The definition of a  Zionist is a person who supports Zionism, which according to dictionary definitions is a movement that supports the development of the modern state of Israel. It is not a bad word, taboo word or curse. It is only portrayed badly, because YOU made it that way.

The definite you, I refer to is the army of people currently ravaging the streets of Europe, the United States, and South America. Those protesting at so called rallies for peace, a mere mask for anti Semitic fervor and violence. Those harboring hatred towards the Jewish people, using this event as an excuse to paint swastikas and call to relocation Nazis and genocide.

The current operation in Israel, which is necessary, has turned all eyes towards Israel. This more than any other event has had people flocking to social media to spread awareness and support. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become a battlefield to win over public opinion. As well as become a forum for further attacks.

It is within these forums and the global protests that we see the Z word being slurred. Why though is a word that defines a national movement and one nation’s right to self-determination turn into the equivalent of the devil himself? The Arab world has been using the word to describe Israel and even at times to replace Israel tainting the meaning of the word.

I like many have been active sharing my support for Israel in these times. Never before have I been so harassed for my beliefs. On Twitter and Instagram I have been called names for brandishing an Israeli flag. I am being accused of being ignorant, and a whole manner of other names, merely for supporting Israel.

I have no problem in people voicing their opinion, rather I encourage it, but I have a problem with using the guise of being pro peace or pro Palestinian to spread hate and slander anyone who doesn’t agree. I have a problem with dead children in Syria being marketed as the children of Gaza. I have a problem with out right lies and hatred so blinding that it eclipses the humanitarian crisis happening in Syria, the eradication of the Christians in Iraq at the hands of ISIS and the ongoing struggle for women in the region on behalf of their honor.

Go ahead call me Zionist again. Use the Z word towards my friends who are wearing the green doing exactly what they have too, defend. The Israeli Defense Force is a force that was created to defend the land of Israel and the humanity that thrives in it. Israel is giving its young people to defend Israel’s very existence, losing brave soldiers along the way. The proof is in the numbers, Israel uses force only in order to defend. On the website Israel Under Terror, http://www.israelunderterror.com/, by the use of statistics, share the number of terrorist attacks Israel has had to endure. These are the reasons that Israel has to defend itself.

Hatzav Aviv, one of the creators of the site, a computer programmer and like the majority of Israelis, a former IDF soldier said, “We know that not all Palestinians are terrorists, we know that Hamas is the one doing the attacks. That is why we have to attack them back, that is why we had to have a ground operation.” Israelis just want peace, and even if they don’t always agree with the government they still support the country and serve to defend it.

Is it bad to be a Zionist, supporting Israel in this operation? When Israel and us so called Zionists are the only ones fighting for the freedom of Palestinians from a ruthless organization. Hamas, the ruling authorities in Gaza, just a few days ago executed Palestinian civilians that protested against them. No, it’s not bad to support Israel.

And yet, the world ignorantly labels what Israel is doing as war crimes. Even Penelope Cruz, a celebrity in Hollywood who is stuck in her ivory tower, used the word genocide to describe the situation. Please understand the definition of the words that you are using. Your name alone does not give you any authority or knowledge on this matter, from which you are so far removed. The death of innocents is not something that anyone wants; it is a side effect of a war that Hamas is launching on Israel, a war in which Hamas hides behind its civilians.

To reiterate, the Z word is not a bad word. It is an identifier, someone who supports Israel and it is not wrong. Those who call me names or slur the word prove that my voice is important, being heard and is making an impact. I am not alone in this, anyone who shares his or her thoughts in support of Israel is open to ridicule and attack.

So, I dare you, say it again, the Z word. Call me Zionist. I wear it proudly.