This is why I proud to be called Israeli

Proud to be IsraeliI am in Israel less than 24 hours, and yet it still hard to ignore the feeling of solidarity I felt since I landed. Even though I don’t live in Israel right now, I always felt Israeli. Just yesterday as I arrived the city I was born in, Haifa I received many requests asking me to participate in the funeral of Sean Carmeli an Israeli solider that was killed in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. I didn’t go the funeral because it was late at night and I have just arrived from Russia. This morning I saw that the Media stated that over 20,000 civilians have arrived to share last honors to their brother. He was a lone solider (a solider that doesn’t have any relatives living in the country), that’s why his mates for the same soccer group fans published a request on Facebook calling people to show up for his funeral. People from all over Israel, from all range of mingles came.

Every social media in Hebrew that you will open will amaze you. From spontaneous rallies that support the IDF towards sending supplies to soldiers going into battles from civilians that wish to stand by with them on the attack towards Hamas. Yet, some even open up their houses letting soldiers or families of soldiers that were wounded to stay at their homes while their child recovers in a nearby hospital, they offer shower, meals, clothing for free! Many other call the citizens of the south to come to their houses or come to the south to amuse them in order to forget just for a bit from the rockets that were launched towards them. I lived in three countries in my short life; I follow the news around the world in many different languages. I never saw such unity between people in other countries as I saw in Israel. Those little things always reminds you why you are so proud to belong to a country where human life is above all, when a soldier dies it hurts even though you never met him/her. When you attack the enemy you try to avoid innocent casualties in the other side as much as it is possible. And this is the real Israel!

Yes, Israel is a very small country as the size of New Jersey. It’s a young state, but it’s a happy place. It’s the only place in the world where I feel safe, feel at home and feel welcomed. Though it’s a constant place where you live under a threat of death from all around you, it is home for over 8 million people. It’s still my home and always will be. Why? Because of the people, that shows their true colors at time of stress. I will not try to explain why Israel has the right to defend itself; I will explain why Israel must exist. For 2,000 years we the Jewish people lived under a constant fear of extinction. The Germans were closed, but they failed, thank God! And we as Israelis promised ourselves over the graves of our sisters and brothers “never again”. It’s the only place in the entire world where a Jew doesn’t have to fear from Anti-Semitism that still rules the world. It’s the place that we can have a strong army to protect us from those who wants to harm us. We see what’s happing in Europe; Jews are being attacked by Pro-Palestine’s activists, are being shut and not allowing them to express their freedom of speech. Even though not every Jew is Israeli, he lives under a risk of being hurt. Yesterday, 200 families from France decided to immigrant to Israel. Those families were asked if they don’t fear living under a rockets attack and terror tunnels that were dug near Gaza. This was their response:” In France we fear more, here there’s an army that will protect us, there many times we are abandoned by the regime”. This is why I proud to be Israeli.

Danielle Antebi