This war is unlike anything before.

And so are the needs.

Advocate for Israel to our Long Beach elected officials

Long Beach City Council Timeline and Documents:

Our Israel Emergency Fund is directing additional resources for this critical moment. Here are the needs:

Basic Needs: Food and financial assistance for impacted families, the elderly, and the homebound.

Evacuation, Housing, Respite, and Support for Frontline Communities:  Support for communities under fire and for new olim living in absorption centers through evacuations, temporary housing, respite trips, children’s activities, and increased security.

Fund for Victims of Terror: Provides immediate cash grants to families and individuals who have been impacted by acts of terror and violence, for post-trauma care, etc.

Trauma Relief and Psychosocial Care: Support widescale trauma relief and psychosocial support with expanded capabilities through telephone hotlines; providing direct care to first responders, Lone Soldiers, the injured, and families whose relatives were murdered, injured, or abducted; training and support for caregivers and responders including hospital emergency teams and municipal teams

Click the button below and select "Emergency Israel Relief" from the dropdown menu

Our local Jewish community also needs your support during this time.

Your donation to the Campus & Community Security Fund provides benefits both the Weinberg Campus and community-wide security services, including training, building assessments, grant application assistance, law enforcement liaison, incident response, emergency preparedness, and communications.

Click the button below and select "Security" from the dropdown menu

Watch the moment when over 500 Long Beach community members came together in solidarity for Israel at our Community Vigil on Oct 10.

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Myths & Facts about Israel and Hamas: Discussing Difficult Topics 

What happened?

What happened?

  • On October 7, 2023, during the holidays of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, Hamas terrorists launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza, firing over 7,800 rockets, breaching the country’s borders, killing over 1,400 Israelis, wounding over 4,500, and kidnapping over 200 hostages of all ages. 
  • This was the most significant attack on Israel since the Yom Kippur War 50 years earlier, and the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust ended in 1945. When compared to total population, the death toll from the attack is over 13 times that of the September 11 terror attacks on the United States. 
  • In a cruel and murderous rampage, Hamas shot entire families in their homes, took civilians hostage, burned down homes, and stalked innocents fleeing for their lives. Holocaust survivors, the elderly, and young children are among the casualties and hostages, as were dozens of Arab Israelis. 
  • At a music festival outside of Re’im, near the Gaza border, Hamas massacred at least 260 attendees. 
  • In response to the attack, Israel’s cabinet declared a war to defend its sovereignty and its citizens. 

Myth: Israel deserves this

Myth: Israel deserves this after everything they’ve done to the Palestinians.

  • Victim-blaming is never justified.  
  • Hamas explicitly targets innocent civilians and brazenly puts these images on social media to create fear. In one case, a Hamas terrorist live-streamed the murder of a grandmother and posted it on Facebook. These actions are illegal under every international law of war. 
  • Israel has made numerous attempts to peacefully end the conflict over many decades, and Palestinian leadership has continued to rebuke such offers, instead opting for an escalation of hostility toward Israel and Israelis. Hamas has worked to derail peace efforts through terrorism by opposing any steps that would allow Israel to exist in any form. 
  • Israel has historically and regularly supplied Gaza with food, water, and electricity. In 2021, Israel sent approximately 104,000 truckloads of supplies – goods, food, and medical equipment – through the Kerem Shalom border crossing in Gaza, which was destroyed during the attack.  
  • About 20% of Israel’s population identify as Arab or Palestinian Israelis. They are entitled to the same rights to security and protection from terror as Jewish citizens of Israel. 

Myth: Israel’s response must be proportionate.

Myth: Israel’s response must be proportionate.

  • “Proportionality” is a term of legal significance. It does not mean that each side must suffer the same number of casualties or use the same tactics.  
  • Under international law, it is illegal to intentionally target civilians with military force. However, international law recognizes that military actions directed against legitimate targets of strategic value sometimes unfortunately result in civilian casualties.  
  • The “Doctrine of Proportionality” outlines the standard armed forces must consider when weighing military action. It dictates that military action cannot be “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.” Stated simply, this means that the balancing test to determine whether military action is “proportionate” is done in relation to the threat being faced. In this situation, it means Israel must respond to the threat of Hamas’ continued rule in Gaza, which is an existential one for the safety and security of its civilians, Jewish and Arab alike. 

Fact: Israeli military actions are a war against Hamas

Fact: Israeli military actions are a war against Hamas, not the Palestinian people.

  • Israel has encouraged civilians to evacuate to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible.   
  • Hamas has ordered people to remain in their homes and continues to use innocent Palestinian people as a human shields.   
  • Hamas has placed weapons and critical infrastructure in places near civilians, with the goal of increasing casualties and instigating further anti-Israel sentiment. Hamas encourages operatives to blend with civilians and fight in civilian centers to increase casualties. This is a war crime. 
  • Palestinians will only be able to truly prosper when Hamas and other terrorist groups end their war against Israel. 

Myth: Hamas is just trying to help its people.

Myth: Hamas is just trying to help its people.

  • No. Hamas is a genocidal, radical terrorist organization that is committed to the annihilation of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.  
  • A goal laid out in the Hamas charter and reiterated by its leaders is to rule the entire territory “from the river to the sea.”  
  • The organization has deliberately impeded progress toward establishing a two-state solution. 
  • Hamas uses their people as human shields – and their people are the ones who suffer the most. Since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, rather than use the hundreds of millions of dollars of aid given to build a vibrant Palestinian community, Hamas has used the money to build terror tunnels, to stockpile illegal munitions, and to provoke the Israeli army.  
  • Hamas has been proven to store weapons in and under mosques, hospitals, schools, and UN facilities.  
  • Massacres and hostage-taking aren’t humanitarian acts of service or tactics for freedom fighting. They are war crimes.  
  • As President Biden said: “Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian’s people’s right to dignity and self-determination. Its stated purpose is the annihilation of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” 

Myth: This is the same thing Israel has done

Myth: This is the same thing Israel has done to the Palestinians for 75 years.

  • False moral equivalency between Hamas terrorists and the Israeli Defense Forces is dangerous and disempowers the Jewish state from protecting its citizens, who are both Jewish and non-Jewish. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which predates the 1948 War of Independence, is a dispute that is about narrative as much as it is about the territory itself.  
  • Since the creation of the State of Israel, Israel has faced non-stop existential threats from surrounding countries and therefore has created the defense and deterrence capabilities necessary to defend her citizens. It has also proven, in the cases of Egypt and Jordan, that it is willing and able to create a peaceful resolution – including giving up land – in exchange for the end of hostilities.  
  • There has never been a moment of peace with Hamas. Furthermore, there are established systems and processes to resolve political and territorial disputes, which are not unique to Israel and the Palestinian territories.   

Myth: Palestinians have tried the non-violent path

Myth: Palestinians have tried the non-violent path before, and this is a reaction to the occupation.

  • Since 2005 alone more than 20,000 rockets have been fired into Israel. Hamas has taken soldiers and civilians hostage, perpetrated violence across the border, and illegally smuggled weapons in and out of Gaza. Hamas has continually said that it has no interest in a peaceful resolution to the conflict. 
  • The Hamas charter explicitly calls for the murder of Jews and the complete “obliteration” of Israel. 

Fact: Israel has repeatedly shown a willingness to compromise

Fact: Israel has repeatedly shown a willingness to compromise and accept a two-state solution.

  • Its leaders accepted two-state proposals in 1937 and 1947, and they offered the Palestinians land for peace in 2000 and 2008. Unfortunately, Palestinian and Arab leaders rejected all these peace plans and refused to accept the existence of a Jewish state in any territory. 
  • UN Resolution 242 [1967] assumed Israel would administer the territories until Arab countries were willing to negotiate new, more secure borders, as Egypt did in 1979 and Jordan did in 1994. Tragically, Palestinian leaders rejected every Israeli offer of peace and territorial compromise. 
  • Israel has demonstrated through peace agreements, disengagement, shared security infrastructure (e.g.: helping Egypt rid the Sinai of ISIS) and other agreements (e.g. water and electricity agreements with Jordan) that they will work with anyone in the region who will work with them. 

Myth: Gaza is an open-air prison

Myth: Gaza is an open-air prison and it’s Israel’s fault because of the occupation/blockade.

  • Hamas has been in control of Gaza since Israel withdrew all civilian and military presence in 2005 in the hopes of establishing peace with a Palestinian controlled territory. In exchange for disengaging from Gaza, militant factions, many of which are funded as Iran’s terror proxies with the sole mission to destroy Israel, have continually terrorized Israeli communities. 
  • Hamas is responsible for the lack of investment in civilian infrastructure and has failed to build a better life for their people.  
  • Israel has established the necessary security infrastructure to prevent the illegal smuggling of weapons into and out of Gaza. Despite its best efforts, however, terrorists continue to hide weapons in humanitarian aid packages and to use building materials intended for hospitals and schools to build miles of subterranean terror tunnels into Israeli neighborhoods. 

Fact: Gaza is not occupied.

Fact: Gaza is not occupied.

  • In 2005 Israel evacuated all settlements and removed all military presence and control over Gaza in an effort to seek territorial compromise and peace. The people of Gaza were given a chance to build their own society on a beautiful piece of waterfront land. Instead of using the funds from the UN and other international agencies to feed their population and build a society, Hamas used these funds toward weapons of destruction.   
  • Israel controls its own borders with Gaza to protect citizens and stop Hamas from importing weapons for terrorism. 
  • Hamas has been engaged in a genocidal war against Israel and has fired over 20,000 rockets and mortars at Israeli citizens since 2005. 

Myth: Israel practices apartheid.

Myth: Israel practices apartheid.

  • “Apartheid” = a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. 
  • Israel is a multicultural democracy and the only free country in the Middle East. Labeling Israel an “apartheid state” offends victims of real apartheid regimes. Israeli law enshrines equal rights for all citizens, and minorities participate fully in public life. 
  • While Israel, like other multi-ethnic democracies, struggles with disadvantages its minorities face, its laws seek to eradicate inequality.  
  • Israel does not practice apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza. Measures like the security barrier do not exist to separate people based on religion or ethnicity but rather to protect Israeli civilians of all backgrounds (Jewish and Arab alike) from racist, terrorist groups. When Palestinian leaders finally agree to peace, these measures will become unnecessary. 

Fact: Israel provides water and educational resources

Fact: Israel provides water and educational resources to Palestinians and Arab countries.

  • Israel is at the forefront of innovation in water sustainability. Israel provides training for farmers in agriculture and sustainability in the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, and around the world.   
  • Israel shares its water with Palestinians and helped modernize their water systems after 1967. Some Palestinian communities do face water shortages today, but this is primarily because Palestinian leaders have failed to maintain their infrastructure properly, not because of Israel.  
  • More than 28.5 million liters of water are now entering Gaza daily with the opening of a second pipeline from Israel.   
  • Hamas, elected by the people of Gaza, is responsible for the well-being of its citizens. The Hamas regime has diverted large quantities of provisions and aid for military and terror purposes, while its wealthy leadership has squandered urgent resources for themselves. 

Fact: Eliminating Hamas is a legitimate war

Fact: Eliminating Hamas is a legitimate war backed by International Law.

  • Israel has a right and responsibility to its people to defend itself now and protect its citizens from future attacks.    
  • Archeological, biblical, and historical records show a constant Jewish presence in Israel for over 3,000 years. Israel is 1/800 the size of the Arab world. 
  • Roughly 25% of Israelis are non-Jews, the vast majority of whom are Muslim and Christian Arabs.  
  • Israel is smaller than New Jersey. Israel can fit into the state of California 19 times. The United States is 33 times the size of Israel. 243 confirmed hostages in Israel x 33 = Imagine the response if 8,019 citizens, mostly civilians, of all ages were being kept hostage by a terrorist group in the United States. 

Myth: Palestinians have had many more people die

Myth: Palestinians have had many more people die – what happened in Israel is nothing in comparison.

  • The loss of every innocent life is tragic.  
  • Hamas and other terrorist leadership in Gaza cynically uses their own populations as human shields. The biggest impact of the ongoing conflict is to the general Palestinian population living under the authoritarian rule of Hamas.  
  • Israel has taken great lengths to prevent innocent casualties, including aborting critical missions if there is intelligence that innocent people are in harm's way. Israel loses the element of surprise by warning Palestinians before it strikes Hamas’ terror and military targets. So far in this war the IDF has distributed over 1.5 million pamphlets across Gaza, sent 4.3 million text messages and issued over 5.9 million prerecorded phone calls and 20,000 live phone calls, urging civilians to evacuate the northern strip, where military operations are focused. 
  • Israel has built corridors to create safe passage for the evacuation of civilians in Gaza but, again demonstrating their complete disregard for human life, Hamas has ordered residents not to leave, blocking safe corridors, and forcing their own civilian population to remain in the fighting zone and become human shields and propaganda pawns. 
  • Failed rocket launches from Gaza have been the cause of many Palestinian casualties. 
  • The legal term “disproportionate force” does not refer to the equivalence in casualties or weaponry, but to military actions that cause more civilian harm than is warranted by the military gains. Knowing that tragically civilians always suffer from wars, Israel has practiced restraint despite Hamas’ relentless attacks against Israeli citizens, though most countries would not tolerate even one rocket attack. 

Myth: Israel should practice restraint.

Myth: Israel should practice restraint.

  • In the days and weeks following the horrendous massacre committed on October 7, 2023, there will be much analysis to understand how such atrocities took place. In the meantime, Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces must do what is necessary to protect Israeli citizens and secure the Israeli borders.  
  • Until now, the strategy of deterrence rested on the assumption that Hamas was not interested in a full-scale war, nor was it capable of it. The events of October 7 show that Hamas is determined to humiliate, dehumanize, and destroy Israel. This requires the fullest response possible.   
  • Israel, a sovereign nation, has a moral right and obligation to defend itself and protect its citizens from current and future attacks. 

Fact: It is possible to unequivocally support Israel’s right to exist

Fact: It is possible to unequivocally support Israel’s right to exist and protect itself while being concerned about the actions of the Israeli government.

  • For much of the last year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis actively protested against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government and their proposed judicial reforms. These concerns have not gone away, they have just taken a back seat to the current situation and the need to eliminate Hamas and protect Israeli citizens. 
  • Netanyahu’s approach to this war has many supporters within Israel and around the world, and there are some who would have him go even further. But there are other Israelis and Jews throughout the globe who mourn the loss of all civilian life, and many who struggle with the notion that the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7 justify causing harm to the civilian population. 
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is nuanced and difficult. Few wars are black and white. It is possible to hold conflicting emotions and opinions simultaneously. 

Fact: A ceasefire is not a good idea at this point.

Fact: A ceasefire is not a good idea at this point.

  • A cease-fire, or humanitarian pause, sounds good. Who wouldn’t want the war to stop?   
  • It also means Hamas still has its weapons, thousands of missiles aimed at Israeli civilians, and a terrorist infrastructure that can and most certainly will commit another atrocity like October 7. 
  • Israel must dismantle and destroy Hamas to prevent this from happening again.  
  • Israel did not choose this war. Hamas – an internationally armed, financed, and trained terrorist organization whose stated purposed is the complete destruction of Israel – started this war. 
  • Israel has stated that its siege of Gaza will continue until Hamas releases the over 240 hostages it is holding captive.  
  • Hamas also has the option to lay down its weapons and recognize Israel as a nation. If it does that, the fighting stops.   
  • Israel didn’t break the last ceasefire. That was Hamas on October 7, 2023.   

Get the latest updates from our leadership on the situation and our response