Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A Mermaid in Jerusalem

WE belong here

You know what pisses me off?

When people who vilify Israel argue that we — the children Isaac — don’t belong here in the first place:
“You aren’t really from here,” some say. “Go back to Europe where you belong.”

“You had it good in Baghdad back in the day,” some say. “Go back there.”

Too many say that my ancestors never drew water from the wells on the road to Jerusalem, that we never saw the city spread over the hills in shimmering gold, that we never walked the roads through the ancient gates to the Temple Mount. .

I can tell you this: These are roads that I know like the veins on my hands because these roads wend their way through the dreams passed down to me, from generation to generation. These are my roads, the roads of my roots, and my people belong here.

jerusalem rant

You know what else pisses me off?

When others argue that the descendants of Ishmael who are living here only created a national narrative to spite Israel, that they have no real claim, no real place in this land.

“You fled,” some say. “You could have stayed and accepted the partition.”

“There were no Palestinians,” some say, “until AFTER Israel became a state and the Arab countries all around us wanted to drive us into the sea.”

You can argue and argue and argue. You can read from the parchment, and ink written by the hands of the faithful. You can throw passages from history books written long ago, throw them like fire-bombs, and watch them explode and scorch the earth so that nothing may grow.

But. What. Is. The. Point?

Believe me: Push me into a corner, and I will fight my way out. With teeth and nails and any weapon I can find, I will fight my way out if you push too far… 

So will most people.

Tell me I don’t belong here, I dare you. If, I have to, I will kill and die for this country. This is my home. I am not leaving.

And tell a Palestinian woman she doesn’t belong here, and she will say the same thing.

So between all the truths, and all the bullshit, and all the fears and all the desires of two people on one land, it all boils down to this:

We are here.

This is our home.

No one is going anywhere.



About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer is the author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel. She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems, and she now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors, talks to strangers, and writes stories about people — especially taxi drivers. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.
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