If Only They Knew

If only they knew of the beauty you hold. A rose amongst the thorns, but don’t let that get to your head. You own the bluest waters and the greenest hills. Your deserts bloom and your cities stay pure. Your children are spiky on the outside, but if you get to know them, are warm as ever on the inside. They take no as a stepping stone to a yes, and can bargain their way out of gravity.

My friends back home, and even strangers that I come across, have an absurd often inaccurate depiction of you; one of violence, war and death. Of course your history is not all that pleasant, but what tends to be overlooked is the uniqueness you hold.

For some reason you are still here, and your people still thriving. How? I have no idea but I would like to know your secret. What is your secret to being so famous yet so small?

You were born from the cocoon of an identity clash. You are the size of New Jersey yet you absorb immigrants into your home like a sponge. I guess you take the word ‘hospitality’ very seriously. In only 67 years, your house was built from the ground up, by thousands of refugees seeking shelter. They flooded your home and yet you did not discriminate. In your eyes, everyone was equal. Everyone deserved a refuge. Everyone was human.

Compared to all the good that you have done, I feel as though I have not done enough. Not because of pressure from your friends or allies, but for simply following the world’s moral code. You flew to far way places that have been affected by natural disasters and you saved countless lives. You did not have to. But you did. Your kindness is overlooked, but that never stops you from volunteering your time and energy; commodities that can be spent on taking care of yourself.

Others place you on a double standard but that has never made you quit, rather you faced this unfair challenge head on. I know of no other person who cares for their enemies. I know of no other person who gives them rights even after they have attacked you physically. I know of no other person than you who still has hope.

When your enemies call you a dictatorship, an apartheid individual, I almost have to laugh because, if I may say so myself, you are too democratic at times. You even have an elected woman that calls for your destruction, yet she sits on a chair in your living room.

But I respect you above all, not because of the good you have done, but because you can admit to your mistakes- when others cannot. You have the dignity to stand up and admit to failure. You are not a coward in the face of defeat.

How do you put up with constantly having to defend your existence? Your birth caused so much uproar but you didn’t let that get you down. If other’s don’t have to explain their existence, then you do not either.

Its hard for me to protect you because we are oceans apart, but you will always be in my heart. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, I know that amongst my friends, you are one of true dedication. I know I can rely on you to stand up and protect me from others calling for my destruction.

I love you like a child loves a parent. As a Jew who loves Israel.

About the Author
Devora Khafi grew up in Singapore and is currently a student at Queen Mary University of London. She specializes in issues regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as security threats to the region.