Friday, August 8, 2014

Do Israelis Know How Much We Really Care?

Francine Klagsbrun; Special To The Jewish Week

Some mid-summer reflections:

How Much We Really CareI wonder if Israelis know how emotionally involved many American Jews are with the current fighting in Gaza. Do they know that for those of us who love Israel, Gaza is the only thing we seem able to talk about when we go out to dinner or stay home with the family or speak on the phone? Do they know that we weep with them at the loss of each IDF soldier, or that the news from Israel is the first thing we turn to in our newspapers (and rue the unfair coverage) and the last thing we Google about before going to bed? Do they know that we can almost hear the rocket sirens go off in our heads and feel the rush of fear they experience as they run to shelters?

I don’t think they know this. When I speak to friends in Israel, they’re grateful for my phone calls, but they talk of being isolated in a world that has become increasingly hostile to them. “Why aren’t American Jews marching on Washington?” an Israeli friend railed after the FAA briefly banned flights to Israel, making Israelis feel ever more isolated. There hasn’t been a march on Washington, but American Jews have held rallies and solidarity gatherings and recited prayers for Israel’s troops in every synagogue in the country. I’m not sure my Israeli friend knows about these things, because they’re rarely reported in the media. Attracting more attention are anti-Israel protests and “disproportionality” accusations about the country’s response to the missiles menacing it.

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