English, Featured, Letters From Israel

”60+ years in this country – and a history of over 3000 years – and people still don’t think we deserve to be here”

Hey, I am Gil, 25 years old from Israel.
For a long time I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about, so I decided just to talk about my daily life in Israel.

Well, for a long time (24 years) I lived in a town called Nazareth Illit. A nice Jewish town side by side with Nazareth – yes the town from the Bible.
I grew up there, school and stuff, used to play football with friends and I even had a nice Arab friend I used to play with.

When I turned eighteen I joined the army. Almost every Jewish boy and girl goes to the army after they finish high school. Unlike many countries in the world we have to serve in the army to protect our country.
I had a nice three-year-service in a computer unit – it passed quickly. For many of us who served in the army we feel and say that the army kinda forced us to grow up.

Anyway, after that period of time in my life I worked for a year in a mall between the two towns, many Arabs and Jews work there. A nice and friendly place.
I then moved to Tel Aviv to study computer science and work.
I can’t stop thinking about what I would have done with the three years I ”spent” when I served in the army, I could have finished college, travelled the world and so on…
But Israel is a special little place and I still wonder what is wrong with this world: after World War 2 not a lot of stuff has changed – people and countries still want the Jews to be eliminated from the world, and yes after 60+ years in this country and a history of over 3000 years they still don’t think we deserve to be here.
So yea, this is how I realize and accept that these three years in the army weren’t a waste.

I truly believe and hope that in twenty years my kids won’t have to serve in the army, but live side by side with the Arabs just like when I was little.
But if it will be needed I’ll send my kids to serve in the army, just like my father sent me, the same way he served thirty years ago.

Gil

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56 Comments

  1. Danny

    peace is an expensive commodity in this world !! ha Ha

  2. Simonson

    If 33 Million Blacks and more than 50 million legal Latinos, plus some 14 million foreign Latino citizen have been allowed to live in the US; why so much fuss with Jews, who have been living on a small peace of land, that used to be just rocks and sand for thousands of years; and currently are being persecuted all over the Mid, Far East and everywhere?

    • Isaac.

      You forgot to say including whites because they are from Europe, the owners are red Indians remember.

      • David

        Actually Isaac, the ”red indians” are decendants of a Mongolian/Chinese people – they just got to north America first.

        • Chris

          The Americas are believed to have been populated first about 25,000 years ago, initially by Mammoth Hunters crossing the Bering straights when it was a land bridge.

      • Wastrel

        I’d feel more like a ”red indian” if I owned a casino.

    • PeterH

      So, what about the Palestinians then, are they a figment of my imagination?

      • Bar

        No they aren’t. Just that they are not who you think they are. Before 1948, when Israel’s name was restored from the Roman-forced insulting name of Palestine – which is a Romanized version of the Jews’ most hated enemy Philishtim or as is known to westerners as Philistine, the only ones who claimed to be Palestinians were the Jews. The Arabs living there before 1948 never referred to themselves as Palestinians.

    • onso

      Blacks and Latinos have been ”allowed” to live in this country? Allowed by whom? The whites, who took it by force of arms from their original inhabitants? And who forced the blacks to move to America as slaves? And then took (again by brute force, not unlike the nazis did) half of Mexico away from its owners, thereby occupying hispanic lands? Have you heard of nameplaces like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nevada, California, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, Texas etc? Do they sound very english to you?

      • Cavalcanti

        Thanks God California and others south states DO NOT BELONG to Mexican. Otherwise those states would be a big CHAOS and a huge trash by DRUGS MEXICAN CARTELS. Alleluia!

    • mokomele

      Are you serious? Blacks were transported against their own will to the US of A. How can you say that they are allowed to live in the US. Who do you imaging the land belonged to anyway? People of European decent. You live in a warped reality.

  3. Ricardo Atencia

    Hi Gil,

    I sense your deep love and affection for your country Israel.

    Whatever God Almighty promised to the Jews and your country, He will surely deliver these promises.

    Shalom!

  4. Alexander Hed

    Unfortunately the picture of Israel in media is negative, its like there is no normal life or relations going on there..and due to the high percentage of muslim immigrants in Sweden and other european countries, all this negativity about Israel…to cover up that teh middle east hasn t gone nowhere in 60years.

  5. Dave

    The problem is not the rightful place of those who have lived there for 60+ years or all of those born to the Land of Israel since then. They rightfully belong there and no one can deny it. It is the settler community that has been brought in from other countrys under the Right of Return that live on illegally obtained land that is the obstacle to peace. Israel – within pre-1967 borders with a shared Jerusalem – should have all of the military weapons necessary to defend itself. But there will be no peace until you remove the illegal settlers from the West Bank, and Israel will have no sympathy from any nations (other than the United States) until you stop electing people like Netanyahu who have no interest in peace.

    • dkbwarrior

      So you are saying that Israel alone in the world does not have the right to allow immigration? And lest we forget, it was the Arab nations that 3 times attacked Israel without ;provocation that led to Israel annexing those territories. If those nation had given Israel the right to exist and left them alone, Israel would still be living inside the pre-1967 borders. Even after, if those nations agreed to accept Israels right to exist, Israel would have given them back the annexed territories. Proof of this is the Sinai, which Israel eventually returned to Egypt after several years of peaceful relations with that country. Syria could have gotten back the Golan, and both Gaza and the West Bank could have gotten back their territory also if they had simply agreed that Israel had a right to exist. The problem is not Israel, the problem is the Arabs. Let them agree that Israel has a right to exist, then prove they have changed by living that way for a period of years without lobbing rockets and setting off bombs, and they can have their territory back through diplomacy like Egypt did. Otherwise, they get nothing, and rightly so.

  6. Yair

    Dave, the 1967 lines are no borders for anyone – as both sides agreed at the time, they were only temporary ceasefire lines and the final borders will be different. As long as many in the international community try to force an arrangement which is utterly impossible for both sides, there can never be peace, so if you want to ask for people at fault – try also looking in the mirror, as you have a part in this too.

  7. yvonne

    Well what the Jewish people have achieved in Israel is surely close to a miracle!
    The desert is blooming and through sheer hard work and dedication. The Palestinians should stop looking with envy at the achievements of the Israelis
    in just about everything they do.From science, Agriculture,medicine,environment issues,military,transport,solar power.They have become Exporters in many fields. Remarkable. Maybe the Palestinians should start working, building their environment instead of conniving and plotting and firing missiles at Israel every day.Nothing improving in Palestine I am afraid to say. Many are lazy,have too many wives and too many children they cannot support.

    • SHAH

      You encroached their land.You destroyed their agriculture.
      You destroyed their Homes.You made them refugees.
      You destroyed their economy in all possible way to paralyse them.
      Yes,
      The almighty God is seeing everything,thats why
      You are rewarded with a life with out peace in the mid of all luxuries.

      • Ajf

        We did that? Where did you learn history the jewish people never attacked any one we where attacked ruthlessly by millions hundreds of millions of arebs for no reson please before u start juging see who u are juging and I am also willing to bet u do not know any thing about Israel before 1990 and never learned history in a concrete manner so who are u to judge 6000000 without knowing any thing

        • SHAH

          Come to reality man…..
          Are you not living in this world….?
          read the following link

          http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44045#.UYeHysqX_cs

          An independent inquiry mandated by the United Nations has called on Israel to halt all settlement activity and to ensure accountability for the violations of the human rights of the Palestinians resulting from the settlements.

          • Helena

            Since when is UN independent? United Nothings are ruled by Arab and African dictatorships and we – Western taxpayers are footing the bill…

        • Chris

          Look up Deir Yassin massacre in wikipedia. It seems your schools probably only teach you a fraction of what happened.

          • Helena

            and you – look up Hebron massakers in 1929 and 1934. And if you are wish more recent events – there are unfortunately more Arab terror acts than we could count… Open your eyes.

    • Chris

      Funny the Nazis used similar slanderous statements against the Jews 60 years ago – lazy, thieving, plotting, too many children etc.

      • Helena

        if your mentality is similar to that of Nazis – you can hardly blame it on anyone but YOURSELF!

  8. Naresh

    Whatever the political dimension to the conflict, I can say only one thing from my experience that the life in Israel is tough, everyday Israelis are subject to terror attacks, it has made them tough from the inside.
    I am a practitioner of Krav Maga, and Israelis should be proud of what they gave this world. Surviving conflict, turning adversity into opportunity to excel, this is the true spirit of Israel. Everything else doesn’t matter!! Well, Israeli women are amongst the most good looking women in the world and extremely intelligent. Glamorous on the exterior and tough as nails inside. Israelis don’t differentiate between men and women in military training. That’s unique.
    The list is long, lot of positives from Israel. No wonder, people are jealous of how Jewish people guard their success and stay that way.

  9. Numbers 23:19 NIV
    God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

    Deuteronomy 28:12
    The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

    *these two Bible verses summarize the success of Israel who worship the Living God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac (YHVH), the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit remains with Israel as He wills. Amen and Shalom*

  10. And mind you all, it is not just ”close to miracle” it is an obvious manifestation of the power of the Living God. He who promise keeps! Blessed be the Name of God. Even here in Philippines, we are not deserving for we are sinners, and yet against all oddities, we remain faithful Christians come hell or high water. Peace to Jerusalem, Peace to Israel.

  11. Farooque

    Because it was founded on conspiracy, deception, and injustice and maintained by taking away freedoms, properties, personal respect, and lives of the defenseless citizens, making them refugees in their own land, all with the understanding and approval of the Western powers, so-called ‘champions’ of freedom, democracy, and human rights and under the nose of the Western tool called ‘UNO’ to fool the poor nations of the world!

  12. seeker

    One of the nicest and humane viewpoints on Israel and the life there. Kudos, Gil!

    Now, imagine you were born and grew an Arab in Israel. A very ordinary guy, neither a fanatic nor a spineless one – just yourself, but as an Arab. Collect in your imagination a lifetime up to the same age, but from that side. Not a skewed one, just the reality, with all its good and bad sides. With the goal not to seek justice, truth or anything – just to have experienced it in whole, lived it the way it simply is. Exactly like you live your life – not to be a soldier of this or that opinion, but to just live.

    After (and only after!) you have lived and memorized this second life, try to see the complete picture. Not to tell who is right or wrong, this might be a chicken-and-egg question. To find a way to exist together, to accept this existence and to be happy. To seek not the Eternal Truth or the God-Given Right, regardless of who has the truth and who has been given what by what God – but simply peace and happiness.

    It takes two to tango, love or simply coexist, unless you like horror movies. And there are two peoples in Israel that do not understand each other well. Try to bring some understanding – what you can do might be very small, but the fact you are doing it is always big. And you might help to achieve the peace and the happiness everyone in Israel deserves.

    • Ajf

      And who do you know in Israel that you get the right to dicied who is right and who is rong all you know is what you hear from the media and they are oooovvvviiiiieeeeessssslllllllyyyyyyyy biyesed agenst Israel they murder us and we are to blame the blow up in crowded streets and buses murder innocent woman and children and we are to blame because wwwwweeee don’t live side by side let your son die from a piece of shrapnel that is infected with disesis on purpase and then live with his killer if some one is trying to murder you yes you because thes crazy arebs are aming to kill all infidels you kill them first and don’t hug them

  13. It is interesting to me how the average Jew on one hand wants to play the ”vicitim” card, and then on the other hand go on and on about how advanced Israel is and how smart the ”chosen people” are. They always bring up the contrast between themselves and the Palestinians, whom they claim are stupid and lazy and have made no progress on their own. What the Jews fail to mention is that since Israel was established, the United States has donated almost ONE TRILLION dollars towards the development and progress of the Jewish State. And that is just in direct funding..that is not including billions upon billions of $ worth of military hardware that the US taxpayers have paid for and handed over to Israel. The main reason they claim they need all this military might is so they can defend themsleves from their enemies..which include Syria (decimated by civil war now) Egypt (same thing) and the big one Iran (which even if it had a nuclear bomb and dropped one on Israel would ensure it’s own destruction so that whole premise is bullshit). Israel has more military might than all of the Middle East’s combined military forces so the whole defence thing is a giant lie. Despite the American taxpayers funding a trillion dollar war against Iraq (no WMD’s remember) on behalf of Israel, the Israeli governement and AIPAC are pressuring American lawmakers to approve another mindless war against Iran under the same pretense and lie that we went to Iraq..fake WMD’s.
    One can only imagine what kind of power the Palestinians would have possessed today if they had the opportunity to build themsleves up with the help of one trillion US$ over 60 years. Maybe they would be the ones bulldozing Israeli homes and murdeing defenseless citizens in the name of ”defending themsleves” Hopefully I have given you a little insight into why the world is sometimes apposed to Israel..it’s because you deserve to be critisized when you vicitimize and humiliate people. Stop expanding settlements, extend a real offer of peace to the Palestinians and maybe your neighbours will view you differently..it worked in South Africa..ot can work there.

    • Willis Jackson

      If America gave Jordanian and Syrian squatters (Palestinians) 1 trillion dollars over 60 years, then Yasser Arafat would have stolen 500 billion instead of 5 billion, and Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Muslim Brotherhood would have much better missiles. Nothing else would have changed.

    • David

      The US HAS given Egypt billions of aide in both military and non-military ways (we are in the process of GIVING them 30 new Apache helicopters) – and look where they are. Same 3rd world nation they have always been…and who maintains the equipment they have now? Americans – I won’t bother slinging mud as to why they are. I work in another middle east country – same thing. ”I’m too good/proud/lazy to work, let the 3rd country nationals do it…the Arab nations were once a thriving people (read the book ”What Went Wrong” by Bernard Lewis to see why). The fact is, by GOD’s WILL NOT MAN’s Israel is back in the land as Bible prophecy told us it would be (that’s what separates God’s word from fairy tales) and I believe he has blinded the Arabs/Muslims to bring them where they are today – backwards and misguided until a future time when they will gather against God’s elect (because HE CHOSE THEM, not because they are special – they are only special BECAUSE HE CHOSE them, got it?) for a final battle – which is also Biblical prophecy. Read HIS word to find out how it ends (I don’t want to spoil it for you!). There, you have your 2 reading assignments for the week, now get busy!

      Shalom, salam, ciao, adios und tschuss!

  14. Eve

    Response to ‘Jesus Christ’ Did it really work in South Africa… have you lived there and seen and experienced the violence the country is held to ransom to at present?
    Have you lived and experienced life inside Israel Jews and arabs [not palestinians] living together. Arabs owning land, businesses have a right to vote?
    Perhaps the ‘Palestinians would have had more power in the beginning if Yasser Arafat hadnt denied even that there was such a people as Palestinians. They are not the same as the Philistines who originally inhabited Gaza. Where do the Palestinians [not the arabs INSIDE Israel] come from? what is their history.
    Just a few thoughts to ponder!

  15. emilsson

    The Israeli author Shlomo Sand has written an interesting book ‘ The Invention of the Jewish People’. There is no way to refuse the Israelian state’s right to exist as the UNO had in 1948 accepted the Partition-Plan of Palestine. That is a plain fact, But, the Jewish State has since expanded vigorously far beyond the original agreement, an agreement by the way without the Palestinian Arabs’ acceptance

    . Who and what are young Israelis defending when they take up their military service, moreover, are they defending anything at all, since the country is totally undefendable without any foreign financial and military aid?

  16. From where I live, it seems to me that Israel doesn’t really want peace. Almost every action seems to be designed to keep the pot stirred. I have watched for 40 years and no a bit of what goes on makes sense unless the REAL plan is to keep the violence going. Maybe your politicians aren’t telling you the whole truth?

    • Ajf

      And where do you live 30000miles from Israel and then you go and state that it is Israel’s fault look at the 9000missils that land on one million people look at the bombs that blow up in crowded streets and of corse it is Israel’s fault lern history and not biest history and u will discover that we are the innocent ones

  17. Sunny

    The persecution and murder of Jews in the 20th century took place mainly in Europe. So why was a homeland not created for them there? Instead, land was forcibly taken away from Palestinians (mostly Muslims but some Christians too) for the Jewish state of Israel in 1948. Prior to this, there was very little, if any, persecution of Jews in Palestine. The Palestinians have been made to suffer for the sins of others.

    • Ajf

      It belongs to us for3500 years and for yore information there is no such thing and never was such a thing as a Palestinian people

  18. Rajiv

    None of you understand the real problem including the one who wrote the post. Islam was created not with any benevolent thought like cristianity teaches human service. Islam’s only thesis has been-kill those who do not believe in Allah ie kill non-Muslims. Quran is full of these teachings. To expand, they have been converting people by force, have been brutal always. In their religious books it is also written that the person who kills a non-Muslim gets his money, property including girls. You expect your children to live peacefully with Arabs? Ridiculuous!They would find one excuse or other to kill your children. Because they would get 72 virgins in heaven if they do so. It has been their practise to capture other religion persons religious places, especially the important one-so that the other culture gets destroyed.

  19. Michael

    Around 2,500 years ago a small tribe professing the Hebrew faith in one god were nomadic herders and shepherds in the land of Canaan, among many other tribes. In a time of drought they migrated to Egypt and grew into a much larger tribe. Persecution drove them out and they again became nomads until they invaded and conquered Canaan, subduing or destroying the inhabitants. They prospered in the land for a few hundred years but were then driven out twice by more powerful neighbours, a minority returning as subjects of the Persian Empire. Under the Persians and the later Greeks the tribe became rich and powerful, with trading links and settlements throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Rebellion against the Romans led to their expulsion from the land and the confiscation of much of their wealth. Over the next 1,900 years they spread over the world and again became rich and powerful. This coupled with religious prejudice aroused jealousy and hatred among radical politicians in Europe and led to the deliberate massacre of millions. Many of the remnants sought a refuge in the land that they had identified with during their exile and they migrated there in large numbers, as before taking the land by force from the inhabitants and their allies, who objected to their arrival. If they do not hold the land by force now they may be driven out again by more powerful neighbours.

  20. Michael

    Correction: 3,500 years, not 2,500 years.

  21. Michael

    There may be no such thing as a Palestinian race or nation but there were certainly non-Jewish people living in Palestine before the Jewish Aliyah started in the 19th century and non-Jews were the majority in Palestine in 1948. They are the descendants of the many different people who have lived in and moved through Palestine over the centuries, not just Arabs. There are still Samaritans living in Israel.

    There are three rights admissible for possession by individuals of any piece of land. One is long residence, another is legitimate purchase from a previous owner, the third is force. Historically in the case of Palestine force has been the main factor for change, although in the early 20th century Jews bought land for settlements on a significant scale.

  22. How many Nobel prizes have been awarded to Muslims? I am not sure we should include Yasser Arafat’s peace prize since he did wear a gun into the UN General Assambly. HOw many have been awarded to Jews?

    • Chris

      How many Jews have won the The King Faisal International Prize in Medicine?

  23. A Palestinian race? I am not sure, but ancient Egyptians do refer to the ”Peleset and the Habiru”.

  24. Raghunathan

    I have always believed that Israel has the right to exist, that too peacefully and happily. If you look back into history, they have been extraordinarily successful people in whatever occupation they took to and been extremely wealthy, but because they lived scattered in many places all over the world as religious minorities, especially European countries, without any political power they have been subject to savage and barbarous religious persecution and untold misery by the jealous majority who have had no other weapon to beat them up with. A Muslim or a Christian has so many options, but a Jew has no other option than Israel and desires and deserves it more than anybody else. From the advent of Islam, the great Islamic empires such as Rashidun, Ummayid, Abbasid caliphates and also not to forget Safavids, Afsharids, Ottoman, Tamerlane, Ghaznavids, Khiljis, Slave dynasty, Mughals and etc. were very successful in spreading Islam all over the world and also conquering lots of lands for Islamic people. The above emperors are being worshipped in many Muslim countries, but when it comes to Israel the same people say Israel is Palestinian territory (we should remember that Turkey had lost WW II and British were given the mandate and they, I would say, half-heartedly allowed partition of Palestine) and say that Israel has unlawfully occupied it. The Muslims accept Moses as a prophet who was a Jew, but then do not accept Jews having historical connection with Palestine. Therefore, I request Jews to fight with all the resources at their disposal to preserve their sovereignty and never even lose once because even a single loss would be sheer disaster for the Jewish people and would endanger their sheer existence.

  25. Gopal

    Gil,

    it is not a nice world any more – we all live in present more bickering about the past on which we have no control – and lot many of us take actions based on things happened centuries ago – god knows what happened at that time.
    The British govt made this arrangement of Isreal to keep both Arabs and Jewish people to stay in fights – as they bore the brunt of Jewish uprising after WW2.

    let us Hope people realize that they are humans first then their religion and legacy
    till such time – we continue to have the situation as it is –
    in today’s world though not liked by many, the existence of Isreal is a must and I believe that is the will and order of God almighty or the Nature.
    wish you the best

  26. Henry

    If only the majority of Jews will believe in the Messiah Jesus Christ and admit that they cruxified Him, then God will easily give them the peace that they long for. Then the world will be re-oriented by the Holy Spirit to bring peace in the Middle East and the whole wprld. Non-believers of the Son of God are non-believers of God. Those who receives the Son receives the Father who sent Him to us.The sins of Israel have been manifested in the punishments that they have received and continue to receive from the God of Abraham. They cannot have total, absolute peace from their neighbors and from the world until they admit that they murdered the Son of God. This is the key to peace in the world.

  27. Itayeshua

    Oh Henry, u know it is seems u the catholics always forget that Jesus was a Jew, He will cure the diseases, he will rise from ashes again and save humanity he in his name so u claim u did Inquisition to all the Jews, now i wish u good luck to stay alive till his return as u say, but meantime we can’t sit on our asses to count him, especially when ur not deciding if he is the son of god or GOD himself, it is seems God is sometimes is not needed when Jesus around huh ?
    the only reason AM ISRAEL CHAI 4EVER is bcoz we stood always in our only faith GOD OF ABRAHAM as u say, now if u don’t have anything that actually can help beside hopes, drop it :)
    yours truly
    Itay Yeshua (son of god)

  28. david

    henry, if jews will start beleiving in christ they would be punished even more by god, as it is written many times in an unambiguous manner that there is only one god and no other god besides god and that the jews should not be tempted to beleive in several gods. in christianity, jesus is god too. above that, jesus has redeemed his beleivers from sins. in judaism, each person is responsible for her or his own deeds – to learn the law, follow it and make repentence for her or his sins. if you beleive in god and in the bible, you can already see that the jews would be true sinners if they started following jesus or christianity. if they will follow judaism – which many already do – their future will be good and light. i definitely beleive that!

  29. brendy

    Religion has brainwashed you all, the chosen ones!? Really? You think there’d be a God who has chosen people to be born into a certain religion and others the ”wrong” religion etc you are all judged on your own actions if anything and using God as an excuse for war and crime against others which both sides are doing would only anger a God. nobody owns any land in this world but the land itself, we aren’t a worthy race to own land, who do we think we are!? At least a world war 3 would wipe out the majority of yous extremist weirdos!! Better place for all

  30. amanda

    The jews brought the blacks tothe u.s.

  31. Abdallah

    The jews are occupiers whom came from europe after ww2 and should leave the muslim land.

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