Israel Cherishes Springtime Moments

Everything is flowering in Israel at the moment. Bursting with a full spectrum and combinations of colors only nature can provide. Blossoms are everywhere, from trees to bushes to lowly grass, in gardens, yards, construction sites, on the roadside and in the most unexpected places. No one will forgo celebrating a spring showing off its natural beauty and a chance to escape dormancy for a short, extraordinarily beautiful while.

Life grabs the moment and lives to the fullest, opening up and delicately discovering a world, bestowing its natural beauty as a gift, not to oneself but to others. It is an intoxicating feeling of sharing, one that should be encapsulated and put aside for safekeeping for colder, darker or grayer times.

I am surrounded by colors, smells and the singing of birds, and I stand still, wishing to take more of this exhilaration inward, capture the moment and not let go. But it matters not how much I enjoy, there is more, an abundance of goodness for all to share, and for me to further continue to indulge.

Springtime 1

It seems endless, but I know better. It is short lived, and will soon dry up, leaving dried plants everywhere in the scorching summer heat. Then we will have to exercise extreme caution to avoid accidental fires as they, too, will be glorious in magnitude and destruction. They too will seem unstoppable, if even for a short duration.

Israel is not much different, life cherishing the moment: Parents having children, an endless stream of families walking along the neighborhood streets; high-rise buildings and new neighborhoods sprouting everywhere; cultural events that can fully occupy a person and satiate even the greatest thirst. Breakfast, lunch and dinner places overflowing with cliental that changes as the sun moves through the skies from East to West. Tourists abound, Israelis going overseas in droves and foreigners coming to Israel, all ignoring the constant news, eager to explore and personally view this treasure along the shores of the Mediterranean.

Life is celebrating, and I stand in the midst of it all. Beauty circling around me in a stream of colors, sights and sounds, blurred into a most beautiful mix and creating nature’s spring melody, a very special dance. Intoxicated, I take it all in. I fill every available storage container with this feeling of growth, for I know we will sorely need it in the coming months and years.

Springtime 2

There will be times that it will seem possible that such grandeur of nature’s appearance was only a dream and can never materialize again. There will be a point where we will not trust our own memories and may loose the very essence of life. Then we will have to go to the most protected inner sanctum and with a trembling body bring the light out, a cherished treasure we stowed for exactly such dark times, the goodness we embraced in the spring of 2011.

The Middle East has been in great turmoil since the beginning of this year. Decades of iron-fisted rule crumbled in seconds, one Arab ruler gone after the next. The so-called “Spring” or “Youth” Revolution is a completely different reality than what I witness in Israel. Theirs is the salty taste of blood, and the colors flowing are warm, live red to dark, dried red to corpse black.

Theirs are the guns pointing and shooting at their own people for they care not about life; not even their own.

Springtime 3

Egypt transformed from a trusted ally to the stronghold and hope of the Muslim Brotherhood. Libya is still laughing at the world, and will soon inflict its own punishments in retribution for the West’s interference in lands not theirs. Turkey feels a momentary surge of strength, but it will be too short lived once Iran takes over their country. In Jordan things will soon grind to a standstill, and the Arabian Peninsula may collapse at an instant if Iran decides to advance via Iraq to save its Syrian and Lebanese cronies.

I would not have believed this assessment had I not witnessed the collapse of the Middle East with my very eyes during the past four months. A visitor to the region, I stand solidly at the center and absorb it all, the sights, smells and sounds of Spring. Similarly, Israel stands as the world whirls around, spinning at ever-increasing speed. Will Israel finally succumb and be swallowed up by the events?

I watch the bright colors and sweet smells, hear the sounds of birds in their love fest, one to another and all to Mother Earth. As Israel stands, bodies are flying around, with blood splashing and red spreading everywhere. Nothing good may come out of the Middle East, and Israel, situated at the very center, will be exposed and hit.

Springtime 4

Many people hope Israel will escape unharmed, that the turmoil will pass overhead, as did the Financial Meltdown of 2008-2009. The similarities abound. Israel’s mortgages were more secured than in the USA or elsewhere, for instance, much like Israel’s democracy is more anchored than anywhere else save, possibly, the USA.

But Israel cannot escape. Observers have pointed out that hatred toward Israel has not been prominently displayed in Tahrir Square or in Damascus and throughout the Middle East, which to some extent is probably true. Although they conveniently ignore an element many would like to forget: the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have been persona non-grata throughout Arab lands. Their Arab “brethren” never wanted them in their midst or allowed them to assimilate. They were kept an outcast, dejected by their very own. Bastard children of the Arab family.

The people throughout Arab lands are revolting, and Israel has no part in these events. However, the Palestinian have now joined the fray and are determined to bring Israel front and center. They, too, want “democracy.” They, like others, want an end of “tyranny.” They, like any other child, crave to be loved and accepted. So they will hurt those most easily manipulated: the Israelis.

The Palestinians’ true craving is to destroy the Jewish state and drive the Jews into the sea. By their own admission, the very notion and name “Palestinians” did not exist thirty years ago, yet it became the most successful invention of modern times, with market capital and awareness greater than Google’s.

Springtime 5

Just this past week they reached a unified reconciliation with democratically elected Hamas and have announced elections in a year’s time.

They managed to force Egypt to agree to open the Rafah border crossing, thus making a continuous, Muslim Brotherhood-controlled area once known as Egypt. No more “Siege” and a “Ghetto.” A border will now be wide open, a borderless continuum in essence.

Hamas leadership is moving from Syria to Gaza, Egypt and Qatar.

Fatah is about to present the New Palestine to the General Assembly of the United Nations and request-in fact expect and demand-full recognition by all member nations.

Israel is thus at a peril not less than that which Mubarak, Qadafi and Assad faced. The turmoil of the populace here is much better coordinated and supported than in any of the Arab States. Here, the world community will not hesitate to act, for it is a participating accomplice and instigator. Together, they will declare, and Israel will be brought down to her knees.

Springtime 6

Unlike Arab rulers who can seek exile with billions stashed away at their disposal, Israel is the only Jewish country in the world, the Land of Israel her only home. Israel’s fate will be worse than Mubarak’s, for the death penalty has long been wished for the her people, and there will be neither mercy nor reconsideration.

The world awaits the opportunity to execute Israel. It has long convinced itself it is really Israel’s fault, for she is evil, of the worst kind, and that it is the world’s obligation to rid itself of such blight.

Nothing can help Israel but herself, a determination like Qadafi’s and a will like Assad’s. She will have to engage. To prevail she will have to separate herself from the illusion peace is possible. Mubarak made a similar mistake when he put his country’s wellbeing first and thus refused to fight back. Long after he is tried, found guilty and executed, history will reverse judgment and remember him as a true leader.

Likewise Israel will be appreciated only once she is gone, but we cannot let this scenario ever take place. We must protect Israel, and disengage from the notion she can achieve peace with those who desire her destruction.

Springtime 7

Israel is neither immune nor can it escape the Spring Revolution. May she have the strength to sense the dangers and act now, before it is too late.

In the series “Postcards from Israel,” Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related – the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts – and so is this “point – counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives.