Yuval David
Yuval Davidcourtesy

The massacre of October 7th, the ongoing war, the plight to release hostages held by Hamas, and the rabid increase of anti-Jewish hatred have had massive ramifications socially and politically. There is a continuing profound shift in the political landscape for many in the Jewish and Israeli American communities.

As we grapple with the traumas of that horrifying day, we also see the responses, reactions, and actions from within the communities, social and political groups we are part of. The shocking anti-Jewish hatred, and the justification of Islamist terror that attacked Jews and allies of Jews, has been expressed by growing factions, leaders, and influencers.

This drove us to understand that we are not included, and in fact often purposefully excluded, by those who twist the narrative, who break away from their own value system and have a double standard when it comes to Jews.

Not only is this disappointing beyond words, it has caused us to feel a growing sense of political homelessness. What makes it worse is that feeling politically homeless has been expressed by countless Jews living outside of Israel. This debilitating calamity is both personal and reflective of a broader communal experience.

For me, this journey has been marked by significant moments, such as my being aghast by the public statements made by leaders and communications directors of LGBTQ organizations I have been involved in for many years. I had to distance myself from these organizations – this step was more than a personal choice; it symbolized the increasingly complex landscape we navigate where spaces once deemed inclusive are now fraught with challenging ideologies and, at times, unsettling undercurrents of antisemitism.

The aftermath of October 7th represents a watershed moment for many of us. It has forced us to reevaluate our place in a political spectrum that seems to be shifting beneath our feet. This is not just a matter of shifting party allegiances or policy disagreements. It cuts deeper, touching the core of our Jewish identity, our historical experiences, and our enduring commitment to Israel's right to exist and thrive.

The sense of alienation felt by many in our community is not a mere reaction to policy changes or political rhetoric. It is a response to a perceived erosion of solidarity—where once there was a natural alliance with movements championing social justice and civil rights, there now exists a gap, a space where our voices and concerns seem increasingly marginalized.

This evolving landscape calls for a new kind of engagement. It requires us to advocate for a political and social space that does not just tolerate but understands and embraces the complexity of Jewish identity. It demands a dialogue that transcends traditional political boundaries, one that can hold the nuances of our collective experiences.

As we navigate this new reality, we must draw inspiration from our rich history of resilience and advocacy. Our legacy is one of building bridges and forging alliances, even in the face of adversity. We must remember the lessons of our past, the times when Jewish leaders stood shoulder to shoulder with champions of civil rights, embodying a shared commitment to justice and equality.

Moving forward, our challenge is to create and nurture spaces that respect and honor the multifaceted nature of Jewish identity. We must foster environments where combating antisemitism and supporting Israel are seen not as contentious issues but as integral parts of a broader commitment to social justice and human dignity.

In this period of reflection and reevaluation, our goal should not be to find a new political home in the traditional sense. Instead, we should strive to build a community that values dialogue, respects diversity, and is unafraid to confront and challenge the complexities of our time. In doing so, we uphold the best of our traditions and ensure that our voices remain a vital and vibrant part of the ongoing conversation about justice, equality, and the future of our communities.

The truth is that these experiences have triggered our Jewish DNA and epigenetics to understand what is happening in this world, and the existential threat we face as a people.

Yuval David is an Emmy-Award winning actor, director, and filmmaker who has won over 100 international film festival awards, and has played roles in shows and productions with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Hulu, FX, HBO, Comedy Central, Disney, and Sony. He appears on broadcast news programs in the US, Israel, and internationally as a news commentator and writes articles for international publications.