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The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do? : So much to say about Israel..

Thursday, 17 July 2014

So much to say about Israel..

Today  a temporary ceasefire has been agreed between Hamas and Israel, which will hopefully bring some relief for the innocent people on both sides of this awful conflict. Everyday, social media is full of people's opinions of what is happening. Newspaper articles are shared with stats on the numbers of Palestinians lives lost as are videos of Israeli soldiers giving food to Palestinian children. There are twitter accounts of the number of rockets fired every hour from Gaza to Israel. I was astonished at the hatred I see for Israel on both Twitter and Facebook but that's my naivety as these platforms enable us to much more vocal.

As a Jew I've only been to Israel in the last six years due to my parents fear who wouldn't let me go as a youngster. It made me scared as there never seemed to be a safe time. I turned 30 and went for the first time and loved it.I instantly felt a strong connection for so many reasons - including being overwhelmed by the rich cultural history the country has from ALL its religions. I made a point of speaking to locals about what they wanted for the Israel and from Arab to Christian to Jew the comments were the same 'Peace'.

Normally I'd shy away from writing about this conflict feeling like my opinion might be ill informed, but I worry that so much is shared and people aren't really reading up on the facts from both sides. 

Radio debates I hear seem to focus on the fact that there hadn't been any loss of life in Israel which overnight has now changed. But still it's reported as 'only one'.  It seems the rain of rockets from Hamas and stories of Israeli citizens running to shelters at least eight times a day isn't enough to get any sympathy and is considered normal, a way of life for Israeli's. 

Watch this video is from the Israeli ambassador speaking to the UN last week to get an idea of daily life in Israel.

Unless there was more blood shed, the mainstream media will continue to report its constant outrage about the attacks on Gaza. I don't condone what is happening and wish it wasn't, but I believe Israel has every right to defend when attacked. What scares me more is the hatred and antisemitism towards Israel and to Jewish people.It makes me feel sick to the core. Attacks on synagogues in Paris and across Europe highlights how vulnerable we are as a people - all over the world. 

Yesterday I noticed a Jewish friend talking on Facebook about his support for the Palestinians and how he was signing an open letter for Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. His comments were met by his Israeli cousin, who was understandably mortified that his British cousin hadn't inquired how his family were. He then went to great lengths to give his view of Israeli life including his strong, mixed political views about decisions his country were making, both for and against the attacks. The pair exchanged blows for a while and whilst I'm yet to finish reading through I want to share a few points made by the Israeli guy which I think gets lost in most of the debate and articles I've read.  

"Hamas openly states its mission is to destroy Israel; nothing more and nothing less. The Gaza conflict is not a conflict about occupation or about territories, it is a conflict with an extreme terror organization that wants nothing less than the total destruction of any non-Islamic presence in the holy land"

My sister who has recently moved back to the UK from Germany and is being very vocal on her feelings towards the conflict. She told me yesterday of a comment she made on a pro-Israel site being challenged by someone she knew in Germany, asking her whether she really should be using Facebook to air her views.For a German to question her passion to protect her people seemed nothing short of ignorant and a terrifying reminder of how people forget the past. 

I know innocent people are being caught up in this truly awful situation and am more than saddened by the growing number of lives lost in Gaza. I wish there was a more peaceful stance being taken but the comments I read feel like personal attacks on Jews worldwide.  There is obviously so much to learn in order to reach a peaceful outcome including both sides listening to each other rather than attacking. Nothing will be change however if Israel turns on its own, watch what happened to an American Jew showing his support for the Palestinians. 

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