In these times of heightened conflict and even in the times of “relative calm,” I have always let my voice be heard on the pride I have in Israel.  I make sure my friends and family, especially and particularly those living outside of the country know about what is going on here.  Not just about the conflict with the Palestinians and others, but about everything Israel has to be proud of.  We have an amazing technical industry filled with some of the most intelligent and creative people in the world. Our agricultural industry makes our country a colorful and delicious place to live.  We have beautiful sights: forests, deserts, waterfalls, beaches, mountains, lakes and rivers.  We have an amazing history dating back to the beginning of recorded history and the evidence is all around us and more is being discovered all the time.  There are many things about this country that people need to know about that aren’t seen by those who haven’t been here.

In times of conflict, we know that we need more people to speak up about what is happening here and defend it.  I served in the IDF, but as it was a six-month service at the age of 25 with vision only in one eye, I don’t think they will ever need me to be called up to fight.  However, it is still my duty to do something.  I have taken part in many Hasbara campaigns, and my facebook and twitter newsfeeds will be full with information, debates and reminders of the amazing country we live in.

Not all my friends and family are the same.  I have many people on facebook wishing me safety and to keep my head down.  Some mean bomb shelters, but others are telling me to keep quiet.  They fear for my safety that speaking out in favor of Israel is sticking my neck out to be chopped off.  The idea that people think that just by speaking online can be as dangerous as being a soldier is a very real fear but absolutely horrible that it actually exists.  This fear is what is forcing the people asking me to keep my head down from speaking up themselves and I’m sure this feeling spreads every day with the amount of hate, threats and misinformation that is spread over the Internet by the people who seek to demonize Israel and our supporters.

(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), Sam UL

(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), Sam UL

As Israel is here for the defence of the Jewish people, the Jewish people need to here for the defence of Israel.  In the modern age, our country is on a public stage on the Internet and world media.  We each need to support each other to protect what we find sacred.  Just because there is hate in the world doesn’t mean we should cower from it.  So reach out to your family and friends and defenders of Israel and tell them that you support them.  Tell them to keep safe, and come home at the end of the day or the end of the conflict.  But do not tell them to keep quiet.  For those of us who aren’t fighting in the field this is how we feel we can do a service.