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Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author

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Opinion

Don’t move on from Hamas’ horrific attack on Israel

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Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author

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As a pro-Israel rally unfolds in Washington, D.C., a substantial segment of the global population is condemning Israel’s war in Gaza, which has now killed over 10,000 Palestinians and displaced roughly 1.5 million civilians from their homes. Large pro-Palestinian demonstrations have become common around the world and in the United States.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette, however, is urging Americans to never forget Israel’s Oct. 7 nightmare. He draws a parallel between this situation and a more personal tragic event from four years ago in El Paso, Texas.

And when Israeli troops, who are damned if they do, damned if they don’t, enter the Gaza Strip to destroy Hamas and prevent future attacks, the media narrative shifted to one that portrayed Israel as the aggressor. There was no collective sympathy toward Israel for being the victim of such heinous attacks on its people.

At the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres said that the attacks on Israel “did not happen in a vacuum” and urged the world to put recent events in context, appearing to excuse the horror by chalking it up to decades of alleged mistreatment of Palestinians by Israelis.


At universities in the United States, Jewish students are being harassed and threatened by mobs who claim to be worked up over the deaths of Palestinians. There are even reports of Jewish college students being told to shelter in place at some schools for their own protection. And on the streets of U.S. cities, troublemakers are tearing down posters with photos of kidnapped Israelis and throwing them in the trash, as some Jews push back and try to protect the posters — all of this captured on video.

For Mexican Americans, both the tragedy in Israel and the aftermath have a familiar echo. They remind us of what the mood was like throughout the southwest four years ago, after an attack on Mexicans and Mexican Americans at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas–an attack that left a community shattered.

I bet right about now my Jewish friends, both in Israel and the United States feel as if they’re living through a unique kind of nightmare. They probably think that no one else on Earth can relate to the fear of being hunted, injured and killed simply because of who and what you are. Well, actually as a Mexican American who resides in the southwest, part of a population long targeted by racist, nativist and white supremacist who are afraid of being displaced by demographics. I can relate a little bit. First, I imagine, this is a tough time to be a Jew. As if the October 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas terrorists, which resulted in more than 1400 deaths, 1000s of injuries and more than 250 kidnappings were not horrific enough.There was no collective sympathy toward Israel for being the victim of such heinous attacks on its people. At the United Nations. The Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the attacks on Israel quote, did not happen in a vacuum, and urge the world to put recent events in context, appearing to excuse the horror by chalking it up to decades of alleged mistreatment of Palestinians by Israelis. At universities in the United States. Jewish students are being harassed and threatened by mobs who claim to be worked up over the deaths of Palestinians. There are even reports of Jewish college students are being told to shelter in place at some schools for their own protection. And on the streets of US cities. troublemakers are tearing down posters with photos of kidnapped Israelis and throwing them in the trash. As some Jews push back and try to protect the posters all of this captured on video. For Mexican Americans, both the tragedy in Israel and the aftermath have a familiar echo. They remind us of what the mood was like throughout the Southwest four years ago, after an attack on Mexicans and Mexican Americans at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas attack that left a community shattered. It happened on August 3 2019. A Saturday morning as it turns out, just like the one in Israel, Patrick crusius, a 21 year old white man was afraid that brown people were taking over the world. And so he decided to take a stand. He bought a high powered ar 15 assault rifle. And he drove more than 10 hours from where he lived in a comfortable mostly white Dallas suburb all the way to the West Texas city of El Paso. There crusius found his way to the CLO Vista, Walmart and open fire aiming to as police say he told them, quote, kill as many Mexicans as possible. Some of the survivors say the shooter told black and white shoppers that they could leave the store. After all, he wasn’t there for them. In the end, 23 people were dead and 22 were injured. Almost all the victims were Mexican, or Mexican Americans. Days past people went on with their lives. I couldn’t. Three weeks after the attack. I wrote a column that began I’m not ready to leave El Paso. Today, many of my Jewish friends I’m sure feel the exact same way. They’re heartbroken that so many people are so eager to turn the page and forget. After El Paso I didn’t want to move on. I didn’t want to forget. I wanted space support and deference. Some empathy would have been nice too. I didn’t get what I needed. Now that another tribe is hurting. I’m going to give it to them

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