Dear Alex: We’re at war!

Hey Alex,

I know we are not the best of friends, we may have met just once, possibly two or three times. However, we are Facebook friends, and I have seen your recent posts.

Among those posts, I’ve seen this:

24 Palestinians, including seven children, are dead because the IDF decided it wanted to ‘mow the grass’. Great.

It was linked here.

Alex, I never like to get involved in politics on Facebook. G-d only knows the amount of anti-Israel things I see across the web I wish I could respond to. Add to that the hundreds of Pro-Israel posts I encounter across all social media channels. I’d love to share them all. But, funny as it sounds, in the spirit of friendship and peace, I hold back.

This one is too personal though. I guess you can consider yourself lucky. I read your post. I paid attention. I figured YOU were worth my response and attention.

Alex, when we met at Chabad House, you seemed reasonable and understanding of life. You seemed like a smart kid, with a head on your shoulders. If that’s the case – as I’m sure you’d agree it is – I’m sure you can understand these few points, (and as I said, it’s personal!):

1) Is my innocent life in Jerusalem not worth defending? Even at the slightest risk of a rocket landing near my building? My government and my armed forces should just sit by and wait it out?

2) What about the innocent lives of my friends in Tel Aviv? Ashkkelon? Ashdod? Beer Sheva? What about Netanya? Or even Neve Daniel and Zichron Yaakov? Are they worth it?!

3) You write in a comment, in response to Tal, an Israeli colleague of yours: “The fact is that Israel has suffered no civilian casualties, and likely will continue to suffer no civilian casualties in the most recent bout of fighting.”

Just so we can be on the same page; how many rockets need to make direct hits – or on that note, how many innocent Israelis would have to die – for the big, bad IDF to finally make a move of self defense? Please, pray tell us, in your professional and educated opinion.

4) You write further, in the comments on that post: “It isn’t the fault of the individuals involved in the fighting, it’s the fault of the cynical political leadership.” Wow – here we actually agree. Except we don’t. See, I think they haven’t been doing enough to protect the lives of nearly 4,000,000 innocent civilians. That’s what we EXPECT them to do! They must. It’s their duty.

5) Another comment you wrote: “To put it a different way, if you and I are in a fight, and I’m punching you and it doesn’t really hurt, the social expectation should be that you won’t blast me in the face.” While the comment wasn’t directed at me, let me address, please.

I am not a fighter. I do not like to fight, nor do I adore confrontation. I am small, I am scared. However, if I am attacked, even if it “doesn’t really hurt” you can be damn sure I will protect myself. Further – touch someone I love, someone I care for, I’ll defend them too!

Alex, I am Israel.

6) Lastly, I feel it very important for you to know that if you were here, with me, with your millions of Jewish brothers and sisters holding down the fort in the Holy Land – YOUR Holy Land – those Palestinian terrorists you defend wouldn’t care about you. Their rockets would, G-d forbid, be heading for you just as well.

Alex, do for a second, set aside the miraculous fact that no rockets have hit during this barrage (and, oh, by the way, imagine where’d we’d be if we – God forbid! – didn’t have the Iron Dome. As I’m sure you know, the Iron Dome intercepts dozens and dozens of rockets headed to populated areas) and think about what IS happening.

  • Millions of innocent people terrorized.
  • Children woken by emergency siren to head to shelter, some with just 15 seconds to ensure (if that’s even possible) some sort of safety.
  • Weddings broken up as the bride and groom, guests in tow, head for safe rooms.
  • Infants on life support at local hospitals being evacuated to basement bomb shelters, just adding more risk to their lives.

Alex, trust me, when you hear that siren, and the subsequent “BOOM”, it’s not just “well, no one has died”it’s straight up terror. It truly is a sobering moment in time. Crowding in bunkers hoping for survival, wishing to “walk away from another one.”

It’s the moment you realize “holy $h!t…. These people are firing at ME!”

At me.
At my friends.
At my family.
At your family.

About the Author
Levi Margolin was born and bred in Norfolk, VA and is now living it up in Jerusalem! Director of Marketing and Social Media at Taglit-Birthright Israel: MAYANOT, he loves Israel, Judaism, people, politics, sports, world travel and hanging out. Standing at five-feet, Levi has been described by those who know him as the definition of “Short and Sweet.” He is the middle child of seven. He can be reached at