I’m just back from spending ten days in Israel. I went there with some other US veterans. We went there to learn and experience healing for Post Traumatic Stress—an area in which Israel leads the world. Most of the people I talked with there were military people—on the other hand, almost everyone in Israel serves in their military, so that I talked with military people is really the only choice. While this was not my first trip there (my wife and I visited there about 40 years ago) this trip truly impressed me.
I’m not trying to say that everything in Israel is wonderful and glorious—but I am saying that the nation and its people are outstanding. They are often attacked by people who will not be happy until every Jew is dead—how does one negotiate with such people? The terrorists deliberately target civilians, schools, hospitals—non-military targets. Further, the terrorists shoot their rockets and mortars form their own schools and hospitals so that when the Israeli’s respond to take out the launch sites the media can cover all the damage to schools the Israeli’s did. How can anyone defend this?
Yet, the Israelis are simply defending themselves as best as they can and are continuing to live normal lives. If you were an Arab Muslim who was born in America—and married an Arab Muslim and had a family—and if you decided that you wanted to move your family to the Middle East to live, you would, of course research the area to find the best place for your family to live. You’d want good education for your kids, good health care, opportunity for your daughters to seek satisfying education and careers, and the right to be politically active—and you’d end up moving to Israel. The Arab Muslims who are Israeli citizens live better lives than their peers anywhere in the region.
Every young person must register for the draft at age 16. Only Jews have to serve; Christians, Muslims, and others do not have to. At age 18 (or, if they are still in high school, when they graduate) all youngsters report for active duty with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). All citizens know that with the rights and freedoms they enjoy—there is also responsibility and duty. I wish that the American culture included that understanding that there is more to life than rights.
Israel is one of America’s very, very few real allies in the world today, and our government is abusing Israel at every opportunity. We had better start supporting and working with these fine people—it’s in our best interest.