Alone in a World of Supporters

Whenever I try to explain that Israelis feel very isolated and misunderstood, I get many people from abroad telling me how much they love Israel…one literally wrote, “I’d die for Israel.”

There are many who support Israel — pictures are being published of rallies taking place around the world on behalf of Israel and we are so grateful.

The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly called the Palestinians to order, rightly demanding that they stop the incitement and we are so thankful.

On CNN…can you believe it?…on CNN a Palestinian spoke of the cold-blooded execution of a young Palestinian and the anchor pointed out that the terrorist ran at police with a knife in his hand and if the same thing were tried in the United States, the police would “execute” the man too (and we are sort of in shock at that one!).

On MSNBC, a reporter claims that a seemingly unarmed Palestinian was shot dead by police, and again the anchor points out in the video the reporter provided, a knife is clearly visible as the Palestinian storms towards police.

Grateful for the support, Israelis still feel alone. We walk the streets of Jerusalem, the holy, beautiful city of Jerusalem. The heart and soul and hope of our people, and we look behind us to see who is there. We watch as people come into the room, onto the train or bus.

We make our children call home when they get where they are going; we make excuses to avoid places that frighten us. Each time we step out of our homes, and sometimes even in our homes, no matter who we are with, we are alone.

But deep inside, there is the belief that there was no other road we could have taken, nothing more we could have tried. We have been to the negotiations table and sat there waiting for a partner to enter the room; we have frozen our future and that of our children for months and months at a time, only to be told, “wait, freeze the building and we will come talk.”

Nonsense. Lies. Stupidity said to a world so desperate to believe their future will never be like Israel’s that they will sacrifice us quickly, painlessly, and have a nice cup of tea in a cafe when they are done.

And when the cafe blows up, when masked rioters burn and pillage…when trains explode and planes crash and buildings burn…the world believes that if they mouth the same anti-Israel rhetoric, the enemies of democracy, of free-will and of freedom of religion, will suddenly become rational, Western-thinking people. Silly, stupid world.

So, we here in Israel live alone, isolated from a world that still believes capitulation to terror can bring peace, a world so worried about its own local issues that it quickly gives a rubber stamp of approval to whatever lies Abu Mazen says, and wants to move on.

Sure, the 13-year-old Arab boy who just walked out of the hospital on his own two feet is a martyr murdered in cold blood.

Yup, the Western Wall that was the retaining wall of two Jewish Holy Temples long before the world ever heard of a man named Mohammed is a Moslem site.

Yeah, Rachel’s Tomb (Rachel, wife of Jacob, buried in Bethlehem, never mentioned by name in the Koran, who lived and died more than 2,000 years before the birth of Islam) is a Muslim holy site.

Whatever you say, so long as we don’t have to waste our time learning history and dealing with the real issues of the Middle East…says the world as Jewish blood flows in the land of Israel.

And yet…and yet…and yet.

We are a people who yearn for tomorrow, ache for peace and quiet in which to raise our children. Hope for a better tomorrow defines us and so each day, we rise with the sun and hope today will be different.

A short time ago, a 16-year-old Palestinian was shot. That’s what the news will report. Will they also tell you that the young man had just stabbed a soldier…perhaps a teenager himself, in the neck?

When the news reports, “Israeli soldier stabbed and seriously wounded” as the headlines and not as was reported yesterday by CNN, “Palestinian teenager shot in Israel” — only later mentioning that the teenager was shot after “allegedly” stabbing a soldier…only then, perhaps, will it be a sign that Israel is not so alone, not so misunderstood.

Until that day, Israelis will continue to feel alone and yet surrounded. Surrounded by ourselves. We comfort each other, we support one another. On the bus ride into my office this morning, we spoke of the rain and hopes it will be a long and wet winter. We talked about normal things — our children, food. Sometimes we speak of the endless attacks, of the fear we carry with us.

Mostly, though, we go about our lives because our greatest answer to every terror attack is to enjoy the very thing they would take from us…our lives, our joy of watching our children grow, our love of this land.

Am Yisrael Chai – the nation of Israel lives…and if that bothers our neighbors and those across the seas, so be it.

About the Author
Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.