Dear Friends

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Dear Friends, 

I have been privileged to learn from, work with and befriend Professor Ilan and Carol Troen over the years. On October 7, Hamas terrorists murdered their lovely daughter Debbie Shachar Troen Matias and wonderful son-in-law Shlomo Matias, during the attack on Kibbutz Holit. They purposely fell on top of their son Rotem, who survived thanks to their heroism. Their Hebrew names are below, followed by a heartbreaking letter Carol wrote to friends and family from all over the world – and has allowed me to share… may their names and memories be for a blessing – and may the blessed Troen clan know no further sorrow….

In memory of:

שלומי דוד מתיאס

בן ישעיהו (מיקי) וסנדה מרים

שחר דבורה טרואן מתיאס

בת אילן מלך ורחל לאה

From Carol Troen: Thank you for your messages, sharing grief and concern and  love. 


We think of you too, It’s important to remain connected. 


We are horrified at the antisemitism expressed, acted out, and experienced in Europe and on your side of the Atlantic.


Ilan insists on watching the news, both local and networks abroad.  If I watch, which often I can’t bear to,  I shout back at the pretense of “even handed” reporting. 


Unlike when then President Trump spoke about events in Charlottesville, VA, here it is suddenly perfectly reasonable to remind viewers that there are good people on both sides.  


The hypocrisy of attributing responsibility for the suffering of citizens of Gaza to Israel because they lack secure shelter, supplies, hospital equipment, and because we bomb Hamas launching sites, arsenals, and headquarters– yes–with collateral damage, deaths and much human suffering–makes me crazy.  


Well for God’s sake! Did Hamas really think that the horrendous, hideous massacres and dismemberment of hundreds and hundreds Jewish young people at a music festival and babies, children, parents, and grandparents butchered in their homes, and more than two hundred others dragged off like trophies to Gaza,  and rockets sent in huge barrages to wreak havoc and disrupt life all over the country, including from Hizballah in the north and from Yemen to our most southern regions, would finish us off once and for all? 


Of course, that would have saved Israel’s international image. A beautiful, solemn requiem could have been commissioned and performed for the State of Israel, and good people could cry for us and decry Hamas’ crimes against humanity. Yes, even our humanity. 


That would have kept the blood libel at bay because we would all be dead. 


In case you imagine I am exaggerating, please consider the evidence quoted from the Hamas Covenant. This is not “cherry-picking.” This is not a cherry tree: 


•      Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. (Preamble)

•      The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine. (Article 6)

•      The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him. (Article 7)

•      There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. (Article 13)

There has been far too little public scrutiny of this distinguished Palestinian Islamic Resistance movement. Hamas is protected, aided and abetted by UN personnel and NGO’s on the ground, and by UN officials enjoying the comforts of New York City. They put on blinders and are morally, ethically, and literally blind. The “human rights” of the citizens of Gaza completely trump those of the Jews. 


I feel sorry for the citizens of Gaza and for their suffering but they are NOT innocent bystanders. It is an open secret that Hamas has been using and abusing them for years, and profiting by selling their victimhood in the public square. There are too many who eagerly buy that story. Maybe even some victims themselves are silent adherents, promised that once Israel has been obliterated and the region is Judenrein, their lives will be better.


So far 300,000 Israelis from South and North, among them our three grandchildren, have been rescued from the ruins of their homes and communities, or forced to evacuate to temporary dwellings for safety. Relative safety. Barrages of rockets from Hamas and its allies continue night and day. Terrorists still threaten to make incursions. Remember the Boston Marathon terror? 


Yet somehow, we don’t count. We are not refugees. We are not poor helpless victims. Our fate is not a matter of general concern. 


No. We are responsible citizens of a responsible government. And we are members of an ancient people committed to being responsible, including holding ourselves responsible. It is convenient for the spectators of this old new world sport to hold us responsible.


So damned if we do and damned if we don’t. 


We go to bed sad and angry. We wake up sad and angry. Hence this message, this morning. 


Yesterday we went to the cemetery to look again at gravestones. We met Dani Chazan there. He will make/ engrave the stones. We came home to consult Shlomi’s sister and parents and our granddaughters on what will be written on the shared headstone. Rotem did not want to be included in the decision-making. Too much.  Too hard. Too painful. We need to let Dani know by this morning. The end of the thirty days when we will all visit their graves is November 14. So there’s not much time.


Carol and Ilan

from among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem


A Distinguished Scholar in North American History at McGill University currently living in Jerusalem, Gil Troy is an award-winning American presidential historian and a leading Zionist activist. He is, most recently, the editor of the new three-volume set, “Theodor Herzl: Zionist Writings,” the inaugural publication of The Library of the Jewish People ( www.theljp.org )  . Two years ago he co-authored with Natan Sharansky Never Alone: Prison, Politics and  My People,  was published by PublicAffairs of Hachette. Recently designated one of Algemeiner’s J-100, one of the top 100 people “positively influencing Jewish life,” Gil Troy is the author of  The Zionist Ideas , an update and expansion of Arthur Hertzberg’s classic anthology The Zionist Idea, published by the Jewish Publication Society and a 2019 National Jewish Book Award Finalist. 




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Prof Gil Troy · 20 Derech Bet Lechem · Apt 2 · Jerusalem 9310925 · Israel