Israel is good for the Palestinians. It supplies them electricity. It fulfills any order of the Palestinian Authority as a conduit into Gaza. It allows tens of thousands of them to go for medical treatment in Israel. It provides drinking water, assists with the water infrastructure and treats their sewage.
Israel provides vaccinations and helps fight the spread of diseases like bird flu. It supplies many commodities and products that are of far superior quality and at the same or lower prices than those brought from Egypt.
Israelis are good for other reasons. They actually care about Gazans. Despite being bombed and kidnapped, ambushed and murdered, Israelis will not target civilians of any age. They protect women and children and the elderly and will do everything, risking their own lives repeatedly, to save a human being be he or she a terrorist fighting against them or an innocent bystander.
For Israelis, lives are sacred, and the Palestinians know it all too well.
Christian Arabs in Israel love Israel. Not because Israel is the home of Jesus Christ, where he was born, studied, taught, lived, was crucified and later resurrected, but because here they enjoy freedom of religion that today can only be found in one other place: the United States of America.
Christians also know what it means to live under Muslim rule, be it in an Arab country like Lebanon, that once was the Paris of the Middle East with a majority of Christians and today a small minority; in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ that today has less than two percent Christians; or in any one of numerous African countries where they are slaughtered, their churches set on fire with their occupants burned alive.
The Druze love Israel. They are loyal to Israel as the Druze in Lebanon are loyal to Lebanon and the Druze of Syria loyal to Syria. But there is something more here – it is loyalty that goes beyond the call of duty. Almost 96% of Druze youth serve in the IDF, a number three times the average for Israeli 18 year old males (if compared to the general Jewish population).
Druze elders and religious leaders have a centuries-old wisdom one can find nowhere else. Their lives are not very easy, but they understand the region better than anyone, and not only because they speak the language. They know what it means to live under Arab rule, and they are faced with the difficult position of protecting their extended families living in Syria and in Lebanon. Yet, they manage to gain the respect of the Israeli public at large, with Druze Members of the Knesset, in leading positions in each (Jewish) political party and as Ministers and members of almost every Government.
Tourists love Israel, not only because the best breakfasts are served at its hotels.
Israel is multi-faceted. From antiquity to modernity, from Biblical sites to the nightlife of Tel Aviv, from the Diamond Exchange to the Stock Exchange, from startup companies to the leading innovators of the world, all can be found in this tiny country. It is a quick drive from one place to another, from modern era to astonishing remains of millennia past.
One can always see showers of stars in the night’s skies, and periodically showers of a different type, a barrage of rockets and missiles. That never stops foreigners from coming to the country to show their admiration, love and support.
It does not take long to traverse the country from its northern-most border to its southern-most point, the resort city Eilat. One can easily cross the border from Israel to Egypt or Jordan at that southern tip for a day trip to experience Petra or for the beaches of what used to be Israel until Egypt received Sinai in a “land for peace” swap.
Along the way from North to South or West to East, one passes via different climatic regimes and geographic zones, yet all seem to bloom. Israel is a country that is flourishing, a man-made heaven. It is a magical place for tourists to find whatever one wants – including those many who want Israel’s demise and come to make films and other propaganda pieces against the Jewish State. Only in Israel!
Culture and arts, architecture and infrastructure are amazing, but there is a new breed of tourists arriving in Israel. They come for the sun and the warmth, escaping the cold like the hundreds of millions of birds in their annual migration south. But more recently they come for medical checkups as part of a vacation in Israel: amazing, and only in Israel.
Israel, it seems, is a country so many love, yet so many others love to hate.
Israeli Arabs, once the largest minority in Israel, enjoy special rights. They are still making up their minds where do their loyalties lie-with their country, the Jewish State of Israel, or with a convoluted idea of a revolt, a national aspiration to be disconnected from Israel.
When offered the chance to leave and become citizens of a Palestine-in-formation, they reject the idea. They like their position as equal citizens of the Jewish state. Confused? Need not be. In the Middle East lies the “real truth,” the one people will act upon, and the “spoken truth,” the one that has to be said because of the need to keep an image or a set of other constraints.
Even Israel’s Arab neighbors like the fact she is in the neighborhood. It is thanks to Israel and her Jewish and non-Jewish citizens that so many good things have been inflicted on her neighbors, from water drip-irrigation technology to agricultural advancements, alternative energies, medicine, treatment of the sick to prevention of the spread of diseases.
Israel’s Arab neighbors are happy she is in the neighborhood, for they know a good thing, yet they can not be so outwardly welcoming as to dare express this opinion. They also know that Israel is a moderating force, for they have internal problems of their own, threats of extremists trying to take over their own governments.
Moreover, and maybe most importantly, Israelis know how to fight. They can attempt the impossible, most daring missions, and seem to succeed. Thus, when Iraq threatened her Arab neighbors, Israel was seen as a deterrent, and more recently when Iran looks down with contempt and long range plans about the Arab countries, they know that while Israel exists, they are safe.
Members of the royal family from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Arab countries come to Israel on “secret” missions for medical treatment. They know they will receive the very best treatment available in the world and be treated with dignity, respect and confidentiality, often in their own language. Many of the doctors, nurses and staff in Israeli hospitals are Arabs. Israel is trusted when things really count – their own lives and that of their loved ones.
Israel is a favorite destination of savvy private and institutionalized investors and funds, and businesspeople seeking new financial outlets. To them, Israel is a safe haven to park their money, with a very stable financial system, innovation the likes of which can be found nowhere else around the world and returns that are often very high.
Israel is also a favorite destination for Hezbollah and Hamas missiles, previously for Saddam Hussein long-range Scud missiles and nowadays for Iran’s long-range missiles. Those elements, though, do not love Israel. They are focused on her destruction by all means, including some of the most horrible ones, from unleashing nuclear to chemical or biological agents.
Israel has become the focus of international hatred, all blamed on the Zionists-occupiers-of-land-not-theirs. There are numerous blood libels that are improved over time. Once it was Israel releasing cat-size rats that only target Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem but affect no one else. Then it was Israel catching young Palestinian males to harvest their organs. Each year at certain times when supplies are low, the Red Cross would urge its blood donors to come and donate blood. In Israel there is no need, they kidnap Palestinian kids who are never heard of again. These ridiculous charges escalate each year.
Even more recently, Israel’s own history is being re-written. Its most holy of places, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, are being stripped of any connection to the Jews. “It was never the City of David, if there was a David. The Western Wall was just a Roman fortification. All holy sites in Israel are a new creation of old Muslim sites.”
Since there is no connection between the Zionists and the geographic location called by colonialist powers “Israel,” then any evidence such as archeology must be destroyed. Hundreds of truckloads of some of the most important archeological remains from the Temple Mount were dug and dumped away like trash. Who said the Jews had anything to do with Jerusalem?
Israel Deniers go a step further and question the Bible and the God of the Hebrews. Nothing is sacred any more, all permitted by these Muslim extremists. The rewriters are even spreading lies that the Lord of Hosts was actually two Gods. Anything to undermine what was otherwise an unshakeable history of three thousand years, and is now being questioned, ridiculed and disregarded.
Fairy tales are being written about Palestine, claiming there was never a connection to the Bible, calling Jewish history another Zionist-colonialist fabrication, a claim to the land-not-theirs. And if this is bad, then we must also remember the simple solution: JEWS GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM: America, Russia, Germany, Poland.
Simple, catchy, elegant. NOT YOURS, GO BACK.
Many people love Israel. It is not a religious ideology alone, but pragmatism, reality and truth. Many more hate Israel so much they are consumed with the fire of hatred. They have now found an outlet in the form of “Palestine,” “Palestinian People” and an acceptable substitute for Israel.
But Israel cannot be replaced, because rational human beings normally choose light over darkness, good over evil and truth over lies. We live at a period of history when darkness is blinding, evil is mesmerizing and lies are told so often we confuse them with truth. Mistake not – those closest to Israel, those who apparently have the alternative, choose Israel.
Israelis choose Israel, although they take their own existence for granted and often are not thankful enough for all they have.
Jews choose Israel, for it is their homeland, their shelter, the meaning of their very being, even if often times they do not know to express their love and appreciation and seem to be distancing themselves from their own land. Mistake not, they have no right or ability to exist if Israel were to cease to exist.
I, for one, will apologize no more. I will not accept those who are so blinded by hatred, yet sophisticated enough to fight my very existence using the best tools available – mine. I am fighting back.
My Bible, my God the Almighty, my land and my people are not up for negotiation. Neither is my sanity or wellbeing. Israel exists, and those who truly experience her for what she is will do everything possible to ensure she continues to exist exactly as she is: the only Jewish Homeland of the Jews, the one Jewish country among the member nations on this earth, the one miracle on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
Do not mistake past accommodations and patience for weakness. We are strong and our resolve will not be broken. It is harder than granite, stronger than diamonds. It has been shaped under the immense pressure and temperatures of inner earth, over millions of years, and it is included in the DNA of every Jewish person.
Be careful what you wish for, for wishing too much for the annihilation of the Jewish people, demonizing them, engaging in blood libels and attempting to re-write history and other self-serving methods must eventually backfire.
I, for one, am apologizing no more. If you want to destroy me I will fight back and my armies will destroy you once more.