I love a dare. I’m rarely able to resist one. Dare me, dare me…I’ve been dared:
I told my two (oh so important) jewish friends you´ll never publish this. Let´s see who is right.
I guess, along with much else in your comment, you were proved wrong here as well. So, now that I’ve brought your comment to focus and all eyes to see – let’s see what you didn’t believe I would post:
Your country is the US. You have NO right of the lands you are in right now. NO rights!!
By this twisted logic of yours…my country should be Poland and Russia and my children’s country should be the US and Hungary. But wait, go back another few generations, and you’ve got more of Poland and Spain. Go back further…and you have it – Israel. Israel was always my land, always will be. It is that fundamental sense of belonging that you just don’t get. It isn’t for you to tell me where I belong, what is my land. I was born in the United States, that’s true. Largely in part to the fact that three of my grandparents had to flee persecution in Europe. One grandfather fled Poland – do you really still consider him Polish? One grandmother managed to survive when the building she was in (a synagogue, by the way) was set on fire by the Christians in her village during a pogrom in Russia). Do you really consider her Russian? What right do you have to decide when history counts and when it doesn’t? When it stops and when it starts?
I grew up in the United States, that’s true. But from a very young age, I understood two things: the United States is a great country, and the United States wasn’t mine. I couldn’t, in all honesty, repeat the pledge of allegiance that they said daily in elementary school. “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America” (http://www.wvsd.uscourts.gov/outreach/Pledge.htm). I spoke to the teacher…she said – stand, stand and don’t say it, but stand out of respect. And so I did, for the country that had sheltered my grandparents and my future in-laws. I could not sing the Christmas carols in school and so I sat quietly. It wasn’t mine, I told myself again and again.
Your kids yes, especially the ones born there. But I think they too belong to your family and your land is the US. (But them coming there so young and helpless of course they can call themselves Israelis. They were forced there. SHAME ON YOU!
But again, this isn’t about you, is it? You think “they too belong to your family”..well, gee, thanks for that….and to again, that comment about deciding what my land is. There have always been Jews in the land of Israel – dating back thousands of years. If you don’t want to believe the Bible, believe science. Both show our presence here – always here. Yes, many were forced out and later generations grew up in Spain, Greece, Italy, Russia, Poland, Germany, Holland and yes, even the United States. And through all that time, three times a day, many turned to this spot and sent their prayers, their support, and many their futures. I did not leave my home in the United States almost 20 years ago, I came home.
If you have children, do you take them to the store? Do you take them to your parents’ house? Is everything with a child forced? If you think so, I’d say you don’t know much about parenting. Withing two weeks of coming to Israel, my 6-year-old Elie was talking on the phone to his grandparents, going on and on about his new friends, new room, and I remember so clearly, “Savta [grandma], we are so free here. So free!” – he was talking about the joy of being able to walk to his friends alone because in America I never let my young children go unaccompanied anywhere.
Shame on me? For what? For coming home? For bringing my children to a place that has invested so much in their future and given them a sense of being, a sense of self, a deeper understanding of their lives as Jews? My sister, brother and I never volunteered for the local ambulance squad, for example. My fourth child has just completed the local ambulance squad course and testing and will soon start volunteering – following ALL three of my older children. They love this country and even if I were to choose to leave Israel tomorrow, they would stay. Forced? Not by a long shot. Shame? None.
Well… as an audience just observing this mess you got yourselfs into I can tell u about my jewish friends they fled from different countries, with Israel as an option, decided that they didnt want to send their sons at war for a country they didnt grow up in.
The mess we got ourselves into? Do you know history at all? Even a little? Jews were in this land. Arabs were in this land. It was not an Arab land…or a Jewish one back in the 1900s, 1920s, 1940s. The Ottomans (Turks) were defeated; the land was given to the British as part of a mandate. They cut off two thirds of the land and gave it to the Hashemites to create Jordan, and then promised the rest of the land to both the Jews (first) and then the Arabs.
Apparently, that little double promise didn’t sit well and they began losing control and were sick of the whole thing. They kicked it back to the newly formed United Nations, which decided to divide the land (November, 1947). The Jews rejoiced – that our ancient (and modern) homeland would again be fully ours. We accepted our HALF of the land and began dreaming of the State we would build, of the people we would welcome home after what was done to them in Europe…your Europe, if my guess is correct.
As an aside, yes, Jews chose to go other places – but not all decided based on trying to avoid war for their sons. My in-laws (both survivors who had lost their parents and some siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents to Hitler’s plan) just wanted out of Europe. They applied to the British to come to Palestine; they applied to the US; they applied to Australia – anything, anywhere just to get away. Some got visas to Australia; some got visas to Palestine (my in-laws) and shipped their possessions here and waited for the others. The British blocked the visas because of pressure from the Arabs and so they went to the only place willing to welcome them all – the United States.
Going back to November, 1947 – we accepted the half we would receive; the Arabs did not. They spoke of pushing the Jews into the sea with the help of their Arab brothers. The State of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948. On that day – within hours – at least five Arab countries attacked. Their plan was to finish, at least in Palestine, what Hitler had begun.
You speak of your Jewish friends but sadly don’t identify the land in which you live. If it is France or the England, there’s a decent chance they are now wondering how safe it is to be a Jew in those countries after numerous anti-Semitic attacks. If it is Holland, same thing. On and on, it goes. I chose to bring my sons to Israel, knowing they would be drafted and join the army here, knowing they would learn to use weapons against our enemies. I agonized over my son going to war. Agony and fear. Fear for his safety; agony for what he was forced to learn, forced to do – to stop Gaza from firing hundreds of rockets at our civilians.
If there was any force in all of this history you wish to twist and corrupt, it is in what the Arabs have forced us to do to defend ourselves and the fact that despite this force, we continue to resist the temptation to finish the battle as other nations would. Others with the strength we have, would do what the Arabs threatened to do to us 63 years ago. With all the power of our army and air force, how long do you think it would take to push Gaza into the sea? I would suggest minutes – seriously.
We choose to continue to target their rocket launchers, their training camps, their arsenals. And when we do – they lie about martyrs dying. Those “martyrs” were about to fire a rocket at 1 million people. And while we target their military infrastructure, they target our civilian one. They fired a rocket directly at a school bus, killing a 16-year-old boy. They fired at our cities, hitting schools, malls, homes.
And now? What? They are citizens as any citizen. We live work and laugh together. I told my two (oh so important) jewish friends you´ll never publish this. Let´s see who is right.
I’m glad your Jewish friends are citizens as any citizen and hope they remain safe. Tell them Israel is here, protecting them in a way you are likely unable to understand. Tell them if they come visit, we will welcome them home because Israel is their home, just as it is mine and always was. You told your Jewish friends that I would never publish this – I guess you were wrong…about more than you can imagine.
Israel is my land. Three of my children are old enough to choose to live elsewhere if they wanted to – they choose to live here, marry here, and one has already brought a third generation Israeli into our family with the birth of our grandson. Two of my children were born here. This is my land.