The Unexpected Attack from a Friend

Alan J. Schwarz
9 min readJan 5, 2024

After October 7th, how you define a Friend is a whole new question

Image by Zol Tan from Pixabay

The news from Israel was grim. Alan Sokol was glued to his television screen in disbelief. Hamas had launched the worst Terrorist attack in Israel’s young history. The atrocities they had carried out were a Nazi’s dream. They decapitated babies, raped women, shot and killed people murdering whoever they saw and then they took hostages. They were on a blood lust mission to kill and damage Jews.

While committing crimes against humanity the Terrorists laughed and celebrated their barbarism. Alan couldn’t believe that he was living in 2024, it was as if the world had gone back to medieval times or at the very least the times of the Nazis.

That night he was scheduled to go to dinner with his friend Penelope (Penny) Hardwick. He called her and she answered on the second ring ‘’Hi Al, I confirmed our reservation at Zero’s. I booked a billiards table and everything is set.’’ Alan felt as much like going out as having teeth pulled. ‘’Penny, have you seen what’s happening in Israel. I have to cancel tonight, I’m really sorry, but I just don’t have the strength. I am completely numb and in shock.’’ There was a long pause. ‘’Uh, Okay. I’m kind of disappointed, I was looking forward to getting together, but I guess I understand. I don’t quite get why you think not going out is going to help the people in Israel, but it’s your call. We can talk during the week. ‘’ It wasn’t the most sensitive response she could have given, but it was what it was. ‘’Okay, Thanks for understanding. Talk to you soon.’’

After he hung up, Alan thought about Penny. She told him more than once that her family was originally from England and that she had Jewish lineage. Penny’s Mom never talked about it, but she was sure she was Jewish. As a young girl Penny and her Mother went to Church every Sunday and she was brought up Catholic. She always said she was an ‘’honourary’’ Jew and knew it because she had a special affection for bagels.

Alan slowly (almost in a haze) sat down in a chair stunned. Penny seemed more upset that they weren’t going to shoot pool than the atrocities that had been perpetrated against the Jewish people. If she was Jewish she would have known that when one Jew hurt, all Jews hurt.



Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.