By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Since the pogrom-like Hamas attack on Israel Oct. 7, it’s been all hands on deck — 24-7 — for the Israel Consulate to the Southwest in Houston.
In addition to supporting the Israeli and greater Jewish communities in the region, Consul General Livia Link-Raviv and her staff have been working to disseminate the facts to the public and media as well as participating in community events.
Following the attack, Israel declared war on Hamas, vowing to eliminate the terrorist organization. Israel has been transparent with regard to recognizing that civilian casualties in Gaza would be unavoidable despite the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)’s best efforts.
“Hamas has made a fatal, fatal mistake and they will pay for it,” Link-Raviv told the 2,000 people gathered in-person at the community solidarity gathering organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Oct. 10. “This warfare includes also the fight for public opinion and for the truth.”
Link-Raviv urged those gathered to remember the horror of seeing Jews murdered and kidnapped, the worst loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust.
At presstime, Monday, more than 1,400 had been killed as a result of the Hamas attack and more than 5,240 injured in varying degrees, according to the consul general’s office. Two hundred twenty people were classified as missing or captive. Hamas and other terrorist organizations had fired more than 7,625 missiles and rockets at Israel; 550 of those have fallen within the territory of the Gaza Strip.
Israel makes no apologies for defending its citizens and borders.
“Israel has the obligation to defend its citizens and to eliminate the Hamas terrorist organization from Gaza. It may take weeks. It may take months. But we are determined and we are resilient and I assure you Israel will prevail,” she said.
Advocate for Israel
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“Do not be confused. Do not allow others to be confused. Not today. And not when difficult images from Gaza begin to appear…. Remember this moment. Remember how appalled and outraged you felt. Seeing the atrocities fill your TV screens. Remember this moment, when hypocrites of the world will start talking about proportion and about context,” Link-Raviv said.
By Friday, Oct. 13, Link-Raviv told the TJP that people were starting to have “short memories.”
Link-Raviv said that there are not two sides to the story or an equation in this instance.
Whether you are Jewish or not, “it’s about having common sense and being able to distinguish right from wrong and good from evil,” she said. “There is a perpetrator — a terrorist organization — and there are civilians that were severely, brutally and barbarically attacked. This is the way I see the story.”
The consul general reinforced that it is incumbent upon the Jewish community to educate others about the facts.
“Be vocal, be public. Go public, share it with your elected officials, your friends, your colleagues, with whoever you can, that’s one thing. And the other thing is, please do not get confused.”
On Oct. 13, Link-Raviv said that pressure on Israel was going to increase as the war progressed. “Don’t get confused, even when it will get harder — and it will get harder,” she said, adding that “if you’re a real friend of Israel, you can’t be talking to me about context and about proportion and about restraint.”
Finally, Link-Raviv said that she is thankful for the unwavering support received from Jews across Texas.
“Your voice matters, it’s being echoed back to Israel and it’s being highly appreciated,” she said.