By Micah Bernstein
I remember hearing stories from my “Omi” at the Passover table about her experience in the Holocaust. Growing up in Dallas, with a strong Jewish foundation, in the Akiba Yavneh Academy and Shaare Tefilla community, it was easy to forget that we Jews make up only 0.2% of the world’s population.
Zionism was always something talked about at school, at synagogue and, after my sister Rosie moved to Israel, in our house. The rise of antisemitism has also come up in conversation many times throughout the years. However, it wasn’t until 1,300-plus innocent people were brutally killed; endless barrages of missiles were fired; innocent elderly, women and children were raped; and my own mother and father and sisters were taking shelter and hiding, for me to realize we have a serious problem on our hands.
I felt sick to my stomach on Oct. 7 when Hamas began their brutal massacre, so I took it upon myself to do all my own research and educate myself on all the facts. It is very important to arm yourself with facts. While my brother-in-law is literally fighting in this war, I can help out here in Austin by spreading knowledge and facts. Like the fact that this is a war between Hamas and Israel. You’d be surprised at how many people still don’t know what Hamas is. It’s also good to remind people how this war started: with an unprecedented attack by Hamas.
Here in Austin I’m a rapper. I go on social media and I mostly see “Free Palestine” or different posts condemning Israel. I went to an open-mic performance last week and there were three other performers that said “Free Palestine” and got everyone cheering. When I went up there I said “Make some noise if you’re Jewish!” All I heard was silence. That 0.2% never felt so real.
People are very quick to condemn Israel and the Jews and at the end of the day, it boils down to antisemitism. Hamas are terrorists. Hamas’ goal is to exterminate all Jews, kinda like Hitler. If anyone can condone what Hamas is doing, they are either unknowledgeable or they are antisemitic.
Being pro-Palestine is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas. Unfortunately, there are people that believe Hamas is doing the right thing by Palestine. This is why it is so important to be vocal. Spread the facts. Do your research. I am educating all of my coworkers about the subject, most of whom have heard all about the “terrible” things Israel has done but haven’t even heard of Hamas.
The time is now to stand up and be vocal. Be the loud voice that makes a difference. Time and time again the Jews have been persecuted just for being Jewish, but we won’t let this be the one that takes us down.
The Jews will prevail.
Israel will prevail.
My faith never felt so strong.
Free Palestine from Hamas.
AM YISRAEL CHAI!