Hard Summon: Why is Israel Left Toeing the Line. Alone.
By Sarah Pascal Belzer, Contributor / The American Rant
Nobody gets that Israelis are afraid. And we don’t get that they feel hated by the world, isolated, and left to toe the line. Hold the line. The only free nation-state in the Middle East surrounded by barbarians, keeping them at bay. And what if they didn’t? What home would the Jews have? What home would we have? Forget Tehran, been to Europe lately?
Israel. The right to exist? They’re hated by the world for their mere plea to exist. They’re begging. The world ignores them. They say you know when someone’s done you wrong when they give you the cold shoulder All we have to do is to watch as the civilized world opens its boarders to all of Israel’s enemies. They’re invited in and voted in—but getting them out will take blood. We’ll have to fight our way out of the mess that's certain to come.
Ask any Israeli and they’ll tell you “Any moment you can die.” But they don’t talk about it unless asked, because no one is listening. But you can feel it when they do. It’s unfamiliar, the delivery. It echoes from ashes and chills the bones. Its life or death with them every day. We don’t know that. Not until we see rockets fly past our balcony will we get it. Don't we know they are us and we are next? Get rid of the Jews and get rid of the world’s problems? It’s the Israelis that are holding at bay the barbarians at the gate. For us. Are we getting this?
Just talk to a high school graduate (in Israel) —one minute they’re a kid, the next they’re learning how to spot a terrorist, disarm a knife-wielding teenager, survive a gas attack. As children, every Israeli learns what do when under enemy fire. They know the drill when those sirens go off. Two minutes. Two bloody minutes to run for cover. Fortunately, there’s a ‘safe’ room (read: bomb shelter) in every corner of every floor of every apartment building. And yes, also in the kindergarten, at the park, the movies...
Look into their eyes. Deep pools. Sincere. Brave not by choice but because it’s up to them and they know it. These are a people where yes means yes, no means no, laughter is real, smiles are deep, and an open door is for everyone. So, when I hear tourists complain that superficial niceties are lacking, I say listen up. I say the real thing is better than shallow exchanges any day of the week. I say send YOUR high school graduate over and let them do their part in keeping the only free democratic nation in the Middle East, and the only Jewish nation on the plane — or support those that are doing the job for us.
Why should Israelis have to go it alone? And who are we to think we have a voice? We get to go back home and tuck our kids in at night with fairy tales instead of instructions on how to apply a gas mask if you can’t find mommy and daddy in the rubble to do it for you.
Why do the world’s Jewry get to decide what's best for Israel and which Jewish child should serve? Every parent who doesn’t send their kids to Israel to play their part in protecting it is making a decision. They’re choosing who goes to the front line, they're allowing Israeli parents to go it alone. It's the Israelis that are left holding their breath each time an emergency newscast interrupts their afternoon, their sleep, their dental visit. By keeping our children stateside we're saying, “you do it”. We're willing to risk the lives of someone else’s kids. Not ours. And then think to have a dissenting opinion worth voicing.
On Yom Kippur we ask for forgiveness for the things we do, AND for the things we fail to do. Being Jewish isn't tied only to a country, but to a people. A people holding the fort — for us, if ever, G-d forbid we need our own safe haven. So, why do we get off scot-free? Talk about the short end of the stick. And don't get me started about those who fail to support our politicians who support Israel, or worse, support those who kowtow to their enemies. I’m sick and tired of hearing about someone’s feelings when the survival of a people is at stake. Enough with the fantasy that these barbarians will stop with the Jews. After us comes the Christians, and everyone who isn't them. If you want to talk about feelings then hop on a plane and listen to some feelings grounded in reality. On the front line.
Until Jews from every other nation are willing to send their sons and daughters to defend ’our' nation state (If you’re Jewish, then by the ‘right of return’ Israel is by law, the homeland and safe haven of every Jew in the world; where we can legally emigrate to and become a citizen should we find our country of origin too great a threat. Just ask France.) then they shouldn't have a voice in the political decisions Israel makes for its survival.
I say don’t just do ’something’, let's do 'everything' we can—sign a petition, march in the streets, pick up a bullhorn, send all our money. Or even better—send our sons and daughters.
How long are we going to have our brethren sitting on this tiny sliver of land in the Middle East surrounded by huge enemy nations that want to push Israel into the sea—go it alone? Israel exists so the Jewish people can exist.
In the great words of JoJo Rabbit: "We are people who wrestle with angels and slay giants." Get with the program or get out of the way.