My mother was a refugee too, but she did not have any country where she could practice her religion or speak a common language any more, it was either emigrate to the middle east or be killed in a concentration camp. ..and the entrance to the middle east had meant a long waiting list and having to wait for an official document that which have allowed her to move from a spacious home in Europe which became inhospitable to a tiny place in the middle east called “Palestine” where the Germans of her time had recommended her people should go to, so she did, but somehow that did not please people either, still does not.
Like you, my mother went through Turkey, then landed in a place where she could find refuge but also a war on a regular basis, and at a young age many of her friends from the youth movement were massacred in Gush Katif mercilessly, but still she stayed, we stayed, we never left, and never thought to give up the struggle for a homeland we could call our own, even though it meant going to the army, even though my mother did not know whether any of the children she had sent to the army and her only son would ever come back safe, we served in the army, no army fought for us, no army sacrificed its soldiers to fight our enemies, we did it on our own and yet we stayed.
I heard on the PBS news how you say that you could not live with the death and destruction and watching children die, welcome to our middle east!I still recall my friend who was teaching in the center of Tel aviv instructed not to let the children out to play when the bus exploded and there were body parts thrown everywhere near the school..after the Oslo peace accords that led to so much hope and then even more violence but yet we stayed.
As an Israeli i had been born to a non ending conflict with the Moslem world, but when i was a child, we were not hated so much, the world was astonished how we managed to survive invasion by most of the Arab world , and even turn out victorious though the price of winning a war is losing lives , and therefore there is no victory and yet we stayed.
When i did try to leave Israel and found myself in Europe, i did not receive any assistance from anyone except family members , namely my mother, and still do not have any status of receiving help from the country, whereas refugees can just show up with an iPhone and they get all the help possible to get housing, employment and they receive a lot of empathy from the left liberal people whereas i get “what are you doing to the poor Arabs?” even though i am also a left liberal person and yet we stayed.
Ever since i was born my late father had to go fight wars, he never did become racist or generalise all Arabs , nor did i or any member of my family or anyone i know, it is therefore very sad for me that anytime there is some sort of violence it is our side that is blamed and not the side that refuses since 1948 any peace plan any agreement to stop the violence and still we are the bad guys, in which book`?and yet we stayed.
US is a country of immigrants i am told and yet as soon as i finished my graduate school in the US , without assistance by the US,i was told by US immigration to please leave and return to the middle east, unlike many Moslems who claim to be refugees but how are we different?
I had also lived with violence, had seen buses explode, lost a dear friend in the army, watched another friend return broken body and full of metal pieces from a Lebanese terror group weapons, and then served in the army even though i do not like military at all.
I am not the only one, most Israelis are not planning to leave any time soon, in fact Israel might be the only country in the middle east , other than the rich gulf states, where people from US and europe move to and yet we stayed.
I am not a nationalist fanatic flag waving mad woman but it does make me sad that whereas you can wave your Moslem flags anywhere and be seen as poor refugees, i can not wave my star of David flag anywhere outside the Jewish state or closed Jewish events which are heavily guarded. why is that? and yet we stayed.
Not a day goes by where the news does not report of another disturbing antisemitic incident whether the bones of holocaust victims scattered or sold in Ukraine, a nasty hateful message written in the New York subway, or some ugly comment by a British parliament member not to mention the United Nations who seem to have no other occupation, not stopping the Syrian massacre, not working to stop dictatorship, but sharply criticises the one tiny jewish state and yet we stayed.
Dont get me wrong, i would not change places with you for a second, but why is that you think the world owes you so much when your culture have taken from the world so much sense of security ? and yet we stayed .
My culture has given the world many books, songs, art works, scientific developments and the bible and jesus too, and yet as a nation we are under attack almost in every place on earth by radical haters, so why is it that you are getting so many people demonstrating for your rights to enter America and to live in Europe whereas no one is demonstrating for my rights to exist?and yet we stay and we will always stay and if we leave, we will always come back home. always.
p.s. why can’t we be friends?
a perplexed Israeli