I remember it like yesterday. Blissfully ignorant of the horror that had been unfolding, I happily sent my kids off to school in Los Angeles, California that fateful morning of September 11, 2001. Within the hour, all children returned to the nestled safety of their homes, as we adults sat transfixed to our TVs and watched unimaginable terror. I also remember like yesterday the feeling that Israel, from this moment forward, is no longer alone. Now America understands what Israel goes through every day. Now America understands Israel’s pain. America and Israel – blood brothers- so to speak. Ah ha!! Now America truly knows what it’s like to kiss your kids goodbye for the day only to never return.
A few years later in the late summer of 2005, I am once again glued to my American TV set as I watch through flowing tears the last residents of Gush Katif leave their home. For those of us accused of usually seeing the world through rose colored glasses, there was hope behind the pain. Now the world will see how committed we are to peace. What a precious gift we have just handed the Palestinians and in such good faith. Ah ha! Now the world will insist that they do likewise.
Today, in the midst of Operation Protective Edge, I sit glued to the TV. This time, however, I can proudly say that I’m watching my Israeli broadcasts from my home in Modiin, Israel. I am pleasantly shocked to hear UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon say the following.
“The United Nation’s position is clear. We condemn the rocket attacks. These must stop immediately. We condemn the use of civilian sites, schools and hospitals and civilian facilities for military purposes. No country would accept rockets raining down on its territory.”
Ah ha! Finally!! Yahoo!!! The UN gets it!!
Fast forward almost 13 years from that first Ah ha! moment and I’m disheartened to say there was no moment nor do I believe there will ever be a moment. Quotes from the American administration like, “We would like to see both sides show restraint” only try to equate us with terrorists. We are not equal. One side exists in order to kill and destroy the lives of innocent civilians; the other side defends and protects its people while specifically trying not to kill or injure innocent civilians. Would Americans equate themselves with Al-Qaida?
The Palestinians were handed Gaza on a silver platter and have instead used every shred of energy towards the destruction of Israel at the expense of their own population. We have provided them with water, electricity and cement and we see that they have built tunnels for terror. Seeing the beautiful “before” pictures of Gush Katif makes me queasy. While rockets are still sailing through our skies, the United Nations has just established a council to investigate Israeli war crimes in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. The world has simply gone mad. To quote Minister of Israel Naftali Bennet, “What, are you kidding me???”
The only Ah ha moment I have now is that this amazing little country is home for every Jew. We will continue to defend it with power, strength and unity regardless of world opinion.
Sherrill Kaye is a fitness instructor who moved from Los Angeles to Israel six years ago with her husband and 6 kids.