Laura Ben-David
Sharing Israel with the world through my lens

If Israel wrote a letter to the world

Dear World,

I’m writing this because I care, though I am not sure why I do as it seems our relationship has always been one-sided.

As you know I am a comparatively young country, built on deep history, yet born out of desperation. I have spent my entire existence trying to justify myself and all of our actions.

I have endured countless assaults, attacks and attempts to destroy me – both physically, and in the diplomatic arena.

I have invested deeply in all sorts of attempts at better public relations. If only the world would REALLY understand what we are going through, how we are fighting for our very survival in a very hostile neighborhood… Surely they would understand? Be supportive? And yet, I have been disappointed time and again.

‘Disappointed’ doesn’t even come close. I feel abandoned by the world. Ignored, at best; and, more often than not, demonized.

You see, remember that nasty neighborhood I live in? Believe me… I would LOVE to just live here in peace and tranquility. But our neighbors aren’t much of the peaceful sort. I live surrounded by those whose moral code is not like yours and mine. It is a moral code that honors death, and tolerates murdering daughters for ‘honor. I want to live in peace. They chase war. For 66 years they have warred against me and yet continually refuse to live by the consequences of their own actions.

As you well know – despite the shameful lack of reporting – my Hamas neighbors in the Gaza Strip (the same Hamas that is now a partner of President Abbas and his Palestinian Authority) has been attacking my citizens. Rockets have been aimed indiscriminately at my citizens, terrorizing them, disrupting their lives.

I feel almost silly saying that the situation is intolerable. Well of course it is. Yet, for some reason I am forced to explain why I must protect our citizens. I must justify actions taken in defense of my people. I need to defend any campaign that is designed to restore order in my land, restore sanity in the region. But it doesn’t matter, does it. I am guilty before I even begin.

Time and again has proved that no matter how long I employ restraint while my citizens are terrified, holding back until I cannot take it any longer, and the world HAS TO understand our need to fight back, you, dear world, do not understand. 

You must know, by now, that as my IDF seeks to root out the tools of terror Hamas will place all of its rockets, weapons and terrorists in public places with lots of people, especially children, to ensure that there will be ‘collateral damage’ and lots of it. My precious IDF will do everything it can to hit with precision, protect lives, but Hamas will make their task exceedingly difficult.

Hamas will then invite you to see all of the ‘disproportionate’ damage the big bully Israel is inflicting on poor Hamas. Some of what they show you will likely be manufactured just for this purpose. I may have just enough time to make a dent on their terror infrastructure before you come down on me and pressure me to back off.  

Whether you influenced by damage caused by Hamas’ policy to place anything worth targeting near citizens and public buildings, or simply influenced by decades of a deeply pervasive anti-semitic stance (yes, I know, you are ‘anti-Zionist’, not anti-Semitic…. Sorry, but it’s the same thing under a modern guise…), I regret to say but this time I have to do things my way. I will not make you happy no matter what I do, so there is no reason for me to try and appease you.

And so, dear world, on this issue we must part ways. I will do what I must to protect my citizens; all of my citizens: Jews, Arabs and many others. To restore peace and security. To restore sanity and normalcy. And you, my friend, can look on, say what you want, complain, rant and rave, and write dozens of UN resolutions against us. You will do it anyway. I can not make you happy. And so, I’m afraid, that this time I won’t bother to try.

Yours sincerely,
State of Israel


About the Author
Laura Ben-David is a photographer, public speaker and Israel advocate. Inspired by her Aliyah experience, Laura began writing and never stopped. She is the author of the book, MOVING UP: An Aliyah Journal, a memoir of her move to Israel. She has spoken all over the world about Israel, Aliyah and other topics, often with beautiful photographic presentations. Formerly the head of social media at Nefesh B'Nefesh, Laura is the director of marketing at Shavei Israel as well as a marketing consultant.
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