United by Terror
By Dr. Elana Yael Heideman
These are difficult days for the people of Israel. Terror is on the rise. Hatred is toxic. And virulent.
Is it an intifada? Is it a war? Are these isolated incidents? What is the answer? Is there an answer?
One thing is very clear: this isn't about land nor is it about settlements, or settlers. This is about Jews and the Jewish homeland.
With every murder ignored by the world - blame displaced on the victims or story lost to the narrative of the perpetrator - our frustrations grow.
We put trust in our government to protect us. Yet, this trust buckles under the weight of non-action caused by world opinion, bureaucratic rhetoric and political maneuvering. Even our Jewish morals prevent the government from taking action in putting an end to this open-ended death threat on Israelis and the Jewish people.
And so it goes...we vent our frustrations - on Facebook, on Twitter, in the newspapers and in journals, anywhere we hope our voice will be heard. Who are the readers of our blogs and our stories? Are we only "selling to the sold"? Can we truly make a difference? Our voices are being muffled by the sheer number of those who negate our truth and of those who fabricate lies so as to demonize, dehumanize, and incite to destruction.
What then, is the answer given this morbid reality of enmity?
WE MUST DECLARE, AS ONE, THAT IT IS TERROR THAT UNITES US.
Why? Because it is our collective ongoing reminder that the hate will never subside, that it isn't about borders or building or security fences, that it is precisely our extermination they seek, again:
The extermination of Israel.
The extermination of Jewish pride and dignity.
The extermination the Zionist dream.
To remain silent in the wake of terror is to grant them victory.
We can raise our voices to complain, we can rally in support. And we must - yes we must - revive our sense of unity, of commitment, of honor, in knowing that we will never give up.
Even as the senseless terror, the murders, the constant existential state of fear, may circle around us like a tempest, we will insist that ISRAEL IS FOREVER and that we will not give up that fight, just as we never gave up the dream for our 2000 years in exile.
Nothing illuminates this reality better than the words of our own citizens, of the people coping with the rise in terrorism, the waves of recent murders, and with the deafening indifference of the world.
"Standing far back from the station, I wait anxiously for the bus. The pulled muscle in my lower back is crying for me to take a seat at the station bench...but I resist. Standing far back I try to be rational. Realistic. Telling myself that this is no different than waiting for the subway in NY. Always remaining on guard for the possible evil-doers who lurk. But nonetheless, I stand far back. Constantly watching the cars heading in my direction. Innocent people stand waiting as well. Old and young alike. Trying to go about their day in a normal fashion. All the while we live in this less than normal reality. Everyone is quiet this morning. Not in typical Jerusalemite fashion. We are strong. And quiet. And resilient. But also very much aware...of the danger that lurks in the city we call home." Michelle Rojas-Tal
"Arabs are killing innocent Jews in Israel!!!!! What should Israel do? Not fight back? If you think so, you are a hypocrite! If someone was trying to kill you, wouldn't you fight back? If someone was trying to kill your daughter, your son, your mother, your father, your husband, your wife, your best friend, your loved one, or you yourself, wouldn't you fight back? WHY SHOULDN'T ISRAEL FIGHT BACK?" Shula Oudean
"I'm starting to lose track of the tragedies. Maybe a denial thing. But no one can stay in denial much longer." Miriam Kresh
"The community of Tekoa will bury its daughter Dalia Lemkus. A beautiful young women who was murdered by a crazed madman who slashed her throat. We gather in a park named "Parents Park" after the loss of so many of our beloved. As we bury this child of our village we are broken. we have cried so many tears, in sorrow, on each others shoulders. Yet we vow in her memory, a daughter of each of us, to rededicate ourselves, to her message of love, and the building of the the Land of Israel, the only home we have, we will do these efforts with the help of our G-d Almighty." Bobby Brown
"We will cry over the loss of this precious young woman, all that she was and all she would have been. We will spend the shiva week remembering her. And then we will search our hearts and stiffen our backbones." Linda Olmert
"Israel HAS to fight back to protect and preserve itself. I am doing what I can from America to support Israel by spreading the word about the TRUTH of what's happening to Jews, donating $, encouraging people to visit Israel, voting for government candidates who stand with Israel...and most of all, praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Israel). HaShem is with you!!!" Sarah Tuerk
"Israel and lovers of Israel - now is the time for strength, fierceness, and eventually, victory. We cannot succumb to fear or hysteria - that is just what the terrorists want. G-d is with us in this hour of trial." Yishai Fleisher
Dr. Elana Yael Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, is a dynamic and passionate educator who works creatively and collaboratively to create a stronger voice for future Jewish leadership. An independent lecturer and educational consultant, Elana’s range of activities demonstrate the intensity of her commitment to incorporating understanding of and respect for the history of the Jewish People. Through her involvement with numerous programs, projects and lectures, Elana continually seeks to facilitate dialogue and build bridges between the past, present and future.
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