Partnership for the Goals

SDG 17 – Global Village will Prevail

While grieving and understandably focused on ensuring the country’s future, at the end of the day Israel is very much part of the global village. Attracting people from around the world, it isn’t surprising that so many foreign nationals were also victimized in the October 7 Hamas attack.

One prominent example is the tragic Nova music festival, planned as a local spin-off of the Brazilian original; its co-founder attended – and escaped – the Israeli event (other artists from abroad survived as well).

There, Hamas annihilated what began as a 3,000-strong party of “free love and spirit, environmental preservation.” The terror organization murdered more than 260 innocents and kidnapped numerous others; it just couldn’t stomach values that the free, liberal world holds dear.

The Hamas attack didn’t only victimize foreign nationals who came to party. Many were in Israel to benefit from the country’s broad efforts to share its agricultural knowhow. That’s why 10 students from Nepal murdered by Hamas came. That’s why a Cambodian student killed by Hamas came. That’s why two students from Tanzania kidnapped to Gaza came. They were all part of the global village’s efforts to make the world a better place – the essence of social impact. The exact opposite of what Hamas seeks.

SDG 17 - Global Village will Prevail - Social Impact Israel
@Shalev Shalom

Many other foreign nationals caught by the Hamas attack were in Israel just to make a living for themselves and their families. Thai nationals were hit the hardest, with a significant number of killed and kidnapped; an estimated 5,000 – mostly working in agriculture – were in the area attacked. Israel’s Interior Minister spoke (Hebrew) in this context with Thailand’s Foreign Minister, guaranteeing that Thai nationals who wish to leave would receive all payments and benefits to which they are entitled; he also promised that Israel would do everything necessary to ensure the safety of those remaining (its Prime Minister, who has expressed a preference that they return home, recently announced that the 23 kidnapped Thais being held by Hamas are “safe and will be released soon”).

The October 7 Hamas attack has brought forward many stories of tragedy, but also of heroism; this is no less true when it comes to the foreign nationals victimized in Israel.

One of these inspiring examples concerns two caregivers from India, who protected the elderly Israeli couple in their care by holding the safe room door closed for five hours (one of them told about the ordeal in this video). Then there’s the Filipino caregiver who saved both her life and that of her 95-year-old employer when she convinced a Hamas terrorist to take her savings and leave them alone; following the incident she canceled her flight ticket home and stayed. Many of the caregivers remain with those displaced throughout the country.

We should remember each and every one of the many foreign nationals who, together with their Israeli counterparts, were victimized by the terror attack. They are all the standard bearers of the global village, which Hamas failed to destroy.

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