Against the prevailing public mood, many survivors of the Oct. 7 massacres and relatives of those killed or kidnapped are opposing retribution on Gaza.

by Orly Noy, +972 Magazine

“Everyone is talking about unity. Guys, unity is terribly beautiful, but in the field there is revenge, and there is cruelty … We will have our whole lives to grieve, and we will grieve. But now, there is only one goal: to take revenge and to be cruel.”

These were the words of Israeli reserve soldier Guy Hochman — usually an entertainer and online influencer — in an interview on Channel 12 in the first days of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip following the Oct. 7 massacres by Hamas militants. In just a few words, Hochman captured the sentiment that appears to have taken hold in Israel, from the far right all the way to many who self-identify as leftists: justification of the catastrophe that Israel is currently wreaking on more than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza.

a board with the names of israeli captives and survivors

Some are explaining their justification in terms of “defeating Hamas.” Others, like Hochman, are putting sweeping revenge above all else. It is thus all the more remarkable that, in the face of the prevailing political mood, more and more of those Israelis who survived the massacres, or whose loved ones were killed or kidnapped to Gaza, are coming out and expressing unequivocal opposition to the killing of innocent Palestinians, and saying no to revenge.

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