Am Yisrael Chai

The People of Israel Live

This is a blog that should have been written last week, but I’m having great difficulty expressing the feelings the events have brought forth. First we must put things in perspective. Based on the relative size of our countries, Israels loss is the equivalent of America losing over 40,000 in one attack. It is unimaginable.

I cannot express the horror one feels when they hear about the attacks that took place last week. This wasn’t a few rockets lobbed across the border, but it was a calculated disaster that brought death to many, a large number who were simply attending a concert. Parents watched as their children were killed and kidnapped. Children watched as their parents were taken from them forever. This is not something one ‘gets over.’

The news coming out of Israel is not only horrifying, but heartbreaking. Our sorrows remind us of other attacks, of the holocaust, the deaths of six million at the hands of another set of monsters. My apologies, but I don’t have the skill to express the feelings one gets when their friends are threatened. It’s just too hideous…

I have never understood the concept of ‘antisemitism.” It seems to be hatred simply because someone exists. The only thing I can grasp is the concept of jealousy and lack of personal self confidence. I can’t do it, so I must hate those that can. Think what people could do if all the energy spent in hatred was focused on their own lives. But that’s a conversation for another day.

Through a number of trips we have made lifelong friends in this tiny country. There is the founder of TIBA, and also the owner of Central Park. There are companies like Ganis and HTS, plus the editor of the country’s parking magazine.  We have met the managers of parking in Tel Aviv, architects in Jerusalem, been to factories in the shadow of the Golan Heights and yes, toured the ancient cities built by Jews thousands of years ago. We were in the Israel when the US moved our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and felt the excitement and thanks that permeated the populace.

This is a kind country. It accepts other religions. There are churches and mosques as well as synagogues. It has Arabs in its government and honors them as members of the Knesset. The people love their families. You can feel the respect the young have for their elders when you see families walking together along the boulevards of Tel Aviv. Israel is a democracy with all benefits and the discomfort that goes with it.  All that being said, there is something just below the surface, that something is a saying: “Never Again.”

Since its founding in 1948, Israel has fought defensive wars against monstrous regimes, made peace time and time again.  It is time for that to end. Israel will wage all out war, and it will not stop until the monsters who attacked it are gone. As a country we must support our ally. As individuals we must silence the hatred we hear coming from opposition groups here at home.

We must ensure that all the support we have goes to Israel, and we must pray that they are successful in their awful endeavor.


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One Response to Am Yisrael Chai

  1. Michael Watkins says:

    Greatly appreciate your heartfelt comments, John. This terrible tragedy – and actions and consequences still yet to unfold – indeed warrants the same type of grieving, attention, discussions, consideration, reconsideration, understanding and changes that were made in the U.S. 22 years ago. Among the many complexities that exist in Israel, Gaza, the Middle East and the world, the simplicity and sound of hatred has never been more apparent or louder. While lasting solutions may be difficult to create, the effort must be made nonetheless by all, whether directly impacted or distant observers. Everyone should be willing to contribute what they can toward a more accepting and understanding perspective, a greater openness toward community, more curiosity about people different from ourselves and a less hate-filled existence on earth. I’m in. Who’s with me?

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