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Reader Post: The Hardest Part About Living In Israel

love from israelWhat is the hardest part about living in Israel?

Big surprise coming folks….

It isn’t the lack of Pumpkin Spice lattes or Mint Chip coffee creamer. It isn’t the loving family I left behind that I only see once a year, it also isn’t the high price of gas ($8.00 gallon) or the heavy taxes we pay. The hardest part for me in living in Israel is living with sworn enemies. Enemies that swear their entire purpose in life is to wipe you from the map, push you to the sea, spill your blood, decapitate your children and savagely destroy all you hold dear.

It is hard waking up each day knowing I’m hugging my kids as they walk out the door to school praying them safe, while a mother a few miles away is wishing her child well on a quest to kill Jews.

Jews are known as the People of the Book. The Torah (5 books of Moses) is our guide. Judeo-Christian ethics are the basis of modern democracy and the America my great, great, great grandparents were lucky enough to escape to from Russia. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and all that. Remember, those values start with LIFE!

So then “what’s so hard about being Israeli”? We “have the planes and the legal guns and the bullet proof vests”- right? How hard can our lives really be? “If we cant hack it, why don’t we just pick up and leave?” “Maine and Montana have lots of land for sale.” These are the questions you ask me repeatedly. You tell me to just abandon our homeland and leave it for the Arabs. They will stay here in Israel and we can just go somewhere else “to be safe”.

Is that what people do when challenged? Do you just pick up and leave? Is that what you do in a hostage situation? Do you just abandon the hostages and say, “nope – kill them all – we don’t care?”

No, you don’t. And that is why hostage situations exist – at least in the West they do. Where people care about the lives of others. Westerners care about LIFE.

But imagine for a second if you can a situation where the hostage takers want to die. Where there is no value on life. Where they took the hostages for the sole purpose of dying. Where martyrdom is the ultimate goal. Now imagine you are the hostage negotiator. You have no chips. You have nothing to bargain with and you have no way to “win”. You want life, they want death.

So for many people the answer is then simple. It doesn’t matter whose land it is, or it was or it should be. We should just “go” to avoid the conflict. We should just “pick up and run and save ourselves”.

But let’s be honest here for a second, world. I mean really honest.

Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. It says so in the Torah, in the Bible and even in the Koran. It is our one and only homeland. It isn’t the third holiest place or the second holiest or the 4th holiest. We only have one, and it is here.

For 2000 years we were killed and beaten and expelled and harassed. Our biggest crime was being “different”, being Jews. But still, we always looked towards home. Towards Jerusalem. Every year on Yom Kippur and on Passover, our families chanted for 2000 years ” Next Year in Jerusalem”. Not next year in Mecca or Medina -always Jerusalem. We never wavered. We never had another home.

Surrounded by 22 Muslim Countries. Where most women lack basic rights, where homosexuals are hanged and stoned to death and burned at the stake. Where Christians are slaughtered for their beliefs. Where Jews aren’t even allowed onto their airplanes, let alone into their countries. Where their own women can’t drive, or leave their home without a male escort.

Here we are, little Israel. The size of New Jersey. A beacon of democracy, with western values, equal rights for women, gay pride parades, Arab citizens (with equal rights) and a love of life. Life, people. LIFE.

That is all we want. To live, in peace. To LIVE.

We are happy to share, to give what we have to the world.

Just stop expelling us. Stop slaughtering us. Stop kicking us out. We just want to be here, in our home. We want no other. No grandiose imperialistic schemes here. Just our little Israel. One tiny slither of a state for our entire people – where nothing grew and no country desired, until we made it blossom and grow.

To life my friends, to LIFE.

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