your calls for a premature ceasefire, about your demand that we provide them with electricity, that we stop fighting for ‘humanitarian reasons’

What of a humanitarian gesture to release our 230+ hostages – elderly, children, babies – snatched from their cribs?

I don’t care that you’ve rallied for Palestine as part of your march for LGBTQ rights, trans rights, workers rights, socialism, climate change, intersectionality, Black Lives Matter, fighting Islamaphobia and ‘all forms of racism’

Your gullibility would be laughable if it wasn’t so hypocritical. None of those things exist under Hamas

I don’t care that you ‘love Jewish people – just hate Israel’, that you have some friends that are Jewish, that maybe you’re ethnically Jewish yourself – and therefore you’re entitled to levy every libel in the playbook against us

Words matter. They lead to actions. When a lie is repeated often enough it’s accepted as truth. You are laying the groundwork for more attacks against us

I don’t care that you wave the flag of ‘human rights’, that you’ve become overnight experts in international law, that you shout fancy slogans you don’t understand such as proportionality, occupation and apartheid

Your humanity is selective. In your mind, human rights don’t apply to us because we are undeserving. You didn’t speak up when our women and children were horribly assaulted

I don’t care if you think we are colonialists, imperialists and settlers and that we should just go back to where we came from

We are back to where we came from

I don’t care if you believe in a one state solution, a two state solution, a federation, an internationalized Jerusalem or any other theory drawn up in your ivory tower

We won’t readily hold out our necks and endanger our lives in order to satisfy your thought experiments and placate your conscience from afar

I don’t care if you consider yourself anti-Zionist but not antisemitic

We’ve seen enough Jews around the world attacked over the last 3 weeks under the guise of ‘anti-Zionism’

I don’t care that you think we are too powerful, too technologically advanced, too sophisticated

If we didn’t build ourselves up to this point we’d get eaten alive by Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Iran and Palestinian terrorism

I don’t care that you blame us for 1948 refugees, for the fact that they have no state, for the keys that they wave in their fantasy of ‘right of return’

Three weeks ago we got a glimpse of what that ‘return’ looks like and what it means for our children

I don’t care if you think we aren’t real Jews, that Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism, that Jews are a religion and not a nationality and so we deserve no state

Your denials have zero impact on the strength of our ideals and the self-affirmation of our identity

I don’t care that you accuse us of flaunting the myriad of UN resolutions, inquiries and statements

They reflect more on the institutional decay of the UN than on us

I don’t care about your media coverage, the lies, the equivocation, the acceptance of Hamas talking points and statistics

You echo chamber is just a another weapon in their strategic arsenal

I don’t care that you accused us of bombing the Al Ahli hospital

It was only a matter of time before you found a symbol for Israel’s wickedness. The subsequent retractions were a fig leaf once the truth emerged that Islamic Jihad was responsible and that the hospital is still standing

I don’t care that you see us as a criminal state, a terror state, usurpers, baby killers, Christ killers, Khaybar Jews or any other depravity that exists in your mind

Your libels lay the groundwork for our dehumanization. Rings a bell. We will fight it

I don’t care that you’ve inverted the truth by accusing us of genocide

If positions were reversed and Hamas held the power we do now, you’d see what a genocide looks like

I don’t care that you’re angry, boiling and outraged

I don’t care that you’re glued to your TV screens and Telegram channels

I don’t care that you’re mad

I don’t care if you’re out on the street, waving your flag and chanting your slogans

We won’t die silently the way you want us to

For the first time in 2,000 years we are organized, we are motivated and we will defend ourselves

We fight for light over darkness

Morality over evil

Not that it matters to you – but we will stick to the rules and hold the high moral ground not because you expect it from us, but because they are a value for us

We will do so ethically and thoughtfully, for we are the People of the Book

Our power and strength are our necessity, because the alternative for us is:

Be’eri, Kfar Aza, Pittsburgh, Toulouse, Farhud, Hebron, Birkenau, Belzec, Babi Yar, Kristalnacht, Kielce and Kishinev

Do you think for a moment that we would return to that reality just to make you feel a little better?

You are deeply mistaken…


For so, so long, I really, deeply cared

I cared about fitting in

I cared about what you think

I cared about being a model citizen

I cared about setting a personal example of how a tiny people in a tough neighborhood could still be a Light unto the Nations

How the world’s oldest minority – now a majority here – could treat its own internal minorities par excellence amidst the complicated and messy reality of ethnic conflict

How we could painfully dismember parts of our homeland and offer them on the platter of peace to Palestinians that want neither peace nor some parts (they want all of it)

How we could dazzle you with USB sticks, drip irrigation, operating system kernels, Nobel Prize winners, swallowable medical cameras, deep tech, quantum mechanics, generative AI and cures for disease

But now I’m finally accepting that you don’t care

You never did

You don’t see and you don’t hear

And because I cared about what you think so much, that so deeply hurts

But you don’t have my best interests at heart

You take issue with my base identity, with what I represent

Don’t expect me to wait for your approval this time

It doesn’t matter what I do, you’re not going to change

It doesn’t matter how I act, because your issue is with who I am

Now I’m going to block out your noise, and do what it takes to win this war

I no longer care

Published for the first time at the Times of Israel on October 30, 2023.


Michael Rogatchi (C). The Third Eye. 1991.

Holocaust Dimension  

 Close to a month after the October 7th, 2023 massacre, we still are digesting indigestible. The shock was and still is so deep that human psychological self-defence worked on its own, thus allowing us to function in some way. 

I have heard some voices noting that ‘we are using these both terms, in general, not regarding the October massacre,  far too easy’. Possibly, this assumption is correct, as we, humans, are often reckless and jumpy in characteristics, and quite too often are quickly coming to the powerful comparisons. In general. Not in this case, to our own horror. 

For many historians who are specialising on the Holocaust, it is also a special and well-guarded, self-guarded, territory. We know the Shoah in such detail that it constitutes its own dimension. 

Could it be the second Holocaust? A hint of such thought was regarded as completely sacrilegious  and totally impossible just a month ago. And today, we are speaking – and thinking – about it a lot. 

In a new epoch marked by October 7th, 2023, the supposition is fully applicable, and the process of comprehension of it makes our initial shock yet deeper. 

The aftermath of the October 7th massacre does not provide us with hope either. In a frighteningly surreal development, the Israeli delegation at the UN has decided to wear the Stars of David patches with Never Again sign on them 78 years after the UN has been established as the direct result of WWII and the Holocaust. Any Hitchcock could not invent anything more dramatic and surreal at the same time. But the challenge of the time is that it is all blatant reality of the day. 

A Double  Effect

Among many of our heroic forensic experts and volunteers, there is one brave woman, Shari,  who has made aliyah from the US twenty years ago and whose all grandparents were the Holocaust survivors. She, the mother of four, works at the Rabbinat morgue for weeks helping to identify the bodies of our victims. Or  what’s left of them. For weeks she is doing this vitally important gruesome work. She has the authority to speak on the matter of the second Holocaust. And she said it: “Based on everything I and my colleagues have been seeing during all this time during the two weeks after the massacre, and having behind me the history of my family, all of my grandparents from Czechoslovakia and their families, I can tell that what we are seeing is worse than the Holocaust”. The cruelty, the brutality, the degree of deprivation thrown on helpless Israeli civilians made Shari to make her terrifying conclusion. 

Among the photo evidence I saw from the military morgue where Shari and her colleagues are heroically conducting their mission, I saw the plastic bag with a severed female head. The eye of the person whose head it was has outgrown to an enormous size as the result of beheading. This is not any Picasso-made exaggerated metaphorical illustration. It is for real. I keep the photo among my working materials. In the file entitled Holocaust 2.0. 

In one of my recent lectures on the aftermath of October the 7th,  I brought an one-line thesis which summarises the essence of this uneasy comparison for us to make: ‘This is worse than the Holocaust because of the simple and  fundamental reason that the Holocaust has happened ”. 

When several years ago Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau whom we have an honour to know well,  said in a powerful  interview that ‘people did not learn anything after the Holocaust’, I was quite worried. I know that Rabbi Yisrael had all the reasons to say what he said, but I was still wondering what exactly prompted him to say it? I asked him about it in person,  and Rabbi Yisrael told me that in his view and opinion, “people are ready for anything with regard to attacking the Jews, again. The lessons of the Holocaust were not learned, as he was seeing it, at all. I would like to be mistaken, very much so”, – Rabbi Lau said to me and my husband in his office in Tel Aviv. I tended to think that he would be mistaken, that people have decency of memory, at least. 

And now I know  what Rabbi Lau meant.  And we all see the disastrous outcome of the vicious rejections of the lessons of the Holocaust, does not matter by whom, actually. Anyone. And those are many.  And this matters. Those who are cheering Hamas. Those who are excusing Hamas. Those who are threatening Israel. Those who publicly incite against Jews anywhere in the ongoing wave of unleashed hate. We need to see this fact in all its screaming alarm, in the double-weight of unlearned lessons of the giant crime against humanity repeated in front of our eyes.  We need to see it now. And to act. Now.  

An Ultimate Cruelty

There are more horrific aspects of the October 7th  massacre and its aftermath that made initially unthinkable comparison with the Holocaust applicable. One of these aspects is an ultimate cruelty committed in a cold drugged blood by the savages against peaceful people, both civilians who were 83% among the attacked people and all of the victims. I can see the point of those editors who are not eager to publish unwatchable photos. There are guidelines in journalism. I also hear the reasoning expressed by some observers who refuse to publish this horrific evidence of inhumanity as they do not like to demonstrate the awful signs of unimaginable suffering of the victims as a matter of respect towards them. And then, each of us has its own, highly individual threshold of what each of us  is able to perceive and express. 

I do not post it myself, because of all those reasons, and because I believe that these kinds of publications have to be handled at the special briefings, as it is done by the Israeli government nowadays. 

Those of us who did see at least some of the evidence of the October 7th massacre, or read about it, have simply anything to compare it with. Except the Holocaust. 

When you think that stretching your capacity of visual and descriptive observation, you saw the worst possible violence committed, you are seeing the photo of a couple. Completely charred. Somebody, motivated by compassion to the victims, decided to publish it, and you saw it purely by chance. A man and a woman. Laying nearby. The days come by. I saw it for a second, literally. After that, this photo is ever present in your mind, whatever you do. It is just present there, in the corner of your mind. All the days from the moment you saw it. And there is nothing you can do about it.  And you do understand to the core of your being Adorno’s famous furious rejection of even a thought of a possibility ‘write a poetry after Auschwitz’.  You really do. 

We are getting the evidence in growing numbers, and all possible forms. Photos, videos, descriptions, documents. Instructions, messages, recordings. We are hearing of cut off breasts, gouged eyes, cut off babies, all from alive people,  tight together by the metal wire parents and children burned alive. We are learning of decapitations, sex with corpses, making them corpses after terrible torture and sexual violence of no limit. 

We are learning about affliction at the level we never thought possible. It is not only the unparalleled level of cruelty per se which paralyses, numbs the minds of normal people. It is the eagerness of the beasts to inflict all those unspeakable tortures on the Jews. The Jews. The Jews.  

Hamas savages not only committed mass premeditated murder. They have attacked Jews in all their savagery and with all their devilish sadism. From this point of view, yes, what had happened qualifies for the Holocaust 2.0. 

Guidelines from the Hell

We saw many instructions in Arabic found on the bodies of the killed satanic agents. And we have documented testimonies of those of them who were arrested and interrogated. I saw it and I’ve read it. The guidelines included some precise targets, such as children and women. “Take hostage children and women”. ‘Attack parents and children together’. The savages were trained and instructed by slightly more senior savages to attack invalids, incapacitated people – because they are unable to provide any resistance, to get rid of elderly ‘quickly and with one bullet’, as they are ‘useless’ . 

Somebody who is regarded as a human, due to his or her physiology only, was busy for a long time, many months, in elaborating the hell on the earth, and making it implemented. Two and a half thousand savages were sent off to carry on the carnage. Substantial numbers were also training them, planning the massacre, preparing it in all its chilling detail. After the massacre, scores of savages are still propagating the burning hatred and methodically inciting the spread of annihilation of Jews world-wide. 

This is not a fight of any sort and in any meaning of the word. This is an unleash of a black force of evil against its opposite. This is not a spontaneous unleashing of it, but conceived, planned, structured, prepared,  implemented and having a post-implementation plan and objectives program of destruction of Jewry, both in Israel and anywhere else. In this aspect as well, the text-book of the attack and its aftermath is known. It is still an existing protocol of the Final Solution working meeting in the villa in Wannsee in January 1942, known as the Wannsee Conference.  

Psychological Terror

Intimidation is the air which terrorists breathe. They cannot function otherwise. In comparison with the Holocaust, we are doomed to see the atrocities  in real-time. Nobody can control it in our era of instant spread of information, all kinds of , any kind of. So we are privy, instantly, or at the timing devised by perpetrators, to tortures, murders, kidnappings. To humiliation of our brethren, their fright and their and our horror. To intimidation, pressure, haunt. All of it. Unlimited. In an accelerated motion. To serve the enemy’s purpose and objective to spread a total fear with regard to them. This is a sheer and massive psychological terror which Hamas and any pro-Hamas forces and their supporters are carrying on now day and night. Not against Jews and Israel only, but against normal people world-wide.

Well, they are badly mistaken in that. Because our spirit is based on humanity while their’s spirit or whatever it is , is based on destruction and hate. But of course, there is a psychological effect of everything they do, and they are being taught about the existence of this psychological effect.   

During the Holocaust, the Nazis were using many lies aimed, not always,  but often enough, to lull Jews into the belief of ‘re-location’.  As a rule, till the last days of WWII, the Nazis were not interested in open and cynical stating of their real purpose, the annihilation of Jews. 

Eighty years on, we are in a different situation. The savages who carried the massacre, who are still attacking Israel, and intimidating the Jews world-wide, are pretty open in their actions, purpose, translating it in a real-time to their bosses, families, and world-wide. They believe in a power of fear, and they are spreading it in the latest technological motion. 

In this aspect, the immediacy of the psychological warfare used by Hamas and anyone who supports them, is overcoming the power of evil which has become known to the people during the Holocaust. Apart from those troops who liberated the extermination camps, and the Allies intelligence, the rest of the world has gradually learned about the horrific crimes of the Nazis, after the end of WWII. It weighed on during twenty years after the end of WWII before becoming an indisputable factor of our development and accepted social rules and norms. Which has collapsed in the front of our eyes now, to a sudden and painful dismay of the Israelis and the world’s Jewry.

Now, we all, regardless of age, education, and preparedness to withstand the evil, are thrown into the hurricane of horror, on purpose, by the perpetrators. 

I am sure those animals underestimate human nature. They hope to frighten us, but in fact, they are strengthening us in our commitment to fight against the dark force. 

Still, their savagery, in the aspect of traumatising people, millions of people around the globe via their real-time psychological warfare should not be under-estimated. They know what they are doing and  what for. They should be confronted in this firmly, and we should not be intimidated on the psychological level which is a primary one, actually. 

I hope, Elon Musk would be willing and able to make some natural, logical and human conclusions in this regard, as well. That would be helpful, wouldn’t it? 

Spread of Violent Hate Beyond Israel

I do not know how much time is needed for people in Israel and Jews world-wide to come to terms with the horrific facts of the October 7th massacre and ongoing haunting turmoil  because of 230 hostages including babies and Holocaust survivors elderly. More than one hundred people are still not identified. There is a possibility that some of them won’t be identified at all. Entire families have been murdered. There are many cases when a family has just one survivor, in some cases it is just a 13-year old teenager. How are he and the others in the same position supposed to live their life?

The massacre resulted in many children becoming orphans. It resulted with many people becoming invalids. For very many of us life would never be the same. It is called ongoing trauma. And it never is cured or goes away. Never. 

And against all this massive horrific ongoing multiplied consequences of the massacre, people in Israel and Jews worldwide are facing not unanimous support and compassion but a massive, aggressive, arrogant, well-organised, hysterical wave of hatred. Streets, avenues, squares, campuses, buildings hosting Israeli Embassies and missions, are filled with hundreds of thousands of haters.  Aggressive, loud, violent scums in dizzy quantities. 

This inhuman stand, even trend of anti-Semitic massive global hatred is the only feature, apart from the existence of the IDF, that differs the current situation from the Holocaust. The world’s reaction and post-reaction to the October 7th massacre is appalling. It is appalling in its stupidity, aggression, non-fairness, immorality. It is appalling in its cowardice and idiotic moral equilibristic and moral relativism. It is appalling in its nastiness. It is despicable.

My dear friend, a brave and distinguished British officer, wrote to me recently: “I watched the speech the Israeli Ambassador gave in New York.  It was certainly one of the finest I have ever heard; clever, simple, direct, uncompromising and compelling. It was on the level of Winston Churchill. I just wish the audience had a few more like Ambassador Erdan and not mere craven representatives of despotic and some evil countries”.

My friend was absolutely right. Gilad Erdan happened to be the right man in the right place at the right place. My deep gratitude to him and his team, and all our support to their great effort on behalf of us all. 

And I was shaken to the core to see our Israeli delegation led by Ambassador Erdan wearing the yellow Stars of David at the UN floor.

Ambassador Gilad Erdan and Israeli delegation at the UN meeting. October 30, 2023.

What a terrible, terrible message. And how absolutely justified it is. This is the sign of the time, the mark of the moment: Jews, official representatives of the state of Israel at the United Nations, have to demonstrate the sign of the Holocaust 80 years after in a screaming effort to warn about its repetition.  As so many Jewish people today, I repeatedly would like to awaken, to realise that I am not sleeping. 

What Can Be Worse Than the Holocaust? 

As the horror of the October 7th massacre was becoming known, our first reaction was a psychological rejection: “No, no, no. Impossible”. But then we learned that our worst dreads were true. And another line of psychological self-defence, and also a normal human reaction went like: “No, no, no. There should not be a second Holocaust”. Natural human reaction. In the situation created by anti-humans. In the world where so unimaginably many are taking the side of evil, so eagerly, and so energetically. Why?

Are all those thousands of primarily youth floating the streets of London, Paris, New York, Melbourne, Warsaw, and so on, brainless? Heartless? Deprived of  compassion, humanity and any normal values? There is no doubt that stupid and arrogant wokism played a grotesquely unhealthy role in the education, moral balance and set of artificial values that has nothing to do with the historical way of mankind, and which forcibly and in no time deformed morality to its lowest.

But this is only part of the reasons which formed our current defeat of humanity. Flirting with terrorists at all and every level, from a mentally incapacitated UN, its grotesque, unreal agencies which are shamelessly and emphatically one-sidedly supporting terrorists without naming them so,  as long as they are anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel is another core reason.

Financing the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred during decades by all kinds of supposedly to be respectful institutions in Europe and world-wide with pumping endless money into so-called  education, so-called schools, so -called textbooks of so-called civilians in Gaza, and any other territory where children are methodically taught to hate and kill Jews on the criminal level of forming, sculpting an anti-Jews instinct for millions of children there – we are seeing in abundance proud videos of those ‘schools’ and those lessons of hate and nothing except the hate.

That is hard evidence of real ongoing by decades the way of bringing up children under Palestinian authority and in many other places of the Middle East – and not only, in many other places in Europe, US, Australia, Canada, all over where a large communities from the Middle East have been settled, the way of openly vicious anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred. Which is accepted or overseen by the societies and countries and governments, to the degree which we all finally are witnessing now. 

The children who were brought this way, on the Western tax-payers money, are adults now. They are acting. Both inside Israel killing Jews mercilessly and with their animalistic pleasure and satisfaction,  and outside it, supporting their soul-mates who are burning parents and children alive. In the front of the apoplectic world that allows these rallies of hate and which in a full idiocy repeats its mantra of humanitarian-purposes ceasefire. How about the humanitarian purpose of surviving terrorist attacks? 

After we all saw the unimaginable photos and footage of the 1945 from Auschwitz and any other Nazi extermination camp, my ever-seized total , helpless astonishment was always caused by the scenes of the hysterical pro-Nazi rallies as in Germany, as in many other places – like New York, or Paris, or Rome. How come? I always thought about looking at those thousands of people who were so ever happy to cheer for the maniacs who never actually hide their thoughts and purposes. Now I see first-hand the same cheerfulness and support of evil all over the globe. 

Ninety years after the beast awoke and started to act, three and half generations after, we are going there again. After all the nightmares and after decades of researching them, speaking of them, writing about them, filming about them, discussing them, contemplating the anatomy of evil. 

What can be worse than the Holocaust? The Second Holocaust. 

NO JEWS ALLOWED: 2023 – 26.10.2023

Inna Rogatchi (C). Dreams in Black. 2022.

‘It is a fake!’ – was the immediate reaction of some of the advocates of  Turkey tourism. “Well, I would go for independent proof”, – another, Jewish enthusiast of vacating in Turkey doubted the obvious. It was not a fake. An independent proof of authenticity of the photograph in question has been provided, too. The photograph shows No Jews Allowed sign printed on A4 paper with a crossed star of David under the sign. It has been displayed on the facade of  a busy  bookstore, characteristically,  in the centre of Istanbul.  

When the fact was re-established – no fake, yes, it is true – laments followed from all directions ( except Turkey itself which is officially hysterically anti-Israel now) : “ does it remind us something?”,  ‘ Where are we going from this? “, ‘What to do now?”. The laments are fully justified. 

And all of us are thinking the same thing which none of us does not want to say aloud: “We-do-know-what-follows-this-kind-of-signs”, don’t we? Well, we do. 

And it is a good moment to realise that it is not a movie. It is the reality of the day, as in Ankara, as it is in many other places where this is allowed. What is allowed? Not ‘just’ pre-racial cleansing signs on store facades. But: mega rallies in support of pure evil, hate, racism and crimes. Occupied Central Station in New York. Blocked Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Paralysed London. Blocked Victoria Station in London. Graffities in Australia. Stars of David on the doors of the Jewish houses  in Berlin and all over Germany. Burned doors of the apartments of Jewish people in France. Inciting demos in Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels. Enough of demonstration of hate. It has nothing to do with any democracy whatsoever. It has everything to do with giving in to fascism, neo-Nazism, destruction, crime, violence and racial hatred. Any of it should be forbidden by a local law or regulations – exactly as it is done in Florida nowadays. 

Our parliaments and local city administrations should be responsible and decent, and not give in all this unjustified hatred, violence and inciting. 

It is not about Jews, stupids. It is about normality and decency which are attacked daily and in intensifying mode, for three weeks on, from October 7th, 2023, and it is only the beginning. The black forces are on unleash. How can any person who can put two and two together, cannot see it? Or perhaps, it is a fake. An aberration of perception. Welcome to 1933.


Michael Rogatchi (C). Silver Thread. Psalms Country. 1992

With daily grimmest possible and impossible discoveries, still shocking news, details and stories, some of the events of an utter importance are left unnoticed as they should. 

In the most peaceful and kindest country on earth called Iran, the tomb of Mordechai and Esther, the heroes of Purim, savers of Jews, was intruded in Hamadan, not for  the first time, but this time, just three days ago, the intrusion was specific. 

For one, the gate into the compound of the tomb  was broken, and not by an uncontrollable mob, but by several solid men who came there carrying on their mission, or order, or both, were absolutely assured of what they were doing, absolutely calm, as they knew that there would be no resistance whatsoever. 

Those men came to carry on their order with no agitation whatsoever,  they were executing what they were ordered to do. Inside the compound, they in a clam-and-sure motion burned the Israeli flag. All was filmed, this is how we know. It has happened for the first time in history when an act of vandalism of this sort had occurred inside the Mordechai and Esther tomb’s compound which is actually the property of the Iranian Jewish community, officially so. 

We also know that the tomb itself was vandalised, expectedly, but still it is terrifying. Inside the compound and the tomb, there are many very important Jewish figures buried. It is also terrifying because additionally to the Mordechai and Esther tomb, the tombs  of prophets Daniel and Habakkuk are also in that most peaceful and so accommodating country of Iran. 

The calmed self-assured men who came into the compound as to their own courtyard to burn the Israeli flag there, were the part of unfolding scheme in which now the appointed Iranian MPs have started the proceeding of official petitioning to transfer the Mordechai and Esther tombs, the most sacred place for the Iranian Jewry, and one of the most sacred ones in the entire Jewish history and for Jews world-wide, from the ownership of the Jewish community which bought it for an astronomic , of course, price, to the other hands, ‘to transform it into the place of Islamic interest’, as is written in the official petition and motion submitted within the National Assembly, the Iranian parliament. 

Not only the burning of the Israeli flag inside the Mordechai and Esther tombs compound was unprecedented, but there are other unprecedented signs which signal alarm from that so peaceful country, as for example, the raising of the black flag in Tehran on the second, if not first day of the October 2023 massacre. In Islam,  the black flag means the flag of Mohammad, and it is a battle flag. With connection with the raising of the black flag in Tehran two and half weeks ago, there are some explanations coming in the Western sources and aiming to calm the public down, saying that the meaning of it is a mourning over the victims of Gaza. A nice try , of course. The thing is only that the flag was raised before any Gazan victims fell.  

At the same time, in Nablus, a wild nasty crowd was storming the Joseph tomb  which has been under so many attempts of attacks repeatedly. The channelised hyper-anger of a mob directed to the sacred places of Judaism might be seen by some as a sort of ‘a collateral damage’. But it is not. Very far from it. 

As we are praying for our victims, and for the safety of people in Israel, our IDF forces, and the Jews all around the world, many of whom are under unprecedented direct threats, we are also praying for all of our sacred places , their safety and integrity. Because it is from these places where our strength originates. The strength which keeps us up for 3 700 years. And counting.

THE SILENT ONES – 24.10.2023

Inna Rogatchi (C). Octet in Blue. 2019.

So, there is a special media event for all  accredited journalists working in Israel, organised by the Israeli  government press-office in cooperation with the IDF. Full house. More than 200 journalists from all over the world, working in Israel. They are shown a 43-minute document with raw footage collected from the terrorists on-body cameras, their smartphones, as well as from surveillance cameras at the places of the carnage. The material is undoctored, to the degree. Some of it still cannot be demonstrated, in the IDF view, ‘due to the respect to the victims’. Some of it would be never shown, and it is related to mass rape, ‘because we cannot do it’. Period.  IDF cleared only one on-minte clip for publication. But my colleagues, and some of my good acquaintances presented at the event saw it all. I spoke with several of them, and I saw the photos from the event. The photos of the audience. 

Over two hundred  professionals from all over the world, from the US to India, and from Norway to Australia, were totally shocked and completely terrified. As any human would be witnessing crimes against humanity in real-time. Men and women, young, middle-aged, and senior, it was a shock and disbelief in their terrified eyes. Many could not breathe. Many cried. I had an impression that men were taken even more. While female journalists tried not to cry, but were visibly paralysed, men did cry and were taken completely aback, with their hands covering their mouths to hold a scream. But silent screams were in the eyes of every single journalist presented at the event called “October 7, 2023. Hamas massacre.   Collected Raw Footage. 43’ press-conference GPO, IDF”. 

I do not know if any Finnish journalists were present at the event. Apart from one honest and brave veteran journalist Antti Kuronen who was allowed to report for just three days in an extremely abridged report, the media coverage of the October Massacre and its aftermath, as well as officialdom’s handling of the screaming situation in Finland is beyond pale. So, we decided to help my colleagues in the media and among public figures and officials, with fact-checking, and have sent to all of them, tens of editors, senior journalists, journalists bosses, MPs, MEPs, diplomats, government officials etc. the photos from the press-briefing in Israel illustrating the horror among hundreds of international journalists, and quite detailed description of what they were shown. Just trying to help all those self-blinded people to end the misery – and the shame – of this kind of self-imposed blindness.  Perhaps, some of them will be cured. And all of them would know that people are not blind and they are taken accountable for their outrageous silence.

One of my colleagues, Amy Spiro, wrote a detailed report of what she and the rest of over 200 international  journalists  saw. Here it is –

It is just one but 101% documented evidence of what has happened. Many more eye-withness reports exist. Amy’s description of what the international journalists saw by their own eyes is a must read, especially for two category of people: so-called journalists professionals who are propagating pitiness towards ‘peaceful’ Palestinians and are so deeply interested not even in two sides coverage, but on one, and that’s the side of vile terrorists and their supporters of all kinds; and by anyone else who are being in a public domain – political leaders, government members, parliamentarians, public figures, etc. –  preferred to keep silent on the worst atrocities that were assaulted without any reason whatsoever against mostly civilians. The share of the civilians among the Israeli victims is 83%, on the record. Babies, children, sick, invalids, elderly, women, anyone, actually. 

The silent ones have shamed themselves for the rest of their lives. Not that this kind of people care. But regardless of their small thoughts, there are such things as a reputation and legacy. They have tarnished both of it, by their own choice. And they should not have any illusions of how they will be remembered. As the silent ones. Meaning, in the face of crimes of the October 7, 2023, massacre of Israelis, despicable  ones. For now and forever.

MUSIC OF SHATTERED HEARTS essay – 23.10.2023

Michael Rogatchi (C). Jewish Melody. 2013.

Yesterday, on Sunday October 22nd 2023, a new season of the Israel Philharmonic, in my opinion, the best orchestra in the world, should have opened, with Mahler Third Symphony. But there was no opening, and no season, nor for the Israeli Philharmonic, nor for any orchestra or theatre all over the country. ‘The cultural halls are dark here’ – we are reading the lines coming from Israel these days. 

But great Israeli musicians cannot be idle. It has been reported ( Dan Yakir for Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disk) that the musicians of the Philharmonic ‘immediately grouped into three to four soloists’ ensembles and are performing in  hospitals and at the hotels hosting the evacuated people”. Dan also mentioned that ‘Meitar Ensemble, Israel’s leading contemporary music team, is playing concerts for lonely elderly citizens’. Indeed, we know that our sighs can turn into melody. It has happened all throughout our history. 

So, instead of a festive opening of a new season, the Israeli Philharmonic gavelast Sunday, October 22, 2023  a very special concert called Salute to Israel –  In front of an empty hall. But not exactly empty the hall was. In the way of the trend of our sorrowful days, the seats of the first rows of the Bronfman Auditorium were adorned with 200 photographs of the kidnapped Israelis. The national pride of Israel led by Lahav Shani, nephew of our good friend, distinguished Israeli diplomat Dov Steinberg, played first and foremost to those whose faces the musicians were facing during an hour tribute to the nation. 

Hatikvah is a universal code of unity for any Jew anywhere, and I mean it. I have heard innumerous interpretations of Hatikvah during my life, some of them truly historical events, as played by the same Israeli Philharmonic orchestra led by Leonard Bernstain, or another one interpreted by Zubin Mehta.  These days, we are hearing it a lot, every time stroking the innermost chords of our souls. But this Hatikvah which we heard – and saw, importantly – yesterday, will stay in my heart for good. I loved every single musician who almost  all were playing standing. I loved their faces. It was the case when melody transformed into different way of expression, and sounds were spoken. It was compassion in the purest form of it. 

Lahav Shani, who is a young person, he is  34, gave a mature and touching short speech before the orchestra prepared for Beethoven’s Eroica. He continues the legacy of his great teachers and mentors, including Zubin Mehta, truly well, and in front of our eyes, Lahav emerges into a serious, meaningful figure which represents Israel at its best. 

Eroica on that special evening, at this very special concert, was unique. Mighty but not overwhelmingly, showing all the inner strength of music, musicians and conductor, coherent, in a perfect harmony of everyone in the orchestra, a very special deed of every single musician and all of them together with their very able conductor. Israel Philharmonic is known for its historical  performances. We were privileged to have one more one last Sunday. The spirit of the entire Israel was playing on the stage in the Bronfman Auditorium yesterday. Israel knew it and musicians and their conductor knew it as well. We all who were watching breathlessly world-wide, also knew it. It was a rare, undemonstrative, but extremely deep unity of us all. 

After the final of Eroica, some of the musicians let their emotions go, at last. Some of them hugged each other. They knew how difficult it was for each  and every one of them to play this Salute to Israel in front of empty seats with portraits of two hundreds people held hostage, attached to it. 

The degree of professionalism of this great orchestra is well-known world-wide. The degree of their dignity was shining at its brightest in the dimmed big empty hall on Sunday October 22, 2023 night. Toda Raba, Lahav. Toda Raba, all fantastic musicians of the best orchestra in the world. Toda Raba to all and everyone who has organised this unique hymn of love at the time when it needed acutely.


Inna Rogatchi (C). Crying Heaven. 2023. Hatikvah in White and Blue project.

All these 15 days after the October 7th massacre against peaceful Israeli civilians, I am thinking that we do need to publish all their photos, of all the victims, and their wounded and orphaned families too. Plus all and every photo of all kidnapped hostages. Plus all the photos of those who are still accounted for, there are at least 100+ people. Plus all the photos of the wounded, they all are victims of the  unprecedented terrorist assault. I know that we do have these collages, and it is important and good, very important and very good. I and my husband are personally very grateful to the editors at the Italian TG1, Tele Giornale 1 of RAI I, the country’s main TV news program which broadcasted the entire news magazine of the weekend on October 21st, 2023 in the studio which was all entirely made of such collage of the Israeli victims of the October massacre. It speaks volumes. Grazie cordialmente to everyone who has come with this idea, who executed it and who made it happen. It impacts not only directly visually, it sends the correct, decent message to a huge audience. This should be done in every really decent country worldwide. But so far, we saw it in just one of them. This is not to diminish the efforts of the others, nor to complain. It is just to note that this simple, telling and efficient visual commemoration – and reminding of the victims – can be done in this straightforward and honest way. Just saying. 

We know about the impressive exhibit of these photos in the Tel-Aviv Theatre, as a commemorative installation in an empty hall. The hall has 1000 seats which  was not enough to place portraits of all the victims there. We have now seen a dramatic exhibit of hundreds of empty children trolleys with their photos in each of them, in the garden next to Westminster in London. 

And also, when you put them all together in these existing collages – which is the first impulse of all those people who are making the heart-rendering collages – our ability to perceive each of them individually diminishes. I hope that it would be possible to publish portraits of every single victim of the October 7th massacre, and to tell the story of each and every of them. Each and every. Only in this way, we will make sure that they will survive in our memory. 

Among these stories, which nowadays are surfacing randomly, as families and friends sharing them, is one of Shlomo Ron. Shlomo was 85-year old, and he lived with his wife in kibbutz Nahal Oz all their lives. They loved literature, poetry, music and theatre. And he was quite ill. They also have a loving family, daughters and grandson who all came to visit their parents and grandparents for the end of the High Holidays and Simchat Torah. When the kibbutz was attacked, all of them went down to the security room. After a while, listening to what was going on around, 85-year-old Shlomo went upstairs, leaving his wife, daughters and grandson in the shelter. He had no weapon on him. He was sitting in the house waiting for the beasts to come. They did and saw elderly man sitting in his chair alone. Shlomo was murdered  at point blank range. His family was saved. The end of the story. Intelligent, loving, elderly, quite sick Jewish man who took a bullet to save his loved ones. A hero. One of many. And we ought to remember each and every one of them. Each and everyone. We ought to remember what they looked like, too. Memory is never  faceless. 

I find it useless to argue with anyone who fails to comprehend these simplest things of life and death, victim and perpetrator, decency and cowardness, truth and lie, humanity and barbarity.  By arguing with those who are on another side, we are diminishing the honour of our victims, in my opinion. You cannot teach decency to those who support and promote hate and crimes against humanity, for whatever reason. 

The 85-year-old Shlomo Ron, sick, gentle, quiet Jewish man defended his entire family. Jewish lions can be ageing, and they also can be sick. The heart is what matters. Attacking them self-drugged jackals and snakes can be in a great physical form and armed to the teeth. It does not make them anything else, but mad jackals and snakes. And those who are supporting them, are nobody else but creatures who are fancy of serpentariums. Let them enjoy it. They deserve it.


Michael Rogatchi (C). Psalms Country. 1991.

What people are thinking on Shabbat, Jewish  observing ones? A synagogue. Two weeks can feel like a quite long period of time when they are filled with horror and sorrow, and not much additionally to that. Two weeks which had been felt as two years in October 2023, from October massacre onwards, came to the Shabbat, and many of us who were aware of one more new pogrom, were also thinking about a synagogue. One of the most beautiful and special in the world, most visited, internationally known due to its huge historical importance. Djerba  Synagogue in Tunis. Which is not any more, after a vicious desecration and pogrom which destroyed it completely just two days before this Shabbat. 

Does it need to be mentioned that one of the oldest synagogues on earth was designated as the UNESCO World Heritage Site? Does it need to be reminded how beautiful and special it was? Full of harmony, meaning, brilliant architecture which was the memorial to a human genius itself, its proportions, design, and detail, twice so as it all has been done  – envisaged, planned, and actually done at the times which some experts believe to be as early as 6 century BCE? It is also believed to have some elements even from the First Temple. It is a world heritage treasure, Jewish or not. 

The tomb of one of the major Kabbalists, Rabbi Yosef Ma’Aravi, who himself was the student of the unique Rab Isaac Luriah, is the part of the Djerba Synagogue complex. Or it was, rather. Some parts inside the Synagogue, and the colouring of these parts are literally the same as it is at the Rabbi Luriah Synagogue in Safed. It is an astonishing similarity which speaks a lot to anyone who is interested in the matter. 

El Ghriba Synagogue as Djerba is also known, has been fully restored in the 19th century, and has been the subject of utter destructions before, with arsons and pro-Palestinian graffities at some places of the facade. The Synagogue was seriously damaged twice in recent years, as well. But never before I saw such a devastating pogrom of the lovely, peaceful, beautiful place which is not only very important historically, but  also has brought to Tunis a lot of money and tourists all the time. It was a vile desecration. A feast of evil. Permitted and overseen. A sign of this period of outright hate and violence against anything Jewish. 

Which we have seen also all over London this Shabbat, in the over 100 000 march of hate, with the leading role there of the openly terrorist organisation which no previous, or current governments of the United Kingdom dared to ban – despite the fact that it has been banned in 40 countries. If one is in the mood to laugh, the laugh could become  hysterical. 

Our friends from so many countries are repeating all these days: ‘You do not need to be Jewish. You need to be human’. Sort of a slogan of the day. It is truly weird, and actually is utterly absurd that this kind of basic human behaviour needs to be reminded of. Anywhere. Anytime. Speaking of the places which take for granted that they are civilised places and societies. And there is the subjects of comparison: the main square of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, filled with 1 400 candles in all its space with a giant Israeli flag in the facade of the Rathouse in front of it, lit just in time, with the beginning of Shabbat on October 20th, 2023 – and sea of hate swarming London, on the same Shabbat, on October 21st, 2023. Decency and permitted attack on it, black on white. 


Michael Rogatchi (C). Faces of the Shoah. 1992.

These days of sorrow and horror, for two weeks long and non-stop, I am trying to find some windows of relief, however small ones, to have a quick breath in between non-stop deepening shock. My windows are like that: I am relieved that we have lived the most of our life in the world that had not been this openly and forcibly hateful, with such hideous crimes against humanity and against Jewish people committed with no reason whatsoever, and with unleashed violent hate ever since. 

I am relieved that our parents who were children during the Second World War and the Holocaust are not here to see it. They should not see it again, I think. My aunt died a few weeks ago, and I was very sad about it, as the life-rope with my family has loosened one of its threads. I was deeply sad for days. And now, I am thinking that I am grateful for the timing of her passing, because  I just cannot imagine how painful it would be for her. 

I am relieved that our grandparents who were in their 30s and 40s during the Second World War and the Holocaust, and who lost to the Shoah so many members of their families, did not live to witness this current nightmare again. They would not be able to withstand it, however strong they were, I know. There are limits for what a human being can endure. 

I am relieved that Elie Wiesel, Leonard Cohen  and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks were spared not to see it. I am writing about these towering figures whom we were privileged to know personally, and whom I feel close to. I am relieved that those very fine people, with their very sensitive souls, were spared to see this feast of terror and what has followed it, in so many senses and in so many places world-wide, not to be shaken and traumatised deeply. 

Besides those four small windows of relief, I have none. Two weeks after the worst massacre of Jewish people after the Shoah, there is not a single serious development whatsoever to provide us with a possibility to have a normal breath. This is the reality, on the record. Perhaps, this kind of records would be useful sometimes in the future, as it was essentially important for us, all those who have been studying the Holocaust, real-time chronicles from the end of the 1930s onward. 


Inna Rogatchi (C). Breath of Danger. 2023.

My friend from Germany said about her nephew who recently moved with his Jewish kids and wife from the country back to Ukraine where, being under the direct danger of Russian bombs, they are feeling morally better now than in the middle of Europe, in a bitter irony. “I am glad that they moved back, – my friend says. – It is so dangerous there ( in Ukraine) but at least they are not under constant attacks and danger from within, as Jewish kids are here at the moment”.  She and my other friends and relatives in Germany tell me that “people are very concerned and very frightened” there, that the attacks on Jewish properties are serious, many and growing. 

Like many other of our friends in Germany, she is ‘simply traumatised by the images of Mogen David on the doors of the Jewish houses. Never in my worst dream, I could imagine that I would see anything as graphic and as terrible as this in Germany, of all places”, – she says. As it turned out, so many of us obviously did lack this degree of imagination. 

In Berlin, Molotov cocktails were thrown at the synagogue in down-town. In France, the teacher was murdered by an ISIS terrorist, and just a few days after that hideous attack, the entire school was shut down due to the bomb threat. In Cayenne, a huge knife-yelding another Allakh-Akhbar screaming terrorist attacked the synagogue. In Rome, the very well-known to us Jewish school, also very much in the city centre, full of children including small kids, was completely evacuated due to another bomb-threat. In Stockholm, a huge aggressive crowd ignites hate towards Jewish people day after another. In the centre of Helsinki, a smaller, but not less aggressive crowd simply loudly chants Intifada! non-stop, inciting  and threatening, while some people who just happened to be nearby on their own routine, get visibly shaken and sheepishly trying to pass the hate-spot as fast as possible. The members of Jewish communities everywhere in Europe are receiving security updates every few days informing them at which places certain militant marches are planned – and permitted, too, incredibly – with only strong recommendation: not to be nearby those places. This is absurd. 

While some countries do have decency and common sense of standing up to the terrorists and myriads of their supporters, forbidding such manifestations of hate, many other ones are toothless, weak in the name of democracy, and unwilling to stand up to inciters, loud and dangerous supporters of terrorists, blatant racists and haters of Jews.  How on earth can a normal democratic state permit an incitement march to the Embassy of Israel as it has been done in London and as it also done in Helsinki? But while in London at least, there are many articulated, vocal, open, registered, official, for the record political concerns  and serious, real discussions in the UK Parliament regarding ‘the awful treatment of the UK Jewry’, as it goes in the Westminster records, and as we all saw it, in the Finnish parliament is a total, deafening, unchanged  – and unchallenged –  silence on the matter since the beginning of the October massacre of Jewish people in Israel and following escalating of racist hate of Jews inside the country. The parliament is dead-silent while police routinely permit  many intensifying  anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and  anti-Jewish community of Finland demonstrations, marches and inciting manifestations of racism and hate. This is a surreal situation of mounting danger all over Europe and beyond. 

Israeli Embassies had to be evacuated in many countries, even in Argentina, with its huge Jewish community there, due to imminent danger. 

My British non-Jewish colleague has mentioned from the midst of unprecedented danger to Jews in  the UK: “You do not need to be Jewish to be seriously afraid here”.

I never came across this kind of situation of open, intensifying – and unchallenged, unrestricted danger of physical and any other abuse of Jewish people, and actually, not just Jewish ones, all over the world. 

All this, because of what? Due to what? Were there Jews, Israelies, who slit babies throats on peaceful Shabbat and Saturday morning in October, to name just one method of the October 7th massacre which resulted in over 1 400 ( and counting) viciously murdered mainly civilians, over 200 kidnapped, and over 700 missing? This is not to mention a total barbaric destruction in more than 14 different peaceful places in Israel. Were there Jews, Israelis who cut off vaginas on alive women , the victims of their unspeakable massive rapes? 

Jewish people, as citizens of Israel, as citizens of  very many countries world-wide, fell victims of the hideous assault and screaming crimes against humanity in a terrifying proportion. And, as paradoxically as it gets, this unprecedented massacre triggered, in fact, behind the veil of words of some leaders, certainly, not all of those expected, the growing wave of unprecedented and unjustified danger towards Jewish people and those non-Jewish decent ones who support us openly, world-wide. To say that it is a macabre is to say nothing.

This is the feast of an unopposed nastiness. This is a pre-mega-pogrom situation, created by pro-terrorists settled in Europe and elsewhere against an outraging impotence of the authorities and the police in every given country where Jewish people and those who support us are under ongoing assault. Why? How? What for? Aiming what? All those questions are acutely actual now. Never before – if not to cite the late 1930s in Europe – leadership and authorities of so many countries were not so thoroughly paralysed in front of evil.

In these days of grief and anxiety, anxiety and grief, a very good European female poet wrote a short poem. Calm and chilling at the same time. About the last days of sunny autumn, a quiet pretty town in Germany, a nice smell of cinnamon and coffee from a nearby small caffe where one eagerly gets inside in the frantic strive for metaphorical shelter. And getting inside this idyllic milieu, one stares through the window having just one thought: “They did not bomb these railways ( to the camps) then, too”.  This is what we all are thinking about these days. This is exactly what we all are thinking all days long.