Four months ago I finally made the decision to move to Israel. I was born here, but have been living in Denmark with my Danish mother since the age of two. I was raised as a Christian, with Danish values and with a “Robin Hood-idealism” that always told me, that I should always cheer for the weak and suppressed.
When I decided to move here, quite a lot of people asked me how I could support the Israeli government and its policies towards the Palestinians. I never quite understood this question.
Israel is so much more than war and politics. A huge amount of the Swedes must also live in a country without supporting the government! In Scandinavia many of us are raised with the idea that generalization is bad. It’s not correct to say that all Muslims are criminals or that all blondes are stupid. But for some reason the Israeli people are always referred to as one; as the government.
I honestly don’t know much about Israeli politics, and I don’t know much about the Jewish-Palestinian conflict, but I do know one thing: the Scandinavian media should NOT be the people’s source of reality! It has happened a thousand times that my Danish friends expected me to explain the actions of “the Israeli monster”. They’d heard a new story about a missile attack from Israel, and many times they actually almost convinced me that my country of birth was like the new Hitler; torturing the poor Palestinians that were unable to fight back. That was until I visited Israeli news sites and read the articles about the reasons for the attacks.
For some reason the Scandinavian media has decided to make the people hate Israel. I don’t know why, and I’m not saying that Israel is a saint in this conflict. I’m just saying that there are always two sides of the story, but in Scandinavia you only hear one of them!
Another important information, that may surprise a few Swedes is, that Israel never aims to hurt any civilians! There is always a reason for the act – then the individual can decide for itself whether it thinks it’s a good one. Israel doesn’t wish to hurt the Palestinians. The government is simply trying to defend the country and protect its people!
People forget (or don’t know) that Israel is a country just like any other. We go out, we laugh, and we travel and have family dinners. When I say that I think the Scandinavians could learn a lot from the Israelis, people look at me like I’m crazy! But I do think that Israelis are some of the kindest, most open and warm-hearted people I’ve ever met. The mentality is not aggressive or war-minded. People don’t believe me when I say so, but the few that take the chance and come to see the country with their own eyes, they always come back.
We have SO much to show you; we are SO much more than war and politics; we are tired of being misunderstood!
Maja OlsenConnect with me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.