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Ortagus and Brin's Timely Conversation

The Chairmans File

October 11, 2023

I am an American. And I am a Jew.

As are my wife and children. As are my parents. As were my grandparents who survived the Holocaust.

This last weekend my extended family was attacked because they are Jews. The same way these murderers would have attacked my grandparents, as they would attack my parents, as they would attack my family, and as they would attack me.

Because I am a Jew.

What we witnessed last weekend was nothing short of evil. The attack on Israel was not about political differences, territorial disputes, or voting rights. It was an attack on the Sabbath and on a holiday. It was murder on a scale that Jews have last felt during the Holocaust. They attacked women and children. They took hostages, and butchered hundreds in their homes. Not soldiers – civilians. It was the embodiment of immorality and terror.

“Never Again” is not simply a statement, it is a movement. A belief. Strength for an oppressed group throughout history. Strength the State of Israel would be the bulwark and sanctuary against those who sought to wipe a group of people off the map simply for being Jews. Jews have been tested throughout history and have yet survived, but to see it live, in real time, through the lens of social media posts from attackers makes me question whether just surviving is worth it. It’s time to fight back and end this madness. We wouldn’t allow another country to send rockets into our homes, so why should anyone else?

And now I see a press release from 18 of our Illinois legislative leaders, including Rep. Nabeela Syed, that laments, “Hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed,” and that, “We will not be able to achieve peace when millions of Palestinians are denied basic human rights.” Press Release: A Call for De-Escalation and Peace, Oct. 8, 2023. No – just no. I didn’t have high expectations for our legislature, but this pathetic leadership is a new level of moral vapidity. This is not about human rights. This is not about land. There were no Palestinians killed in the early morning hours of Saturday, only over 1,000 Israeli civilians and hundreds more taken hostages, including women and children. They were murdered in cold blood on the Sabbath, on a holiday. They were dragged out of their homes, crying babies ripped from their mother’s arms, and fathers shot while covering their families from gunfire. They were raped and beaten and paraded in front of mobs of cheering, blood thirsty Palestinians. They were grandmothers who survived the Holocaust, only to be caged like animals, tortured and killed for sport. There can be no moral relativity – only one side indiscriminately butchered every Jew in sight, especially civilian targets. There is no moral equivalence – only one side openly seeks the annihilation of the Jews, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

I am a Jew. Maybe they want to come for me.

I am an American. I believe in the Second Amendment, no matter how much our legislature wants to take defensive guns out of our hands. So, if they want to come for me, I’m ready. I don’t share our legislator’s moral uncertainty.