Chavi Feldman

20/20 vision….

I recently bit the bullet and went to the eye doctor.

Truthfully, I had to order new contact lenses anyways, but I used the opportunity to bully myself into telling the optometrist that I was having trouble reading. A few months earlier, I had tried wearing two different lenses — one for near sighted and one for far sighted — an often-used method that manages to trick your brain into being able to see both near sighted and far sighted. After a week of frustration and migraines, I gave up. It didn’t work for me, so dejected, I ignored the problem and went back to my regular lenses.

And my regular inability to read clearly. I began holding grocery items at an arms length in order to read the ingredients list, or lie in bed with my book held out as far as my short arms would allow in order to immerse myself in the plot. But now, with the need for new lenses, I had no excuse. He put a pair of reading lenses in front of me and adjusted them to the correct prescription and lo and behold, I was in shock. How on earth had I been reading until now? Everything had the edge of a blur on it — letters seemed to be smudged as if the printing press had shifted while laying the ink down and I had, all this time, been compensating. Holding a pamphlet with small print right in front of my eyes and being able to see the letters so crisp and clear was like an epiphany. Why had I been in such denial that I needed this?

So, off I went to the pharmacy and less than ten minutes later, I was the proud new owner of a pair of reading glasses. My kids and my husband are teasing me to no end (just wait, their turn will come….) and I teased my teenage daughter right back, threatening to buy a colorful beaded chain with which to hang my reading glasses around my neck, to which she counter-threatened that she would never be seen in public with me if I bought them.

But it made me think about how many people there are out there in the world that are not seeing the facts for what they are. They claim that they see things just fine, but in reality, things are quite blurry and they are refusing to put on those reading glasses so they can see the real thing up close, personal, crisp and clear.

International media sources and supposedly responsible and highly respected newspapers with decorated reporters are misleading their public and loyal readers about what is happening in our country. Headlines like CBS news report of “3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on” are not just biased and blatantly dishonest, but reek of anti-Semitism. They neglected to tell the true story about the terrorist attack at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. Only 90 minutes later it was changed to this: “Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian attackers.” Alleged. Seriously? This headline is not much better, not entirely truthful and to be honest, it’s too little, too late. Once readers come across the first headline, there’s a very very small possibility they are going to go back online or pay attention to an amended one. They’ve read, they’ve formed an opinion and they’ve moved on. And with so many people who have never been here, have never witnessed the morality and true peaceful nature of our people, and are constantly exposed to headlines like these, it’s no wonder that there is so much hatred aimed at us.

But the news outlets can’t be blamed for all of it. Ignorance is bliss and you can never know the whole story unless you do your homework.

Recently, Jimmy Kimmel did a hilarious but very sad bit where he claimed that if you present facts to the American public with a smile and a positive tone, Americans will respond in kind — even if it’s to congratulate North Korea for detonating the country’s first hydrogen bomb.

“You would think that the idea that North Korea might have a hydrogen bomb might be somewhat alarming to us on the West Coast,” Kimmel said.

Nope. Kimmel sent his camera crew to the streets of Hollywood to tell random pedestrians that North Korea was “finally able to successfully detonate a hydrogen bomb, the world is excited, people are sending their congratulations.” And a terrifying number of people he talked to offered their own congratulations, along with smiles and a thumbs up.

When you see this skit, you’ll laugh. But in reality, it’s a very depressing and scary glimpse into the psyche of a majority of people who hear something and believe that it is gospel. But even those who claim to do their homework and read about the situation here, something seems amiss.

On a deeper level, doesn’t it say something about a people that encourage and actually instruct their youth on methods of how to kill, maim and wound other human beings? People who are jogging, men and women who are walking to and from work, kids who are on their way to do charity work. As a parent, what’s most disturbing is the tender age of these recent terrorists. Young girls of fourteen and fifteen are wielding scissors and knives and stabbing innocent bystanders and I, for one, can’t believe that they aren’t aware what the consequences will be, and that very likely, theirs is a suicide mission. While we are encouraging our teenagers to study for that exam, to babysit a neighbor’s kid, to play basketball with their friends at the local court, to join Magen David Adom or the local youth group, to practice their musical instrument, or to bring their friends over to watch a movie together, they are literally putting knives in their teenagers’ hands. This is what they want for their children. Not a future but a bloody ending to a life that has never learned the true meaning of what it is to live and to dream.

But on the surface, I don’t understand how people think it would be a good idea to take the one democratic free-thinking and tolerant oasis of the entire Middle East that is Israel and give it to a people that will — in no time at all — turn it into a caliphate and terrorist state. They will take away women’s rights, and men who uphold “honor killings” and murder their own wives and daughters because of their “promiscuity” will literally get away with murder. They will introduce sharia law as their justice system and will punish anyone who does not conform to its laws. Terrorists will be free to bomb, destroy and desecrate every holy place — Christian, Russian Orthodox, Armenian and Jewish, among others — that the State of Israel has continuously fought to protect.

And Israel, a land of freedom of religion, a land of opportunity, a land where Arabs — both female and male alike — can be members of the Knesset, a land of science and technology and a hub for medical research, a land of free-thinking ideas and tolerance, a land of agricultural advancement and bounty will cease to exist.

I think it’s high time that people out there bite the bullet and put on their reading glasses. It’s high time to see things for what they truly are. Clearly, crisply, up close and personal.

About the Author
Chavi Feldman has a degree in graphic design and advertising and works primarily as a music teacher. She has lived in Israel for more than two decades.