“This is Israel”

-Tammy Wolinsky

Golda Meir once said “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

This is Israel.

This weekend I celebrated my father’s 70th birthday. We toasted. We ate. We laughed.

And in between, we noted our collective stomachs tied in knots, our collective voices strung together with media sound bites and our collective conscious weeping for our absolute emphatic knowingness that Israel must do everything in its power to defend her borders.

This is Israel.

My mom and I sat in the living room, traded stories about those who just don’t seem to understand, wiping tears away from our faces because of the loneliness, isolation and frailty of that reality.

This is Israel.

I trade emails, texts and articles with those who challenge that I don’t have a heart, a sympathetic bone, an emotional response to the “injustice” of women and children dying. I respond in kind and offer that it is because I have all of those things that I remain strong and steadfast.

This is Israel.

When intellectuals and professors email me that anti-Israel fervency can’t be equated with Antisemitism and then said intellectuals proceed to suggest that Israel wasn’t founded legitimately, I smile sadly and offer that if we are arguing about the legitimacy of an internationally recognized country, we are defining the very essence of Antisemitism.

This is Israel.

When friends “de-friend” me, or I them, due to the blatant disregard for Hamas’ efforts and its provocation of this war instead of acknowledging Hamas is in fact a terrorist organization set to destroy Israel and all Jews with it, I remember hypocrisy and contradiction, and resign myself to having less friends.

This is Israel.

When journalists write lengthy diatribes implying that Israel has “more power,” without considering the moral and ethical implications of being forced to do the unimaginable because you simply have no choice, the barrage of rocket fire continues through media misinformation.

This is Israel.

Protestors march. Bigots proselytize. Politicians politic. Rockets continue. And we defend.

I am Israel.