After October 7th

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We live in a new world. The fundamental questions that haunted us in conscious, semi-conscious and unconscious ways for 78 years - Are we in danger again? Might our children ever be? - have now been answered. 

In German we call this Zivilisationsbruch, a breach/collapse/rupture in civilization. Or perhaps in our picture of it. Our notion of humanity in the 21st century.

To be honest: The two of us, perhaps like many, did not think it really could happen again, did not live our lives as if it actually could. It was comforting to assume it's no longer a realistic scenario, not in the post-war world that had witnessed the Holocaust. Perhaps the only way to pursue an optimistic, hopeful and positive Jewish future after that trauma was to assume that it just couldn't. To heal by believing that we live in a different world, in a reality of Never Again.

And then it did. To us. In a smaller per-day magnitude, but in diabolic and sadistic ways much beyond "again". An ideological battle cry for "freedom" was fulfilled, for one horrible day the Jewish people will never forget, with freedom for unfathomable atrocities. What was simply inconceivable is now, just as simply, the new well-documented reality - and is being denied, belittled or just made fun of by Antisemites right now, in real time. How do we continue from here?


This new world is rephrasing the Accusation against the Jews, which is the main theme in the history of Sinat Israel or the hatred of our people (commonly referred to as Antisemitism). In hindsight, the accusations against us are easy to discard as nonsense of irrational societies in the past, but they actually always express the prevailing ideas of their respective eras, i.e. they mirror the very rationality of those societies.

Before Christianity, we were accused of kidnapping and killing gentiles as human sacrifices in our temple. Christianity brought about a transition to a new way of way of thinking and rephrased the accusation against us as "Murderers of Christ". In the rationality of Islam, where the importance of the Quran is not like that of the "New Testament" and rather resembles the theological importance of "Jesus Christ", we are accused of having falsified the divine text with our Torah, i.e. of continuous lying as impostors and fraudsters. With the decline of religious rationality and the rise of gentile nation-states and mass politics, the story about the Jews was rephrased to accuse us of conspiring for world domination. And now, in the wake of Ten Seven, another accusation is being mainstreamed.

All across the world a relatively new story is now blossoming, the story about us as "Foreign Colonialists of Native Land". Adapted to contemporary terms and en-vogue ideas, the rephrased accusation actually mirrors current academic discourse, the rationality of our era. What used to be fringe ideas of a so-called squad is now becoming presidential policy.

Ten Seven marks a well-coordinated attack both against Israel and against diaspora Jews, trying to force us to give up on Jewish solidarity in exchange for some kind of (very) conditional acceptance ("Renounce! Or else..."). In other words: We are witnessing the return of the Jewish Question. 


It will take time, a long time, for all of us to process this trauma. To rethink our assumptions about the world around us. To understand Antisemitism not through academic theories on past accusations, but as it is unfolding before our eyes, in the cities we live in. To withstand the (immense) pressure to break us apart. And to write the next chapter in our Jewish story. From generation to generation:

Am Yisrael Chai
The People of Israel Lives

We also updated our page on Antisemitism.