Hey, I have a question for you.
How would you feel if you lived in, let’s say Northern London, and you were constantly attacked by the people living in Southern London? How would you feel, if deadly missiles were shot at you, day and night, with the sole purpose of killing as many of you as possible? Men, women, children, babies – doesn’t matter who, it’s just another notch in their belts.
How would you feel if you had to run to a bomb shelter, in 15 seconds or less, every time the damn siren blared out its loud and ominous sound? How would you feel if you had to drag your sleeping kids out of bed, sometimes several times a night, to seek refuge in a shelter? How would you feel if you had to explain, time and time again, to your crying, terrified child, why after reading their favorite nighttime story and telling them to fall asleep, you had to wake them up so violently and so soon? How do you explain that the Southerners hate you and your family so much, they dedicate their lives and all their energy to find ways to kill you?
Because kill you they want. That’s all they want. By any means necessary. That’s how strong their hate is. It never stops. They hate you 24/7, 365 days of the year. They don’t even take pee-breaks from that hate. If they don’t send missiles to kill you, they will put on a suicide belt and go to your favorite restaurant and blow themselves up, or kill you with knives and guns, or ram you with a truck. Arson via balloons and tunnel digging is another favorite of theirs. And kidnapping. Let’s not forget kidnapping, an all-time favorite Southern classic. You name it. Whatever new and improved way they can come up with in order to kill you, they will use with pleasure. They’re innovators of death. They excel in killing but not much else. They’re the nightmare you can’t wake up from. Ever.
Are you picturing it? Does it give you warm, fuzzy feelings or do you feel really scared? Truly, what do you feel?
Now, try to understand that this is happening to us in Israel every day of the year. It’s a constant presence in our lives. Now, be honest and answer me this: what would YOU do to protect yourself and your family? What?
I know your answer. You’re a sane, loving person just like me, and I know that you’d do ANYTHING in your power to protect yourself and all your loved ones from danger and death. In your hearts of hearts you know this is true – you’d do exactly what we do – you’d protect yourself, try to survive and live and thrive, no matter what.
Still, you tell us to restrain ourselves. To bend down when being attacked. To look the other way when being killed. To turn the other cheek. You ask us to do that one thing you would never ask of any other country in the world: to NOT defend ourselves. Why is that? Does that make sense to you? Because it sure as hell doesn’t make any sense to me.
So, I ask of you, please stop obsessing about us. Stop boycotting us, and for God’s sake, stop lying about us and stop twisting the truth. Just let us be.
We might shine in our awesomeness on most days, and invent all kinds of cool gadgets in order to improve your life, heck, even save it just because, but we’re not invulnerable superheroes. We bleed just like you. We worry about our kids and our aging parents just like you. We bitch about the weather, the lack of quality movies on Netflix, and the price on gas, just like you. We get stuck in traffic jams, and charged a ridiculous amount of money for rent, just like you. We love. We grieve. We laugh. We cry. We’re all trying to fit in and find our place in the world.
There’s just one difference… We have to live with hostile, trigger-happy, terrorist-infested countries as our neighbors, and they are constantly plotting and daydreaming of our demise and annihilation. Remember, we’re small, not more than the size of New Jersey, and they are huge, spreading over two continents. It sucks. Like REALLY TRULY sucks.
But hey, you, do us a favor? It would help an awful lot if you could at least try to understand what we’re going through. If you could try to have some sympathy and stop making us the scapegoat for all that’s wrong with the world. If you could try to see and understand the other side of the coin. Try to walk in our shoes for a change. Try to be that Northern Londoner under attack, for just a few minutes, and imagine what that would feel like. Please? Because seriously, if you felt what we feel, if you truly walked in our shoes, how could you act and feel any differently? And how can you judge us when you’d do the same?