English, Featured, Letters From Israel

My name is Oshra and I have a confession to make

My name is Oshra and I have a confession to make: I love Israel! I really do.

We have the most poetic language, we have city landscape as well as green meadows and yellow deserts. The weather here is phenomenal, it is never too hot or too cold. We have the beach and we have beautiful mountains. Our education system is one of the best in the world, we encourage great minds and thinking out of the box. Our health insurance is not that expensive, we have the ability to speak our minds and protest when necessary, and we do it non violently. Israel is a great country. I love it. I really do.

Don’t get me wrong though, it is not always easy for me to admit that. I don’t always agree with my country’s actions.
I am a pacifist. I have, what you might call, a romantic point of view to life. I choose to have this point of view! I choose to be a little naive, to believe that if people want peace they can make a difference. I don’t believe that violence is the answer. I do, however, know that there are many times that there is no other choice.

Non of us here actually wants war. We want to live our lives in peace, we want to open the newspaper and read articles about soccer or science or even ministers embarrassing sex tapes! Anything but war.

We don’t hate Arabs. We live with them, work with them, befriend them. It’s the media that makes it so nasty. It’s the same media that constantly portrays the pain and suffering of the people in Gaza, completely neglecting those poor people living in Israel, under a constant threat of terror.

Let me break it to you: BOTH SIDES SUFFER. War sucks, for both sides! We don’t enjoy this. We just want to live our lives in peace, drink our morning coffee, kick back and relax. Do you know how hard it is to relax around here? Every time you hear a supersonic boom you are sure your country is under attack. Every time you hear a motorcycle outside that sounds like a siren your heart drops a beat.

I am a graphic artist and illustrator. About a month ago, on the latest bomb attacks, I had a costumer from Be’er Sheva (southern Israel) asking me to not use the color red. ”Red Color” is the name of the alarm system in the south. Imagine a world without the color red! A world in which red is a color for passion and energy instead of terror and fear…

The bottom line is- we just want to live and let live. This is the voice of the real people in Israel.

Oshra Pahima-Shemesh

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