“Our Sovereignty Has Been Violated”

Every morning you have that moment of awakening, when the heart suddenly remembers what has happened, and everything in it is frantic. Our country has changed unrecognizably overnight.

Living in Israel in the shadow of the conflict is a state of perpetual emergency… A civil war almost broke out here last summer. There is only one thing we agree on—right and left, settlers in the West Bank and activists against the occupation—we all acknowledge the fact that we could not have survived in this tough neighborhood without our military superiority. Our security resilience stands above all differences.

And such a thing has never happened to us. Abysmal darkness. Our sovereignty has never ever been violated like this. Hamas broke through the fences into Israel and set out on a barbaric killing rampage against our civilian population. 1,400 people were killed. The hand writes but the heart still refuses to understand its language: We were massacred. Generations eliminated, communities wiped out. And as incomprehensible as the horror may be, the greatest nightmare is still happening: More than 200 of us are being held hostage in Gaza… We, Israelis, who are we now?

Dorit Rabinyan, Israeli writer and screenwriter, in “Who Are We now?” Tablet, November 3, 2023.