I moved to Israel on September 12, 2011–a little over 7 years ago. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I had planned a year beforehand that I would move to Israel in September. That way I could graduate from UMass in May and then spend the summer at home, planning and being with family. I remember booking the flight for September 12, and then immediately calling my Mom excitedly to let her know.
What can I tell you?
On the one hand, what mother wouldn’t be happy and proud of their child who accomplished their dreams, and at the young age of 22. On the other hand, my flight was before the High Holidays, Israel is far away from Upstate New York, and I’m her only daughter.
In the past 7 years, I have become Israeli American in every sense of the word. I speak Hebrew fluently, I earn my salary in shekels, I work in the Israeli workforce, I eat Israeli food, I married an Israeli, and I am sometimes forget my English (and yes, I say em instead of um).
I feel like an Israeli, only with a strong American community or audience to speak to…. sometimes. The first time I ever experienced a rocket was when I was still living in Tel Aviv. Moments before, I made my now husband show me where the bomb shelter was in the event that a rocket fell while he was in English class in Azreili. And then off he went. I sat down with my dinner, a movie, and for a quiet evening,
and with 3 minutes of him leaving the siren went off.
The first couple of seconds I froze. My boyfriend wasn’t there, our roommate wasn’t there, and I almost felt like I was the only one in the entire building. And then I unfroze, ran out the door without my shoes, didn’t lock the door, and ran down to the basement. Luckily, I had time for all of the thought process because in Tel Aviv you have a minute and half to get to the bomb shelter. It might not seem like a lot of time for North Americans, but it is a looong time for Israelis.
That first time when rockets were reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I had friends who wrote to me to make sure I was ok. People who had closed their Facebook accounts got back onto Facebook, even if it was just for a few minutes to make all was good by me. But that was 6 years ago.
In the past six years, I have become much more Israeli. I became a tour guide, I started a job and a career I love, I got married to a handsome, funny, intelligent Israeli, and I moved to Ashdod. But I was also living in Ashdod in 2014, when more rockets fell in my city than I could possibly imagine. I spent the spring and the summer running to bomb shelters.
And guess what? No one checked up on me. Of course I was in contact with my parents and my brothers. But all those people who were so scared of maybe 3 rockets falling in Tel Aviv, suddenly weren’t scared of the dozens of rockets falling in Ashdod.
The world seemed silent.
Now I’m not writing this whole long post for me. I’m fine. Thank G-d the rockets haven’t made to Ashdod. I’m writing this because overnight hundreds of rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. Living rooms and homes were destroyed. Children were having panic attacks (children!). Elderly may not have been able to make it to the shelters in the 15 seconds they had. I heard the booming of the Iron Dome in Ashkelon.
And the world is silent.
The Palestinians in Gaza are a poor people. They have high unemployment, and unclean, crowded living conditions. But worst of all, they are governed by a terrorist organization. An organization that when faced with protests and dissent from the people, they turn those people to the border fence with Israel and say it is our fault they do not have electricity or running water. When their civilians are not looking, Hamas will not only shoot rockets into Israel, but store those very rockets in schools and hospitals.
And the world is silent.
People who make claims of Israel being an apartheid and racist state, accuse the IDF of ethnic cleansing, and call for the imprisonment of Israeli war criminals will not make it this far down my post. Unfortunately, we live in a world of short attention spans and not wanting to hear a different opinion. So go ahead, stick your head in the sand, keep your mouth shut while Israeli children experience a trauma no child should ever experience. But in a week or two when things quiet down because the IDF protected its people in southern Israel, do not expect a response from me. Because while my people are suffering….
The world is silent.
We will never be able to make peace with Hamas because Hamas is a military, terrorist organization. Every time, the Palestinians in Gaza get restless because of Hamas’ inability to advance the economy, agriculture, culture, and education, Hamas begins a conflict with Israel. They send thousands of rockets into Sderot, Netivot, Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva, Ashdod, and dozens of other towns and kibbutzim in the area. We can not make peace with an organization that is uninterested in peace and the advancement of its own people.
And the world is silent.
So I’m sorry this post is long (and unusually long for me), but no, I am not interested in what the United Nations has to say, and I am not interested in what all the BDS supporters have to say, and your calls for Israel to show restraint or your calls for Israel to make peace don’t move me.
Because the world is silent now.
You want peace here between in the Israelis and the Palestinians? Sababa. You want the Palestinians to have a chance to build a country and a future for their children? No problem. But understand it can not be at my expense, it will not be at the expense of my children, and it will not be at the expense of Israel.
Especially when the world is silent…
During my country’s suffering, during the planned and calculated terror of the young generation of my country, and during the destruction of a country that looks forward, creates innovations for the WORLD’S benefit, and is the sole Jewish state in the world.