'We stand with Israel today and beyond'

Learn more about Ken Hersh.
Kenneth A. Hersh
Ken Hersh
President and Chief Executive Officer
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Learn more about David J. Kramer.
David J. Kramer
David J. Kramer
Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute and Vice President
George W. Bush Presidential Center
A woman pays tribute as people light candles in memory of the civilians and soldiers killed, and for the hostages that were taken to the Gaza Strip, in Dizingof Square on October 12, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Israelis and everyone around the world will never forget October 7, 2023 as the day Hamas began a barbaric terrorist attack against the people of Israel. The searing images of that attack, unthinkable in their horror, will be etched in our memory forever.

Our hearts are shattered for the families who are suffering, and for the loss of innocent life: parents murdered in front of their children, grandparents whose deaths were broadcast on social media, entire families, including infants, brutally slaughtered, women raped and paraded through towns, and many others, who were hunted by Hamas solely because they were Jews. We hope for the safe return of those who have been taken hostage, a tactic that only terrorists use.

Nothing justifies the brutal and inhuman onslaught unleashed by Hamas because there is never a justification for terrorism and hate. Hamas’ stated objective is the destruction of Israel, the extermination of Jews. This cannot stand. Israel has every right to defend itself and its people.

As a result of Hamas’ evil actions, more people, tragically, will lose their lives, including Palestinians as well as Israelis. More people will suffer. To be clear: this evil attack by Hamas on Israel’s democracy is an act of evil perpetrated against democracies everywhere. Hamas bears the blame for what happened. They will bear responsibility for what follows.

All of us have a responsibility to those who have lost their lives and whose families have been broken. We all must commit to combat evil, prejudice, hatred, and indifference. If you are looking for a way to give of your time and resources, Temple Emanu-El in Dallas has provided a list of resources and ways to help those in Israel.

May our pain be a reminder that humanity must always unite against the worst among us. We stand with Israel today and beyond.