Michal Cotler-Wunsh

“How are YOU?”

Difficult times are often telling. The age old cliché of “a friend in need is a friend indeed” describes what we feel as individuals when faced with challenge. Overcoming adversity is facilitated in our daily lives by the sense that we are not alone and are supported by true friends.

Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people, is experiencing difficult times, to say the least. Barraged by thousands of rockets being launched from schools in Gaza; uncovering dozens of underground tunnels that begin in mosques and private homes in Gaza and end in the backyards of Israeli civilians; burying the finest and brightest future leaders, killed defending the civilians who are their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends.

It is time for moral clarity. It is time to end the hypocrisy. Those rockets are being fired on all Israeli civilians – Christians, Arabs and Jews. They are being fired by terrorists, not militants or insurgents, who openly call for the destruction of the State of Israel. Those tunnels are being dug under the homes of the citizens of Gaza, expending millions of dollars and vast knowledge devoted to destruction rather than construction – of schools, hospitals, homes so sorely lacking in Gaza. Those soldiers come from diverse backgrounds – Bedouin, American, French – all bound together by their moral clarity to defend a democratic country that cherishes life and fully comprehends that it must send its children to fight for it.

Good friends are there for us through difficult times. They do not remind us of a disagreement that we once had when they come to support. They do not condition this support or expect anything in return. It is what friends do. To all those that want to show their friendship – it is time to stand by Israel clearly and openly. It is time to rid the world of the perverted moral equations allowing terrorist organizations to benefit from the protection of international law or political correctness. These were never meant to protect terrorists from being called what they are and from being tried for what they do.

Israel is not a perfect country or flawless society, but when it comes to friendship, there is a thing or two that we can learn. It is what those kids knew when they moved to Israel alone to serve in the IDF as lone soldiers. It is why tens of thousands of people attended their funerals though they did not know them. It is why hundreds are visiting an injured lone soldier whose parents cannot get to Israel from the US following the decision to cease all flights to Israel; a decision that confirms that Israel must be equipped to defend itself at all times and avoid relying on friends that may not come visit in times of need.

One more thing regarding moral clarity – this is not an academic discussion. This is real. This is war. Please ask yourself how this affects YOU. If it does not, please question why you think it does not. The fact is this affects every freedom loving individual on the face of the planet in one way or another. This is really not just about Israel. It is about our common war against terrorism, a world-wide network that hates everything democratic and free with extreme vehemence and plans to do everything in its evil power to destroy them. It does or will affect each and every one of us ultimately. So the next time you see someone you know who lives in Israel, pause before you remove yourself with the question “How are YOU?” and consider rephrasing and asking “How are WE?”

About the Author
The writer is a lawyer, research fellow, and policy and strategy advisor. She served as an MK in Israel’s 23rd Knesset, co-founding the International Bi-Partisan Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism.