We are a ROCK, We are an ISLAND

In Israel, we truly are on an island, as the decision of the U.S. airlines and the F.A.A. reminded us, and for 48 hours, until the decision was finally rescinded, we were besieged.

We live here in Israel as only a few million strong. With our neighboring countries we have cold or non-existent relations. We have but our own solidarity to rely on, with the support of allies and our Jewish diaspora around the world to inspire us in dire times of need.

Through the missiles, through the sirens, through the endless mornings and nights with our children in the stairwells taking shelter, we remain strong.

We live here trying to keep up as normal of a routine as possible. Of course the “Iron Dome” is key to such, but it is not the only factor. It is our spirit, our resilience, our sheer chutzpah which keeps us strong in Israel.

From an early age we are taught that to keep up one’s routine is to defeat terrorism. Their very aim is to deter us from maintaining our quality and routine of life. So to insist on not interrupting our lives is to win.

We won when we continued to visit the cafes of Tel Aviv.

We won each morning when we continued to board the number 18 bus in Jerusalem on way to school.

We won when we did not fear to visit the Upper Galilee during the times of frequent katyusha fire from Lebanon, and we continue to win when we do not refrain from visiting the south of Israel.

This is reality here, and the people of Israel would have it no other way.

It is for this reason that the decision of the government of the United States of America, the F.A.A. and the U.S. airlines to cease air-travel in and out of Israel is so outrageous.

Do not fool us with comparisons to the downed Malaysian aircraft in the Ukraine. That vile act of terrorism was conducted by a missile from an advanced anti-aircraft weapon system. The Hamas only has metal pieces of junk-rockets that it flings through the air with next-to-no-precision.

The U.S. decision to cancel flights to/from Israel was a body blow at the precise moment that we were suffering the most.  As a U.S.-born Israeli I was especially shocked. Never in my wildest dreams would the government of the United States of America gift-wrap such a strategic achievement to Hamas.

It is at times like this that you are either with us or you desert us. Our memory is long. We celebrate those that stand by us in times of need and sneer at those that choose to desert us. But make no mistake, we will win.

This is a moment of truth in which we are fighting for our homeland.

We in Israel will continue to be strong and resilient.

Yes, we are an island, but never forget, we are a rock.

About the Author
Mati Gill is CEO of AION Labs, a venture studio with a first-of-its-kind company creation model for new start-ups utilizing AI for drug discovery and development. Prior to founding AION Labs, Mati was a senior executive at Teva Pharmaceuticals and served as Chief of Staff for Israel’s Minister of Public Security. He is an IDF veteran (Maj. res.)`and currently serves on the boards of the Israel Advanced Technology Industries Association (IATI) and the Israel America Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).
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