I am exhausted. Tired and worn out, at the ripe old age of almost 70.
I am tired of the constant lies and more lies.
I am tired of the pitting of one against the other with more lies.
I am exhausted by stupidity and the lack of effort. Make an effort to check the facts.
I am so worn out by having to keep quiet because I am no longer a confrontational human being. I am not white, nor am I pink or brown, but my Middle East roots from millennia ago give me a Mediterranean skin hue.
I see YOU. I see you clearly, fellow human, Black. Brown. Asian. Caucasian. Latino. Hispanic. South East Asian. I see YOU, and I am NOT color blind.
I see YOU, fellow traveler on this fragile planet of ours. I have seen you forever.
I see YOU and recognize you, fellow human being, and I know that we bleed red, I know that we are finite beings, and that we DESERVE a life of dignity.
I KNOW these things because I’ve been here, and I’ve been there.
I KNOW because I have been mere millimeters from DEATH. Many times. I have that knowledge. Years of military service. War. Patrols.
I KNOW how very finite life can be and how finite life is, so that we need to honor it; respect it; give all life the DIGNITY it deserves, no matter what color the skin.
When I was fifteen years old, I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X.
I knew the loneliness of the “ONLY JEW” in school when I lived in Canada.
I knew the LONELINESS of POVERTY. Life in the projects.
As a soldier serving my people, I refused to acknowledge the delicate differences that make up our people, the Jewish People.
As a soldier, warrior, both in Golani and later as a reservist tank commander, I refused the label of ASHKENAZI or SEPHARDI or MIZRACHI or PARSI or any of the other insignificant ethnic labels plaguing my people.
As a soldier I witnessed the CRUELTY of extremism while patrolling Hebron and Gaza.
As a soldier I was spat on and called a DIRTY LEFTIST by an Ultra-Orthodox Jew whose very life I was protecting.
And today, I see my beloved Israel, floundering under a “leadership” not so very different than the one we see here in the USA, on the brink of annexation. On the edge of a precipice.
What do you think annexation will bring to the high moral ground Israel has always held?
What do you think years of occupation will do to an already frustrated, alienated, degraded and hurt Palestinian population living in constant doubt?
And, have we not had enough of occupying another people?
Go ahead, point to Hamas, and Gaza, and the cruelty of those extremist wishing to annihilate us. I know. I feel the pain, with family and friends directly affected. I realize the dangerous consequences of a Palestinian nation mere meters away. I don’t relish the thought of seeing my grandchildren in safe rooms under rocket and missile fire. Believe me.
And today I see the country of my citizenship, whose Constitution I swore to uphold and defend when I became an American Citizen, torn by a pandemic many believe to be a “ HOAX”; torn by the systematic murder of its black and brown citizens; torn by its centuries of racism and the horrors of slavery; torn apart by a leadership wishing to extinguish HOPE, a Senate devoid of integrity and backbone, a snake oil huckster sitting in this great nations HIGHEST OFFICE…doing his very best to alienate friends and allies.

I am weary and TIRED.
I can’t wait to VOTE on November 3rd and I pray that that vote will bring about CHANGE, and that the VANGUARD now in the streets, the young generation so sick and tired of gun violence and racism and disenfranchisement will make their world better for them.
I can only hope that when my grandchildren living in Israel will begin their service in the IDF they do not have the duty to police another people, to occupy another people, rather to serve with dignity and defend the borders of an Israel that can and MUST hold the higher moral ground.

I’ve lived here, and I’ve lived there. I want to spend my retirement years in a country I love with all my heart and all my soul, and to come to a country whose citizenship I also carry where I can feel comfortable in the knowledge that ALL its citizens are truly equal and given every opportunity to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

About the Author
Born in Israel, Yuval emigrated as a baby to Austria and then Canada. He returned to live in Israel in '71 until '91. His military service was in Golani Brigade's 13th Battalion (including Yom Kippur War) with reserve duty as a tank commander and later a liaison officer in the IDF Liaison Unit. He now resides in Pennsylvania, USA.
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