The following is a statement from Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, marking 100 days since Hamas’ terrorist attack in Israel on October 7.
Today marks 100 days following the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. October 7 will forever be a date of mourning; the searing pain of that day will always be with us.
We continue to mourn alongside the families of the 1,200 victims who were massacred by Hamas and pray for the full recovery of those who were wounded. We hold in our hearts the more than 130 people still held hostage by Hamas, and reaffirm our total commitment to ending their trauma and getting them home. We grieve for the innocent loss of life in Gaza over the past months and the more than 500 heroic IDF soldiers who have sacrificed their lives to protect the Jewish state. And we pray for an eventual and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Amid this pain and suffering, we must be clear about who is responsible for this incredibly difficult time and what it will take to reach and maintain that peace. Hamas terrorists slaughtered innocent people, raped and sexually mutilated dozens of girls and young women, and took several hundred people hostage. Hamas terrorists use Palestinian civilians as human shields, and launch attacks from hospitals and schools. Hamas terrorists inspired and welcomed the ensuing surge of antisemitic attacks in the United States and around the world.
In the face of these assaults, the American Jewish community remains united—in our support of Israel’s campaign to permanently dismantle Hamas; in our efforts to ensure that Jewish people and institutions are protected from antisemitism; and in our resolve to proudly display our Jewish faith and heritage. We are deeply appreciative of President Biden’s steadfast leadership and compassion, and grateful for our allies in Congress who have not wavered in their support of Israel’s mission to defend itself and its people.
The past 100 days have been excruciating. But like generations of Jewish people who came before us, we will fight to protect our lives and freedoms, and our right to live open and proud Jewish lives. And like those generations, we will prevail.