Reflections from Day 1 - Ingram Losner

Written by Ingram Losner on November 27, 2023

We’ve all seen on TV and in media reports the barbarity, the devastation, the unimaginable, sadistic brutality inflicted upon the innocents of Sha’ar HaNegev.

Today we witnessed it firsthand and heard the stories that spoke to the carnage; the brutality (the scale of which was never before witnessed by battle-hardened military rescue units); the shock; the bravery and courage of Kibbutz Erez’s small emergency response team that kept the terrorists at bay for 5 hours thereby preventing them from entering the Kibbutz;  the frustration; the shaken confidence in the trust of the country’s hitherto most revered institutions; the communal efforts springing up in so many parts of what remains of “normal” Israeli life; the impact of an economy that is now geared almost exclusively to the war effort; the unimaginable grief of a Mother whose daughter remains in captivity; the challenges resulting from an entire region of 6,000 people (in addition to those in the North) being displaced and having their lives uprooted. 

To the total unity that has consumed the entire country that is now committed and laser-focused on bringing the hostages home and defeating the evil that is Hamas.  And this is a community, let’s remember, that existed in some cases less than a mile from the border, who cannot contemplate returning to their homes unless those who perpetrated the massacres on October 7th - and whose publicly stated aim if given the opportunity would do it again and again and again - is banished from the face of the earth. 

As one of the Commanders we met in the very center that we in San Diego helped to build (now used as a respite center for the soldiers) and where we spent such a joyful time in May, the enemy was confused into thinking that the divisions in Israeli society before October 7th was a sign of an existential weakness in its resolve when it came to protecting its citizens.  He assured us that, however long it takes, Hamas will be defeated and that is a message that he wanted us to take back to the US.

This has been a long and often painful day in which every emotion has been experienced, every nerve touched and strained.  Through the fog of it all, I feel more connected than ever - via the personal and deeply moving personal testimonies of our friends that we met today - and remain as committed as ever to ensuring that Ofir’s legacy continues to be honored with our work and partnership. 

Am Israel Chai.



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