Shalom there people!
Over the pass week, some of you have expressed your concern over the current Israeli-Lebanon conflict, so I thought you might appreciate some words ‘from the front’.
The basic plot is not so easy to recap, as where do you start?
Do you start nine days ago when two Israeli soldiers patrolling the Israeli side of the border were kidnapped?
Do you start six years ago when Israel withdrew from south Lebanon, complying with all UN resolutions?
Or maybe sixty years ago when a Jewish state was born out of the need for a home for European refugees?
Since I would probably be suspected of favoring one side, I would let CNN tell the facts and stick to telling you about my own personal feelings:
I am sitting here in my living room, typing this email at 4am, while fighter jets can be heard taking off from a near by base. It’s a scary feeling to wake up one day and find out your countrymen are randomly dying in a cruel rocket lottery. When asking people for the latest news they reply ‘Nothing much. 70 rocket since this morning, but no one injured severely’ – I tell ya, it’s a whole other scale we are measuring bad news around here, and I can only assume it would take a stranger some time to get the hang of.
Most of the citizens are willing to bite their lips and suffer this ordeal, as they support the army in its attempt to reestablish our sovereignty. I guess peace is an impossible concept in this part of the world – and so, to quote an awful nineties dance track, my generation would settle for ‘You don’t f@#k me, I don’t f%$k you’ 🙂
I have to say, though, that it is quite refreshing to get some leeway from the world, especially from your [U.S.] government – I know many of you are critical of your leadership – I know I certainly am, but it seems that out of all the misery and all the bad things that happened after September 11th, there is a general sense around here that ‘the world finally understands it now’, after a long period of time of Israelis feeling like a reprover in the gate. That is, until tomorrow or early next week, when the world will decide it had enough and will force Israel to stop its military actions, accusing it of not being proportional with its reaction to the attacks. I tell ya, I have had it up to here with the PC terminology turning into PC actions… What is the current cost of human life these days?
Either way, since summarizing the Arab-Israeli conflict in an email is a bit presumptuous, if you are really interested in understanding this whole thing, I highly recommend a book by Alan Dershowitz (yes, the OJ lawyer) called ‘The Case For Israel‘ where he tackles all the questions and accusations this country regularly faces in the media. It’s a must read for those of you who might be confronted on campus and might not know all the facts.
For those on the run, I think reading ‘The Butter Battle Book‘ by Dr. Seuss might be a good start 🙂
I wish you all the best, and leave you with this quote from the TV series ‘The West Wing’ –
How about when we, instead of blowing Iraq back to the seventh century for harbouring terrorists and trying to develop nuclear weapons, we just imposed economic sanctions and were reviled by the Arab world for not giving them a global charge card and a free trade treaty? How about when we pushed Israel to give up land for peace? How about when we sent American soldiers to protect Saudi Arabia, and the Arab world told us we were desecrating their holy land? We’ll ignore the fact that we were invited. […]
I don’t remember having to explain to Italians that our problem wasn’t with them, but with Mussolini! Why
does the U.S. have to take every Arab country out for an ice cream cone? They’ll like us when we win!