I keep thinking I’m in the bar scene from Star Wars… but no, I’m just visiting Israel.

Last night while I was walking down a street in Nahariya, lost, I asked directions from whomever I met. I ended up talking to people from Britain, the Czech Republic, Africa, Uzbekistan and Yemen. I remained lost (actually I got even more lost, because no one was willing to admit they knew even less about where they were in space than me) — but talking to people from all over the world was fun.

In the last week I’ve heard English spoken in accents from Bombay, French Canada, Africa, Australia, Queens New York and inner city London. I’ve heard the Shema said with both an East and a West Texas twang. I’ve admired shades of skin that range from pearlescent to espresso. People from every nation and many faiths share this tiny sliver of sand. There are seventy-three languages spoken in Nahariya alone. And yet, Israel’s twenty-two neighboring nations won’t be inviting her to any upcoming neighborhood block parties or potlucks anytime soon.

It’s hard to understand why Israel’s generosity of spirit and genuine warmth aren’t better appreciated beyond her borders. The high amount of anti-democratic, anti-Jewish propaganda may be a cause.

I love this tough, nerdy country. I don’t like what’s being said behind her back by the “popular” crowd.

Like anyone, from anywhere, Israel wants to be loved. She deserves to be loved.