Daily entry of the WAR & HUMANITY Special Project.

Inna Rogatchi (C). Israel Window. Mixed technique. 2023.

When the disaster as the Hamas massacre in Israel happens, solidarity is the main thing with regard to the outside world, both countries and people alike. The shock is so deep that victimised people and those who feel victimised as 99,9% of Jews all over the world are, are unable to think or do anything. We all have very similar symptoms. We do not sleep, do not eat, we are switching in between fervent impulses to get the latest news, which are so horrible that we are also getting into the other extreme of switching off everything completely. We are in agony. And in this case, the agony goes for days. Nothing matters any longer. The life before the massacre seems to be a thousand years away. The only thing that matters is attention and a warm word, a question, and a hug, even a virtual one. And a sincere demonstration of solidarity. The first expression of the sort internationally was thoughtfully made by the government of Austria which hoisted two large Israeli flags on the roofs of its Chancellery and its Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Not a light show, a real flag. Next to the flags of Austria and the European Union. Simple, decent, and telling. I personally would remember this gesture of decent, solid and importantly, timely solidarity forever. Precisely because it was not show-like. Then the projections of all sorts mushroomed all over the planet: Prague, Bratislava, New York, Miami, London, Brussels over the EU headquarter, Vilnius, Madrid, Sofia, Budapest, Sydney, Buenos-Aires, all over Italy, with beautiful, thoughtful, generous demonstration of care.

There are people who believe that it is not enough, or that it is just lip service. Perhaps, in some cases and to some degree this thinking is relevant. Still, a clear, visible expression of solidarity, especially in a capacity of a state, regional or municipal administration is incomparably better than absence of it – as we are seeing in Scandinavia, two Baltic countries except Lithuania ( with Estonia did it belatedly), Poland, etc. This kind of aloofness, the absence of compassion, zero solidarity feels weird. It feels out of place. It feels like a cold void of good. In a case like that, with the worst slaughter of civilians in 80 years, the absence of solidarity with Israel by all and every of those who abstained, be it state, city or any more or less meaningful public institution, shows absolutely clearly on which side that institution is. Although we are grieving, we have noticed. And we will remember the absence of solidarity, maybe less than its presence, but still graphically. Because the emotional language of compassion works on its own level and in its own way, and is engraved in people’s hearts. Just one more thing: the long and very dramatic history of humankind teaches us that those who are unable or unwilling of compassion towards others should not expect it towards themselves. And Israel is confident, always, with all our mighty, cordial and decent friends in the world. Am Israel Chai.