On October 24, 2023, a statement by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent ripples of disbelief and shock throughout Israel and its global community of supporters. Commenting on the murderous attack by Hamas against innocent Israelis on October 7, Guterres suggested that the attacks by Hamas were a response to the Palestinians’ “56 years of suffocating occupation.”
The audacity of his words can’t be understated. What Guterres essentially communicated was that Israel is somehow accountable for Hamas’s actions. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gila Erdan voiced on social media that the Secretary-General was “completely disconnected from the reality in our region.” According to Erdan, by stating that “the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres showed “an understanding for terrorism and murder.”
Guterres’ viewpoint, sadly, is not confined to the Secretary-General. Many people seem to be disconnected from reality and ensnared in a web of distortion. They buy into the lies of Hamas and other Israel-haters, claiming that Israel is the oppressor and that the Jews are the ones who are evil. Their narratives propagate fallacies, and they garner support by spreading their lies.
Judaism, on the other hand, is a religion that treasures truth. God’s disdain for deceit is unambiguous, and He commands us to distance ourselves from falsehood (Exodus 23:7). Over and over again the prophets urge us to be truthful. Zechariah’s vision of a time when our fast days over the destruction of the Temple will turn into feast days, for example, ends with the words “but you must love honesty and integrity” (Zechariah 8:19).
Furthermore, the sages teach that liars are among three other groups of people who do not merit encountering the Divine Presence, and that “the seal of God is truth.” To be truthful, therefore, is to be Godly.
The Hebrew term for Jews is Yehudim, which stems from Yehuda, the Hebrew for Judah. Judah exemplified truth. When faced with the episode involving Tamar, he displayed impeccable integrity, conceding his wrongdoing. The very name of the Jewish people means to be truthful. Truth is our essence. As the bearers of this legacy, it is Israel’s duty to challenge the misconceptions and darkness that permeate the world.
The ongoing struggle against entities like Hamas requires a steadfast commitment to truth. In the face of falsehoods, Israel and its supporters must relentlessly uphold the genuine narrative, ensuring that truth isn’t lost in the cacophony of conflicting voices.
But it’s not only about combatting untruths; it’s about illuminating the world with the radiance of genuine understanding and knowledge. Jews are referred to as the “light unto nations” (Isaiah 49:6). This isn’t a mere title but a profound responsibility to illuminate the world with truth and honesty.
Just as a single candle can light up a room filled with darkness, the unwavering spirit of the Jewish people can inspire and guide the world toward a path of clarity, justice, and righteousness. Our heritage teaches us the importance of truth, and it is our collective mission to spread this light, ensuring that it pierces through the veil of darkness and falsehood that permeates the world.
Let us unite, Jews and Christian allies who support Israel, to challenge deception and champion truth.