I am a new blogger on the Times of Israel and so let me start with an introduction.

I am a Canadian woman who has been to Gaza, lived there, worked there, got to know people and stories from there……then I went to Israel and saw many things that were completely the opposite of everything that is considered “common knowledge” in Gaza.

For years, I was considered a “peace activist” promoting “peace” for Palestine. Now I understand what that actually means. I have understood it for some time but since I was married to a man from Gaza, I didn’t dare say too much around him or his friends.

All that is behind me now and I am free to speak the truth.  I am working on a book right now to that end.

As I was attempting to write this past weekend, I was troubled by memories of things I have written years ago and so before I begin my journal of truth, I must first make this statement:

I keep getting mentally blocked as I begin to write and now I believe I know why. There is something that I need to say first, but it is so hard. My heart and spirit are so troubled and I am ashamed.

When I went to Israel, I went to a mall and I rode on buses. I wanted to know what that felt like, knowing that suicide bombers targeted exactly these and other places.

I was nervous on the bus at first, fearing a possible attack and knowing I could never come close to imagining how it was for people who survived such bombings to try to go back to their “normal” lives.

In the mall, I found the heightened security comforting as I watched the families gather with their children in the play areas in the malls.

I found myself heartbroken at first and then angry that such places and people were somehow seen as “legitimate targets of Palestinian resistance”. These were people and families just going about their day. They were clearly not “legitimate targets” of any sort.

Today as I was contemplating all of this, I remembered a lengthy article I wrote back in 2002 or 2003 where I completely rationalized suicide bombers, finding sympathy for their frame of mind and their actions.

Now, having been to Israel and seen who the people are who have been so profoundly affected by such horrors, I am so sorry that I wrote that piece. I am ashamed that I so eloquently defended the indefensible. I am so sorry to those who don’t even know how deeply I offended them.

I am ashamed that I justified such horrors against innocent people. My heart is broken and all I can do is choke on my tears, not knowing how to make this right, how to take back the enormous insult I took the time to write.

I don’t know what to do except to write this book as thoroughly and openly as I possibly can. To honour a people whom I have dishonoured, to tell the truth that is all but drowned out by lies.

I am so deeply sorry and ask to be forgiven.