We will face challenges putting the pieces back together again after the Israel-Hamas War

Michael TaubeThe Israel-Hamas War has been a witch’s brew of varied emotions. Many people have experienced frustration, rage, compassion, fear, sadness, anger, betrayal, hatred and more.

This includes our family members, friends, neighbours and work colleagues.

We know them intimately – or, in a number of cases, thought we did. We’re either proud of what they’ve said and done, disappointed by their actions and inactions, or completely shocked by their comments and opinions.

When this war ends and tensions begin to dissipate, the task of putting the pieces back together again seems rather onerous. Certain things can be repaired with minimal effort. Other things could take weeks, months or years to achieve. In some instances, they may never be rebuilt in our lifetimes.

To lose all hope for humanity, even during this difficult and emotional time, would be the biggest tragedy of all. Good people from all walks of life need to prevent this from ever happening.

Israel-Hamas War

Photo courtesy Wesley Tingey

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It could turn out to be one of those difficult tasks, however.

Here’s an example:

Annika Hernroth-Rothstein is a Swedish writer, author and political activist. She’s politically conservative, intellectually curious, well-educated and well-spoken. She spends part of her time in Africa, where she’s the CEO of the award-winning advertising firm Nomad Ghana. She’s proudly Jewish and wears the heart of Israel on her sleeve. The Algemeiner Journal named her one of the Top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life (or J100) in 2020.

I’ve known this bright, brave and extremely talented woman for several years. It’s hard not to be impressed with her.

Yet, even Hernroth-Rothstein is facing personal moments of doubt during this brutal war.

“I keep speaking to my Jewish friends, pulling away from my non-Jewish friends as I assume they think I’m going insane for not being able to think about anything but Israel for the past six weeks,” she posted on X on Nov. 25. “I used to care about all manner of things, be frivolous and fun and loving and exciting and now, I’m quiet, angry and sad. I pull away, and they don’t follow.”

On the surface, you can sympathize with this position.

She’s frustrated. She’s hurt. She’s in pain.

Much like the country she loves with every ounce and fibre of her being.

That being said, what she’s doing is wrong. She needs to keep speaking to all of her friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish. She needs the latter’s counsel, friendship, love and concern just as much as the former. That’s the only way she and others like her can ever properly heal.

While it’s true that Jews have been more directly affected by this terrible war, non-Jews understand what she’s going through in their own unique way.

I, more than most others, actually comprehend it from both ends.

I was born Jewish, but left the faith more than 40 years ago. I regard myself as agnostic, and have no identification with Judaism. The Israel-Hamas War, therefore, doesn’t affect me on a personal and emotional basis. There’s no way that it could.

But as a non-Jewish person, I’m sympathetic to the plight of the Jewish community. I support the State of Israel. I deplore the terrorist organization Hamas and hope they’re obliterated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). I’m disgusted by the rise of anti-semitism around the world. I’m saddened by the fact that some Jews are afraid to walk on the streets and in their neighbourhoods, including right here in Canada.

That’s the way many Christians, moderate Muslims, Buddhists and others who respect the cherished principles of democracy, liberty and freedom view this situation. They see Jews as their religious brethren. They support Israel’s right to defend itself against the bloodthirsty Hamas terrorists. And while they may not always have the answers, they’ll always respond with honesty, integrity and a caring attitude.

Many non-Jewish social media users, in fact, responded to Hernroth-Rothstein’s original X post in that fashion. So much so she subsequently posted on Nov. 26, “Yesterday was one of my hardest days. I woke up and read the comments on this post and I cried with gratitude and love. Thank you. I hold on to the goodness, with both hands.”

Even with all the anger, sadness and frustration that Hernroth-Rothstein clearly feels, she understands once more that her friends and allies have her back. Good people from all walks of life always need to stay together.

Michael Taube, a Troy Media syndicated columnist and Washington Times contributor, was a speechwriter for former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He holds a master’s degree in comparative politics from the London School of Economics.

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