This week I visited the site of the Nova festival where 364 people were killed and 40 were kidnapped. It’s an empty field, with nothing around it, bordered by burnt villages and trees. A one lane road approaches the empty barren field.
One can imagine the terror these innocent revelers felt at 6:30 AM on October 7th, with terrorists arriving on parachutes, machine guns sprouting terrorists all over. The bomb shelters remain – but they weren’t built to withstand terrorists entering them and shooting. They were built to withstand the rockets that had been launched from Gaza for years on innocent civilians.
The site has become a tourist attraction – Israelis from all over the country flock to the site to remember, as do IDF groups, families, and media. In time this site will be a memorial like Babi Yar, like Treblinka, another place where Jews were slaughtered in history. Standing at Nova, one hears the sounds of war, loud explosions, planes overhead as we are very close to the Gaza border where Israel is slowly putting an end to Hamas power. The big difference between WWII and now is that we have a state, we have an army and there is a price paid for the shedding of Jewish blood.
All over the site there are memorials for tributes to the slaughtered, “Even if we won’t meet again in life, all the time you are with us in our hearts,”, “Be sure to keep your light bright and shining.” “And be sure to keep your light shining – you never know just how many people you may be a LIGHTHOUSE for. You never know just how many people find their way home, in even the wildest storms because you are there.”
These were positive people, party people, happy people, mostly young people – slaughtered for the crime of being Jewish. There was a family member crying at Nova, a young woman soldier, the sister of someone who was killed there that morning. She had just left Gaza and came right to the site to “visit” her sister.”
At the site, Rami Davidian the hero of Nova who saved 750 people shares his story – he shows where bodies were mutilated, where women were tied to trees, and where the lucky ones escaped from. And from heroes like Rami, we also remember Jewish strength and resiliency and positive things.
Standing at the Nova festival, seeing the barren field where only a few months ago hundreds were killed, it is very clear that the only possible short term answer today is complete destruction of Hamas.
During the Holocaust, the Nazis were roundly defeated and eliminated, and so too today can there be no option for the state of Israel short of total elimination of this enemy who massacred, raped and mutilated - happily photographing its atrocities with the help of Palestinia Arab AP and Reuters photographers, and with the addition of thousands of Gazans who followed them across the border to loot and kill - only a few short months ago.
October 7th must be a reminder to enemies of the Jews that Jewish blood is not cheap.
Ronn Torossianis an entrepreneur and philanthropist.