Being in a long distance relationship with Israel

I want to write a love letter to you, Israel. But what do I say? My love for you is not so simple you see. I wasn’t born loving you, it happened slowly over time and without me really noticing.

It has been two months since I’ve left and I miss you everyday. I miss roaming through your loud, busy streets, I miss floating in your oceans. I miss your food, and culture and perhaps the most surprising to me, I miss your people. They became my people, and you are now part of me.

I have celebrated with you, I have learnt with you and I have mourned with you. Yes, you have etched yourself into my mind and wrapped yourself around my heart.

I do believe you love me too. At the core of my love for you is your love for me. You love me more than the any of the countries I have lived in, you value my life more than any government of the countries whose passports I hold. In fairness, their love for me has never been tested. I guess I should thank Hamas, for showing me how much you care. They didn’t seem to mind I was not an Israeli. They didn’t notice that I was only a tourist. They definitely didn’t care that I was just in Tel Aviv to have fun. When my first siren went off, and I ran out of my apartment, they made me an Israeli.

So no, you may not know me so personally, Israel, but I am part of you and I do love you.

I forgive you when you do things I disagree with, when you behave in a way I don’t understand or when you leave me saying ‘only in Israel’, because like your love for me, I love you in spite of your flaws. You do frustrate me though, in a way no other place ever has, I find myself fighting this inner-fight with you, do I defend or criticise you? Am I on the right or the left of you?

I accept you though. You are a quandary I need to think about, to be a part of, to try and solve. It pained me to leave. The type of pain that physically hurts, you know it, right? You too have felt it. I haven’t lost you, but I left the me, you created, behind. I can’t find her anymore and I wonder if that’s because you are finally home for me. Everyone says home is where the heart is, and well Israel, you seem have captured mine.

I can’t promise to always agree with you, or understand you. In fact I doubt I ever will, but I do promise to always stand by you. Not because I have to, I don’t, but because I want to. You are my place and you are filled with my people. You stand by me and I hope one day, when it really counts, I can stand by you in the way you need me to.

About the Author
Ronit is a British/South African college student in America with a serious case of wanderlust. She has interest in all things Israel and the Middle East, that almost borders on obsessive. After living there last year she can always be caught scheming on how to go back. A chatterbox by nature, she wants to talk about the ups and downs of having a long-distance relationship with Israel.
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