Keith Brooks
International Business Executive Living and Working in Israel

I Want to Tell You

When you live outside of Israel, the news here is always viewed through the grain of history. “It happened again”, “another bombing”, more terrorists and so on and so on. Partially because most people have not been here that they do not recognize many of the places incidents happen.

Maybe you have seen the pictures, and you say “Look it is on the road or the highway, at a bus stop”, and you think to yourself “these things happen in public places”.  And maybe you are right, but these things also happen where you go to eat dinner, or have drinks with clients or take your kids.

These last points are what most people say when they are objecting to coming to Israel. It’s not safe. True, in the US for example, mafia hits or drug cartel murders happen all the time, but are aimed at 1-2 people usually.  In any city of the world you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and get killed.

Robert Scoble was just in Tel Aviv and is on another whirlwind tour of tech companies. He was at Sarona two days earlier because in Tel Aviv it is one of the places people go day or night. He’s been to Israel before and knows what goes on, but still comes back for business.

Many people I know in business have come here over the years, some also had just been at Machene Yehuda or Jaffa gate or someplace else that was attacked the next day or hours later. The feeling can be overwhelming for some, but for others it provides strength of their convictions to do more, see more.

Yes it hurts to hear, and see, these things. It never gets easier explaining it to the kids, or family, and friends. Why stay? Why do this to myself and the kids? And this is form family and friends outside of Israel.

Life goes on, we live to rock another day but we feel bad for every Jew out there who thinks they are safe in their little bubble of the world.

Terrorists, BDS, racists and other misdirected people do not care if they hurt or kill you as long as you are Jewish.

Yes, it is the 1930’s, the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms and so many other times all over again. And just like those times, it does not matter if you are religious or not, pro or anti their views, you will be hurt by them no matter if you live in New York, Paris, London or Miami.

Some friends sent messages asking if we were okay and we thank you for it, we know our friends are there for us, but we also see all the ones who are not and never ask about us. We know we are not your priority, but when something happens in Belgium, France or Germany we reach out because we know what it is like to be on the other end of this mess.

Someone once told me, until you have lost a loved one, you have no idea what it is like nor what people are like or how they react. It is only afterwards that you have a better view of what to do or what people need. This is how Israel sees the world. We feel your pain, because we have been there and continue to be there. What was, but is no longer, surprising is you, the world, have not learnt from any of it yet.

It doesn’t help when Facebook doesn’t view the things in Israel as meaningful enough for their emergency response system. Facebook has a large office in the middle of Tel Aviv, their own staff could have been there last night. Employee engagement is hard when you don’t care about your own at times like these.

Shavuot is this weekend and we read the story of Ruth and how Naomi, her mother in law told her and Orpah, her other daughter in law, to leave her and go on their own journey after her sons died. Ruth did not feel comfortable leaving Naomi all alone and as we know was rewarded with having the Davidic dynasty come from her. It should only be that the countries of the world ask and come to our help and be rewarded for their efforts so events like last night at Sarona become a thing of the past.

About the Author
Keith Brooks made Aliyah in 2014 with his wife, 3 kids, and their dog. Keith writes about his Aliyah, Israel and Jewish life in general. Keith advises B2B companies on how to approach their potential clients regarding pricing, marketing and sales pitches. Keith is a MassChallenge Israel mentor and an IBM Champion. Keith is available to speak to your organization as well.
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