I have a Swedish side. I have an Israeli side. When I lived in Israel I was lied to. And the lies come everytime I visit as well.
All my life I’ve heard that the IDF are the ultimate evil. I’ve heard that all Arabs are terrorists. I’ve heard that Jews drink blood of killed Arabs. I’ve heard you can’t trust Arabs because they are an enemy within. I’ve heard that Druze, Bedouins and Christians are dirty. I’ve heard that you should not pay taxes to the state of Israel. I’ve heard that everyone in the PA are corrupt. I’ve heard that the people of Gaza deserve to be starved to death. I’ve heard that mourning or respecting someone dead only counts if you belong to that certain group. I’ve heard that Israel kills children. I’ve heard that Hamas deliberately aims their rockets at schools. I’ve heard that from the river to the sea, Al-Aqsa will be free. I’ve heard that Al-Aqsa should be blown to pieces so a new temple can be built there. I’ve heard that the Jews are racists among each other – and against Arabs. I’ve heard that Zionism equals to Nazism. I’ve heard that there are Arab jobs and Jewish jobs.
Most of this – is pure god damn bullshit. And yes, you can argue that it’s unfair to bomb and kill innocent people in Gaza. And yes, you can argue that many of them embrace Hamas with its terror against Israel and its own people.
We, who live, has lived, moved to or have relatives in Israel know that Israel is probably the most un-normal country on earth. We have three major world religions in the old city of Jerusalem alone.
But to be deep down honest – I. Dont. Give. A. Damn. I don’t care. Why should my life have to carry this bullshit passed on from generation to generation, no matter what roots one might have? It’s so unfair.
For me, life is precious. I value life, I want to live my life to it’s fullest extent. My kids have Israeli citizenship. What do I pass on to them? Absolutely not any of these expressions of racism, hatred or disregard of someone else. Be it about my neighbour, Jews, Circassians, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, LGBT-Q’s, seculars or atheists.
I found my own way to navigate Israel, and it’s wonderful. In every single way. Since I started writing here, I found so many new friends and perspectives. Every friend, frenemy, enemy or perspective tells me a story. And Israel is a hotpot of different stories, none is the same. Every single individual has their own story to tell.
I’m sick and tired of the older generation. They live in the past. I want to live now and I want to keep living my life. With my friends. With my relatives. Showing my kids that there is another side, a brighter side which are barely mentioned.
That side is called hope, dialogue, opportunities, equality, perfecting the bi-linguality of Israel. I want to go to the beach, I want to drink a beer. I want to do whatever I feel is right. Not what someone else thinks is right, just because I might belong to a certain folkgroup or tribe. The tribalism is a poison that keeps us locked in our chains.
I don’t want to feel afraid to get stabbed by a desperate, radicalized extremist from the West Bank. I don’t want to breath in the tear gas from the riot police. I don’t want to be mistakenly shot by a soldier. I don’t want to feel fear. And I choose not to. Because living in constang fear, draped in racism means we all will never progress.
I want the people living close to Gaza not being on constant alert. I want the people of the north not feel anxiety about if Hezbollah decides to launch its barrage of rockets. I don’t want to see people in the West Bank living under military rule. I want the people of Gaza being able to live free. I don’t want to see people suffer any longer.
I want to see total equality for all tribes of Israel. I want to visit whoever I want without suspicion. I want to go to the Tel Aviv Pride and celebrate the freedom of choice for all people. I want anyone who loves one another to be able to get married and share their life forever, without religious intervention or laws.
I want to celebrate ALL medical staff in Israel. I want to embrace the march of the women demanding peace. I want to take the train without the need for my bag getting scanned.
And finally – I don’t want to hear racial slurs, hate, disregard or discust of your neighbour.
I want to acknowledge Israel as a state for the Jewish people and a state for all its citizens.
That can start now. Make it happen.