Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll

5 Things I Learned Under Fire

Living and breathing the current war in Israel these past few weeks, running to bomb shelters and defending my right to live across social media platforms, I’ve learned five hard truths.

#1- We need to stop apologizing for living.

Israel just has to be ok with being blamed for nearly everything by nearly everyone. Watching as the IDF puts out memes, videos, infographics and pamphlets, it hits me that we have a terrible need for people to know that we are the good guys, to understand that we really, really don’t want to hurt anyone.

I’m sick of the groveling and apologetics. They’re never going to like us. Those who hate us always will. All the videos and memes will only assuage and enforce that collective Jewish guilt that we share for being forced to defend ourselves.

#2- We have the best damn army on the planet.

You know why? Because everyone who serves, and nearly everyone does, knows that without our army, we are gone. And we are the only army that fights for our existence every damn day and fights within our own borders– not across the world!

They are our sons, fathers, husbands. They fight for life. They fight for peace. They fight for their families’ rights to exist. And when they are injured, the first thing they say is, “I need to get back. I need to be with my men.”

The world will call them war criminals. Let them. The world just cannot understand what they are made of.

#3 – There is no place like Israel

No one who has not lived here for at least a short time can possibly understand Israeli society. It is just not like other places. We have no where to go and no one to rely on. We are surrounded on all sides by hot conflict or cold peace.

We stand strong and proud within our borders and defend them with our lives, though we have willingly changed them for the chance at peace. All of our prayers, our “hellos” & “goodbyes” are “shalom– peace”. And yet we are always, always ready for war.

Ain Brira – There is no choice.

And today we bury more of our young men who fought to bring peace to our kids, cities and towns, who met the terrorists erupting from underground burrows like rats and killed them. Our men died to prevent the terrorists from killing families as was their murderous intent.

Three of these soldiers were lone soldiers. They, like hundreds of other young people, choose to come to Israel and protect her people by serving in the army. They live here with little or no family.

Calls went out to the public to please come to the funerals and accompany them on their final journey. To each funeral that was not restricted by security personnel, over 20,000 people came.

Twenty. Thousand. People.

There is nearly no one here who has not lost someone to war or terror. There is no one here who does not want the fighting to stop. There is no one here who does not understand what it would mean if we stopped fighting.

#4 People who hate us will always hate us

During this conflict, and over the years, I’ve engaged in ‘conversations’ on social media with many people. I’ve been called a ‘Zionist troll’, baby killer, and much worse.

They are not interested in learning, they are not looking to understand. Their minds are made up. They know who is right and who is evil.  It does not matter what proof you bring them, they will tell you your proof is lies. And they will say evil things.

Today, on twitter one charming young man said that Hitler ‘missed’ me as in, I somehow got away…

I do not think that all criticism of Israel is anti semitism, but I am no longer under the illusion that anti Zionism isn’t anti semitism.

Which brings me to

#5- Anti Semitism is alive and well

There is a horrifying amount of Jew haters in the world who honestly, truly want to tear random Jews limb from limb. They reside, at this point, everywhere. From LA to Paris, to the Jew free countries across the Middle East and Asia.

I’ve never been one to scream anti-semitism because I think it cheapens the word and makes us seem ‘quick to the draw’, but even I can no longer avoid it as I’ve also never been one to deny what’s in front of my face.It’s become clearer and clearer that the hypocritical and ignorant hatred and vehemence against Israel is not fueled by a desire for peace or out of concern for human suffering.

From the riots in Paris and LA to the morons on twitter, hatred of the Jews runs deep, for if it was human rights they were interested in surely we would see protests against child rape and honor killings, riots for the stealing and rape of hundreds of Christian girls in Nigeria, rage at the mass slaughter of Syrians, looting to protest the crucifixions and executions of hundreds by Isis, and marches to end the child labor and sex trade in Asia…

What we do see in the social media slactivism frenzy, the parades from Los Angeles to Islamabad, the mighty condemnations of the UN, and the marches and attacks on Jews in Paris is very clear if you just listen, it is in the refrain “Death to Jews”.

About the Author
Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll is a writer and an activist. Cofounder of She loves her people enough to call out the nonsense. See her work at
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