Anger is a bitter lock. But you can turn it.
Five things happened on 7 October.
First, the Islamist terrorist organisation Hamas murdered 1400 people, the vast majority of them civilians, with a brutality that one does not even have to imagine. The murderers filmed themselves doing it, posted their deeds on the internet, leaving no doubt that the children they were torturing to death, the old and the weak, were not collateral damage of a military manoeuvre, but that there was no other goal to achieve than to murder as many civilians as possible as cruelly as possible.
Second, Hamas sealed the suffering and death of countless Palestinians, because even if Israel were just an average country with average security needs, there is simply no country in the world that would not react massively after such a brutal massacre. None of what happens in the following weeks, no suffering, no hardship, not a single dead Palestinian child, was not clear to Hamas beforehand. Even if you condemn every act of Israel, even especially if you condemn every act of Israel, you cannot claim that Hamas did not know what they were doing, that they did not willingly sacrifice their proteges if it only meant murdering as many Jews as possible (Jews, not Israelis, because that is the word they use).
Third, Israelis and Jews around the world lost their basic insurance on 7 October. The conviction that a history of pogroms spanning more than a thousand years had finally come to an end with the founding of this state 75 years ago. The knowledge that - unlike generations before - you have a place that protects you when everyone else no longer does. As Hamas announces a "Day of Rage" and calls for violence against Jews worldwide, we hide in our homes and are closer to our ancestors than ever before. For the first time we understand why they did not leave then. Not because they did not recognise the danger, but because they did not know where they could be safe.
Fourth, the problem, by the way, is not that Jews are afraid - some are, some are not, people, including Jewish people, are different - but that they are in danger. Fear is a subjective feeling that should often not be taken into account. When synagogues are attacked, female rabbis stabbed and airports stormed, it is an objective threat situation.
Fifth, left-wing Jews all over the world realised on 7 October that they had made a colossal mistake. It is not always easy to condemn atrocities because those who commit them usually try to hide them. But it's really not hard to condemn people who broadcast live on social media how they torture and murder civilians. It's really not hard to condemn people who murder not as collateral damage of a military manoeuvre, but for the sheer pleasure of it.
In the days following 7 October, the international left could have demonstrated quite naturally that they are as interested in protecting Jews as in protecting any other minority under threat. Remember: 0.2 per cent of the world's population are Jews. They could have, just for a few hours, once clearly condemned Hamas.
They could have shown solidarity with Israel, just once, to prove that criticism of Israel feeds on a commitment to universal human rights and not on anti-Semitism. It could have assuaged the age-old Jewish fear that being murdered bothers a few and delights many.
Those who just shouted "Woman, Life, Freedom" should have consistently supplemented the "Free Palestine" with a "Free Palestine from Hamas". They could have helped - they preferred to escalate. They would rather make fun of dead Jews, they would rather heroise dead Palestinians than seriously try to save their lives.
Nele Pollatschek, born 1988, writer, author and lecturer (Germany)