Jacob Kohn
Adventurous & Anxious Gingi

Are you being helpful or hurtful?

I can’t imagine how the summer for the residents and tourists of Israel has been, especially in the southern region where the rocket bombardment is never ending and a new terror tunnel is discovered.  There are thousands of different situations occurring in Israel, and outside of Israel there are disturbing altercations occurring in the streets of Paris, Essen, Chile, and Boston.  There’s a lot occurring, but only a fraction of what is being represented by the media does not give the State of Israel the credit it deserves or the understanding about why situations such as “Protective Edge” occur and their goals to bring stability to the little piece of democracy existing in the middle east.  Many people’s emotions are being toyed with, and it leads them to say hurtful things and often can lead to instigation.  So, my question to readers is, when bringing up such an intense and argumentative topic, such as Israel’s necessity to take the measures it has to, in this case “Protective Edge”, are you being helpful or hurtful? Are you making an impact for the better of those who are being affected and need it most, or are you venting your emotions because that is easier to do?

I’ve stopped sitting down being frustrated with media’s coverage of what’s occurring in Israel/Gaza. This shouldn’t be about a matter of who has the biggest number of losses in order who you side with, or who is the victim and the perpetrator.  This isn’t a sporting event where people’s lives are the score keepers, and those with the most points wins.  We can’t allow ourselves to be numbed by numbers and view Israel as the aggressor because they take preventative caution for her citizens, all of her citizens.  I just want everyone to consider that in the region of the middle east, a lot is occurring not only in Israel, but also in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, Iran…..the list goes on. Even outside of the middle east, in Europe, there have been demonstrations that have crossed a fine line between being unhappy with what might be occurring in Gaza, and Jew-Hatred that seems to be permeating by the hijacking of extreme Islamist’s Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic influence.

I am thankful, and blessed, day and night that Israel is able to exist. The existence of the State of Israel in the 20th century is a miracle.  Even before the county’s establishment, there was incitement against the right of the Jewish state to exist, and we still face this threat till this day, but this battle is occurring via social media and and the home front is easily accessible through electronic devices.  Everyone is hurting in this situation, and it also hurts people financially.  People have livelihoods they need to uphold, and for instance, when a local Arab’s restaurant isn’t receiving business because their usual customers are afraid to do commerce with each other, it is going to affect everyone.  By the FAA banning flights from the US to Tel Aviv, it hurts economically and the trust between each other.  Of course, under the circumstances individuals might decide not to fly, but life must go on, because we cannot allow terror to deterrent our daily lives.

This current round of conflict isn’t just affecting the lives of Israeli’s/Gazan’s in Israel, but all around the world where there are Jewish communities who are being repressed because they are Jewish.  Whether Israel might be a big part of their lives, or maybe them being Jewish isn’t a big part of their identity, regardless of being on the left or right, or keeping kashrut or having a BLT, the second when Jew hatred is present, it invokes the fear and the reality of being Jewish, and when being singled out as a Jew in a negative and hurtful way, the feeling is universal.  The violence and dehumanization that occur in these anti-Israel demonstrations escalate very quickly, and it is scary to observe that the streets of Paris seem to resemble the hatred that is permeated and how ugly hate is, and this is miles from where the escalation is occurring.

So, how can WE do something to help impact one another during times of difficulties such as these? I don’t have one solution or option, but I suggest outreaching to your local Jewish organizations and ask how you can help.  Whether that means monetarily donating if you are able to, reaching out to you congressional representatives to voice your concern on one of the US’s greatest ally, or volunteering your time to help organize what your community needs your assistance with.  Every little bit that is done goes a long way, because in time’s such as these we need to rely on one another and put our political hats away to ensure that we are united and are able to be successful to help those in Israel who need it most.  Our biggest threat to those who try to hurt us, emotionally and physically, is to not let our hearts harden like they want us to do, and stand strong and be unified.  As Mark Twain would say, “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

To all my friend’s and family in Israel, to everyone, I hope that this escalation quickly will come to an end, because everyone suffers, everyone.  To the State of Israel, thank you for making sure to safeguard your citizens and assisting those in need from anyplace where they come from.  I will keep on working diligently on your behalf for you and your surrounding neighbors, so there can be quiet one day.  There wasn’t always the luxury of having a place to call home.  I hope to call you home soon one day.

About the Author
Gayleh (Gay Oleh), once hailing from the middle west and ventured to the Middle East. Avid adventurer, investigator, and passion discoverer. I like to tell stories and embrace the power of story telling to leverage different narratives.
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