October 10, 2023
Good evening. I want to thank each and every one of you for standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with Israel as she repels the sickening, barbaric assault she continues to endure each and every minute in what is now its fourth day.
Let us make no mistake about what we are bearing witness to – we are seeing the venomous display of violence and inhumanity upon children, parents, grandparents, Holocaust survivors, and we all know how much they have had to endure in their lifetimes. Children ripped away from their parents, grandparents pulled away from their grandchildren. Concert goers dancing on a Jewish holiday, gunned down while they danced. Two-hundred sixty of them. One-hundred thirty abducted and taken away as hostages with a very frightening and dim future.
As a Jew growing up here in Nassau County, I have experienced antisemitism in many ways. But, thank God, I have never experienced the vicious slaughter of innocent people who were just going about their everyday lives. I can’t help but harken back to the images and video we have all seen of the Nazis in the 1930’s, before the concentration camps, terrorizing neighborhoods and reigning death and destruction on innocent people just because they happened to be Jewish. More than 80 years later we are witnessing this again. It is one thing when an army of one nation attacks another nation’s army, but Hamas isn’t a nation. It’s a group of hate-fueled murderers with no political agenda. Just the genocidal destruction and eradication of the Jewish people. We must never dignify them in any other way but as the butchers they are.
For decades since the Holocaust, we have so often heard the words, “never again” and asked ourselves what we would do if confronted with such atrocities in our own time. It pains me and infuriates me to say that this time has come – and we must once again rise to the challenge.
The barbaric and cowardly attack by Hamas hits extremely close to home for me. On Saturday morning around 8:00, I received a cryptic text from my son-in-law, who is Israeli, telling me “WE ARE AT WAR!” and I should turn on the TV. My son-in-law spent the first 20 some-odd years growing up in Israel, and emigrated to the U.S. leaving his parents, a sister and two nieces behind in a suburb not far from Haifa.
Since this war began four days ago, and as Hamas terrorists have unleashed indiscriminate brutality against women, children and the elderly in Gaza, his life has been a daily nightmare riddled with anxiety as he does all he can to get his loved ones out of the country and out of harm’s way.
Because his parents live a short distance from Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, from day one he told me his biggest fear was the prospect of Hezbollah adding to the assault from the north. That fear is now coming true - and I can feel the burden he carries with him in every conversation we have.
I know that so many of you are wracked with the same fears for your friends and loved ones. Please know that you will remain close to my heart and in my prayers– and I hope that you will keep my family in your prayers as well until peace is won, and Hamas can never again inflict this kind of terror and brutality upon the world.
As the future of the Jewish people – not just Israel – once again hangs in the balance, Jews in America and every corner of the world are standing in solidarity with Israel’s allies as it defends its sovereignty. By being with us tonight, you are demonstrating your courageous spirit and your solidarity with the Jewish people of the world – and for that I will always be grateful.
Collectively, may we never waver in our commitment to defending Israel and defeating the cold-blooded campaign of Hamas terror so that the world can at long last know the peace it yearns for. Our voices, our unity, our compassion, and our resolve matter more today than ever before at least in my lifetime. Together, we are so much stronger than hatred – and together, good, rational people will prevail.
Today and always, Nassau County stands with Israel and the Jewish people of the world. AM YISROEL CHAI!
Arnold W. Drucker, of Plainview, has represented the 16th District in the Nassau County Legislature since 2016.