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The Human Cost of Terror

The Human Cost of Terror

The faces and lives and potential of those prematurely cut down.

by Jason Schwartz & One Family Fund

Click here to visit One Family Fund.

The Human Cost of Terror
By Jason Schwartz

This work was born out of a sense of deep frustration. In 2002, as this period known as the Al Aqsa Intifidah was really reaching a critical point and what seemed like an ongoing barrage of daily attacks was taking place, I had to ask myself if I could really go on functioning in my own reality as if nothing was happening in a place very dear to me ... a place where my family and friends were facing (to borrow Robert Sarner's description) "premeditated mass murder" on a daily basis.

To compound the pain of these moments was an unforgiving and slanted campaign of propaganda and half-truths directed by much of the media at Israel and its policies. The real salt in the wounds though, was the misappropriation of Holocaust imagery and terminology that was being freely directed at Israel. Terms such as "Nazis," "apartheid state," and "massacres" were the ultimate insult. Furthermore watching the mis-steps of the Canadian government, its leaders at the time and our national broadcaster in response to this onslaught was also very difficult to bear.

As someone who has spent much personal time speaking to, interviewing and photographing close to 200 Holocaust survivors over the years, I may be particularly sensitized to these events described. After all the "Schindler's Lists," "The Pianists" and countless other movies depicting the 6 million tragedies of the Holocaust it seems that Israel is still having to fight for its right to exist - to live in peace and to exist without having its mothers, children, brothers, sisters incinerated and mangled by shrapnel and fire.

My goal in presenting this work was firstly to show the personal stories of those who have been affected most by these recent events ... to get behind the statistics, the casualty lists - to present the faces and lives and potential of those prematurely cut down.

My second objective was to help raise money and awareness for these victims to help them get their lives back together as best they can but just as importantly, to show them that we have not forgotten - a silent promise that I made to myself and those nearly 200 Holocaust survivors who had shared the lessons of their experiences with me.

* * *

February 3, 2007

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 11

(11) anon, February 17, 2007 10:51 PM


Needs wider circulation, especially for the younger crowd- college age...

(10) Batsheva, February 10, 2007 10:14 PM

Moving and devastating

(9) J.M.Freeman, February 8, 2007 7:27 PM

moving and excellent

Needs wider circulation as an educational tool for non Jewish people

(8) Susan Coopersmith, February 8, 2007 9:50 AM


I, too, am frustrated by all the one sided publicity. We need more people like Jason Schwartz and One Family Fund to tell our side of the story. (Although, unfortunately, most people won't listen. Their Anti-Semitisim runs deep.)

(7) Michael Herzog, February 8, 2007 9:10 AM

The Human cost of Terror a comment

I don't understand why the world is willing to give such a distorted view of Israel and its fight for survival. I don't know why Jimmy Carter has such a prejudice against Israel. I don't understand the Holocaust, Hitler didn't act alone. What I do know is that Israel must survive and anti-semitism must be fought openly and aggressively whether its Mel Gibson's Passion or Jimmy Carter's book or that new form of Hitler in Iran. We're not just defending Israel but the right of free people everywhere to live in peace and the soul's of six million dead cry out that we do more than just talk about it.

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