What Is It That Make Israelis So Proud?
By Shayli Hodadad, Melbourne, Australia
A friendly Palestinian woman asked me what is it that makes us so proud and how do I feel about the world hating us?
I am proud to be Israeli because I look at us and I think "Wow. We have come so far and have achieved so much in such a short time."
I admire strong people who work hard who hold big dreams living in a world that tells us to Stop Dreaming.
I am proud because we refuse to do the world's bidding and disappear.
I am proud to be Israeli because against all odds, we have maintained a moral higher ground and duty to being a compassionate nation - not to just our little group (Israel) but to nations worldwide.
I am proud to be Israeli because unlike our enemies, we value life more than death. Religion can bring people closer together but it is the victimhood of our past, and sadly our present, that pushes us to prove to the world we are worthy.
We don't stay at home and feel sorry for ourselves.
And that reason alone is to why our enemies hate us.
I am proud to be Israeli because Jews are incredibly close to each other. They do anything for each other.
We come from all ethnicities and have different practices and ideologies, but although they may be strangers, we unite as a family worldwide. Once you make a friend, that person is your friend for life.
We have an almost silent obligation to take care of each other.
I am so proud to be Israeli that if I find people that hate us, I feel more sorrow for them than hatred or anything else. I wish they could feel what we feel.
Imagine the love for your child.
Now imagine feeling that way about every Israeli/Jew you meet.
It is like no other and it is that special bond that is our secret to success.
It's not money or power.
It is pure love.
Always be there for each other.
Support each other.
Make each other laugh.
It is our togetherness that is our strongest most beautiful weapon.