I unequivocally condemn the horrifying and despicable terrorist attacks launched by Hamas on innocent Israeli civilians on Oct. 7.
I am overwhelmed with admiration for the bravery displayed by my cousins currently serving on reserve duty in Israel. And I am praying for the continued safety of my grandmother and aunts and uncles, who are sheltering in place. On a personal level, I am so grateful for your continued prayers for the safety of my extended family.
As the proud grandson of my late Grandfather Boris, a Holocaust refugee, and as person of Jewish faith, I have struggled to articulate the depths of the devastation I am feeling. But as an elected official, I write with a responsibility to speak with absolute clarity during this difficult time.
Though the war is thousands of miles away, our work locally is so important at this moment. There are actions we need to take here in our county, including the following:
• Continuing to work in partnership with the Nassau County Police Department to increase the frequency of patrols and the number of police guarding our houses of worship and neighborhoods;
• Upholding the law I co-sponsored to ban companies who support BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) from earning government contracts;
• Ensuring that we, as a county, fully abide by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, which we adopted in 2021;
• Working in tandem with Long Island nonprofits to fulfill supply drives and shipments of products to Israel for soldiers and citizens.
The sheer barbarism of the Hamas attack is hard to fathom. It is gut-wrenching and almost inconceivable to think that these terrorists kidnapped, raped and tortured women. They beheaded dozens of babies. They captured wheelchair-bound senior citizens. And we continue to discover more Israeli deaths at the hands of unspeakable terror.
As difficult as it is, we cannot look away. It’s right now, in this
moment, that the world must stand united in its categorical belief that these crimes against humanity must lead to the final elimination of Hamas and its abominable reign of terror from this Earth.
It is with a heavy heart that I recall conversations with my late Grandfather Boris, because he would remind me consistently to promise him I would always remember two very important words: Never. Again.
Though he is no longer with us, I wish I could respond to him: “Never again” is right now.
And so in his memory, I declare:
To our friends of all different faiths and backgrounds who have spoken out to support Israel: We are grateful for your solidarity.
To those institutions, nations and individuals who have chosen to equivocate in this moment: We will remember with disgust your silence.
And to those terrorist, inhuman savages in Hamas who perpetrated these atrocities: We, the Jewish people, a people who have overcome adversity for thousands of years, will eradicate you from the face of the Earth.
May God bless and protect Israel, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
Joshua Lafazan represents Nassau County’s 18th Legislative District.