Recently, I celebrated my 7 year ‘aliyaversary’ as we call it here. This means that it had been 7 years since I had come to live in Israel and became an Oleh Hadash (new immigrant).
This came at a time when I was starting to really question for the first time since arriving, if I had done the right thing.
It seemed like it was one step forward and three steps back. The hassle of dealing with what should be simple things (the bank, the phone company, internet providers and worst of all Israel’s national insurance company) became more and more infuriating. The way people behave on the roads, the inability to form an orderly line, having people trying to rip you off at every opportunity, language problems, and worst of all for me, the corruption. A former President in prison for rape, a former Prime Minister just convicted of corruption, and numerous other scandals that were eating away at me as a passionate Zionist.
I was starting to forget one night at the start of the second Lebanon war, in Nahariya, 2006. I sat in a basement with three generations of my family as Katusha rockets were falling all around us, making the ground tremble like an earthquake. I promised myself that if we survived that night I was coming to live here, because I never wanted to be anywhere other than in Israel when our homeland was being threatened.
I kept that promise and within 9 months I was living in Israel with all its craziness and hardships, all it’s arguing and shouting and all its ugliness and beauty.
Sometimes we need a reminder of why we go in certain directions in life. This last month will forever be mine, and it is Hamas I have to thank for that.
Thank you for reminding me that I live in the most amazing country on earth.
Thank you for reminding me that I live amongst some of the most amazing, resourceful, creative, emotional, passionate caring people on earth.
Thank you for showing me that I am protected by the most moral and humane military in the world.
Thank you for reminding me that I descend from a people who cherish life and who will protect their children with their own life.
Thank you for reminding me that Antisemitism is always just below the surface, even amongst so called intelligent and articulate people.
Thank you for reminding me how, at the most difficult times, my country comes together as one.
Thank you for reminding me that the country I was born and raised in, England, as well as the rest of Europe has been lost through political correctness and naivety to Islamic fundamentalism.
Thank you for bringing back my closeness to friends far and wide, who are standing with us now, just as we all stood together at the front in years gone by in the battle with the extreme right wing and the rise of radical Islam.
Thank you for reminding me that we can only rely on ourselves to protect each other and that no outsiders have our back.
Thank you for reminding me how easily people turn on us as a scapegoat.
Most of all Hamas, I would like to thank you for uniting my tiny nation, showing us through your savagery and blatant disregard for life and the fact you want to destroy us, using violence and de-legitimization, that what you actually do is make us stronger and more determined to survive as we have done throughout our history over thousands of years.
You will not break our spirit. Nor will your friends in Lebanon or Iran, and I have no doubt they will try where you have failed. They will also find my nation and my people ready to stand together and fight in whatever way we can, because we have no other choice, and no other home…