Recanting: The Truth about Israel

I was too outspoken in my earlier blog about the recent upheaval and tragedies in Israel. And I’m going on the record to apologize; I was wrong.

Every single conflict in Israel has usually been misrepresented in world media as Israel to blame and everyone else as the poor victims. I’ve always known that’s not the truth. But the world doesn’t.

It isn’t possible to look at the situation with a sense of balance because not everyone is playing by the same rules or fighting fair. Yesterday, I spent an hour learning with my rabbi and in that slim hour that we sat in her study and discussed recent Torah portions and Haftorahs and biblical stories with universal, reverential truths, 17 rockets were shot on Israel. In one hour.

The kids and I have an app on our phones called Red Alert to let us know every time a missile is lobbed at Israel from Gaza. Here’s an interesting fact: in the last few weeks of conflict, there have been many, many Gazan casualties. None in Israel. Why? (There was one yesterday unfortunately.)

Kippat Barzel, the Iron Dome.

Israel has created this amazing technology to detect missiles immediately as they are launched, determine where they are headed and send a counter-missile to cause both to explode in the air and not on people.


For Jews, every single life is the entire world – worth saving, worth defending.

In a recent interview, a Hamas official was asked how they could possibly have such bad aim that none of their missiles are killing Israelis. He said, “We don’t have bad aim; their God protects them.”

Jews pray at the remaining wall of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.

Yesterday was the 17th of Tammuz, a day on the biblical Jewish calendar when Jews remember the destruction of the walls around Jerusalem by both the Babylonians and the Romans. The day is one on which many observant Jews fast from sunup to sundown, not to recall the destruction but to remind us that the reason we give for this ancient destruction was corruption and senseless hatred within our own people.

Every relationship is a mirror reflecting ourSelves. Every conflict is an opportunity for us to ask how we can improve, what we can do to be better, to make a difference. That’s not to say our opponents aren’t actually causing destruction – the walls did fall and not by our own hands. Missiles and rockets are being shot at Israel all day and all night from Gaza. Insane. Unfair.

But we could consider what walls we erect that lead to disharmony and how we might remove them to create an open flow of love and understanding.

The Hebrew term sinat chinam means senseless hatred. The opposite is ahavat chinam, love for no reason. Love all, hate none. Love Self, love community. Heal the world.

My heart breaks for all people in conflict, for all victims of madness, for all senseless hatred and baseless conflict. It must end. The three Jewish boys in the West Bank were not to blame for their kidnapping and death. They live in a world gone mad and what should have been a normal Saturday night ended their young lives. I still hold that hitchhiking brings with it inherent risks; but this was outside the bounds of normal.

It is our collective consciousness, our openness to ideas and to each other and to the very core of harmony and peace that will bring harmony and peace – and nothing less.

We can look to our ancient texts to find the way. If only our eyes can see the truth in those very familiar words.

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