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The Terror Attack on Israel

October 12, 2023

At 6am on Saturday, almost a week ago, life in Israel changed forever. 

Early that morning sirens started to warn Israelis of a missile attack at huge scale. Thousands of missiles were shot at many Israeli cities, catching everyone asleep. What followed was an unconscionable, unprecedented, and brutal terror attack by Hamas militants on Israeli civilians. 

Stories of unimaginable violence are still emerging, violence against civilians – against women, children, and 85-year-old grandparents – people young and old in their homes. As well as hundreds of young music lovers who attended a music festival and were brutally murdered. So far the death toll is over 1,300 people, with 100s more missing who may well be dead, and at least 100 innocent people held by Hamas. 

And now we here in Israel are at war. 

As many of you know, several members of NFX’s team and many of our portfolio companies are located in Israel. We live here. This is our home. 

While the team and our founders and families are unharmed for now, too many of our friends and their children are not. Some people in our immediate NFX network have been called in for reserve army duty. And everyone in Israel knows people affected. 

I personally know 4 kids who died in this attack: young sons of good friends of mine. I also know one kid who is missing, probably held in Gaza. I just got back from one of their funerals, my 4th this week.

And so I sat down to write this. 

Even a single death is unacceptable. Thousands is unfathomable. 

This is a major crisis, which you have to understand so that you don’t take what I say next lightly: Israel will prevail. 

It took me a few days to write this note because of the way Israel works. In parallel to the military fighting back, Israelis young and old immediately started helping, building, and creating new solutions to what is broken and planning for a quick recovery. 

We do what got us the name Startup Nation. We attack the problem from many directions until we solve it, with unstoppable determination and a get-it-done attitude. 

I am part of an amazing group of people, many of them leaders in the tech ecosystem, who started what we call the Civil Emergency HQ. It is now operating (after only 5 days) with more than 20,000 volunteers and is supporting both the soldiers and the families affected by the terror attack with food, shelter, clothing, and everything else they need. We work around the clock under constant missile fire, running to shelter every few hours. But we are helping craft reality the way we do in Startup Nation.

Israel will prevail and will also continue to be one of the strongest startup communities in the world. We always knew this about our Israeli teams, but we’re still amazed by their tenacity and spirit. Our NFX companies continue to operate, while keeping safe, and we will support them in every way possible during this time. This spirit is what will ensure Israel’s continued success.

This is a very hard period, but one that makes me very proud of our nation. 

For better, more peaceful days!

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Author
Gigi Levy-Weiss
General Partner
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