I’m Taking a Break from My Journey to Promote Israel

This very well might be the hardest post I wrote since I began this journey over 13 months ago, yet I feel it’ll be phoney and unfair of me not to share with you the feelings that wrap me these last few days.

And even if it means some of you disown me, criticize me, stop your emotional and financial support in me, I feel I won’t be able to continue another day without sharing how I feel.

Something bad is happening with the State of Israel.

For years we’ve been trained to memorize and repeat the same old narrative that “the whole world is against us” only because we’re Jews/Israelis and that the reason for it is anti-Semitism/envious/hatred towards The People of The Book, and the strong urge by all the nations to annihilate us.

But for me it feels as if these past weeks events (with the rally of the LGBT community for equal rights and recognition as the climax of it all), brought many citizens to the painful realization that something bad is happening in our country.

The Nation-State law, the Surrogacy law, the drilling rig in front of Dor Beach, the arrest of Rabbi Dov Hayun, denying Ariel Gold entrance to the country, and of course the bloody war in the south.

For years, I’ve looked down with disgrace on all those American Jews who allowed themselves to criticize Israel. “How dare they“ I thought to myself, “they are totally disconnected from reality.”

And it’s true.

Only when you’re not in the eye of the storm, can you objectively and reasonably look at things.

And now, now that I’m “there,” across the ocean and thousands of miles away from home, slowly slowly things I thought were consensus, are starting to get a different perspective from that which I was taught at home/school/military/or in my close circle.

And it’s not easy.

For sure not as easy as just following the herd without ever stopping for a second and asking if it’s really the right direction.

But I’m stopping.

Stopping and asking, checking and investigating, looking to find for myself the answer to the question “are we really the righteous ones here.”

And until I have a sincere answer for myself that supports the path of my beloved country, I feel like I won’t be able to continue advocating for it.

The physical, emotional and spiritual journey continues, and I don’t plan on stopping before finishing the all 50 states.

My insights and views will continue to get published here, even if now they will get less popular.

My mouth and my heart are equal. There is no compromising on that.


About the Author
Lior Vaknin, is an Israeli entrepreneur, and is currently on a mission to promote Israel's Startup Nation in all 50 States, and share with local communities how Israeli tech can help turn anyone to an Hasbara expert and a mini ambassador of the state of Israel. He's a former paratrooper with the IDF and the founder of the largest Israeli-American tech community in New York - Israeli Startups NYC.
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