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Why we choose to stay

Many people have asked why do we stay in Israel if there are so many problems here? Why not just come to the US? We love Israel. Yes, we as a country make a lot of mistakes. What country doesn't? We're only 66 years old. We've got a lot to learn about working together, but we've got a great big heart and that's a great start.

Many people have compared the US to Israel. We wanted freedom . We wanted to start fresh from the oppression of others. Our gates are open to any and all who believe in freedom. We are a Jewish state, but we have Muslim, Christian, atheists and everything in between living here. Each to his own. But when the Muslim extremists start with their stone throwing , burning, terror tunnels, kidnapping, murdering and missile launching we've got to draw the line somewhere. That's our right. People need to feel safe and happy living wherever they choose to live.

Living in Israel is both an honor and a privilege. But it comes with a price tag. We know who our neighbors are. We know they would like nothing better than to wipe us off the map. So we've got to have an army. Not just any robotic army with nameless soldiers, but one with a heart. Each and every soldier is precious. Each one is willing to lay down his/her life for his/her country. We'd rather not, given the option, but we don't have that option.

By making our home and raising our children here we are making a stand. A stand for all Jews, a stand for truth and a stand for freedom.We will not bow down to terror. We stand for life. This is what we teach our children. Our kids are raised not in theory, not on paper and not from a distance to stand and be proud Jews, proud Israelis .

Terror threatens not only Israel. It threatens the whole world. We will not let terror dictate our choices nor our lives. Just as New Yorkers didn't leave New York after 9/11 , nor will we leave Israel just because of terrorist attacks. But that doesn't mean that we will sit back quietly and watch as Muslim terror threatens our existence. Any proud American , Italian, Australian etc should be able to understand that.

Israelis are compared to Sabres, a prickly pear cactus fruit growing wild and cultivated all over Israel. When you meet an Israeli at first they may seem harsh, tough, not polite, hard to get along with, loud, in short: prickly. We live in a crazy part of the world with our too many enemies looking for any opportunity to destroy us, that might have something to do with it. But when you get to know them a bit better, you'll see the thorns come down and the layers opening up to show the true Israeli on the inside: Soft and sweet and vulnerable.

I have travelled a good part of my life all over the world and lived in quiet a few places. I have never felt at home anywhere else like I do in Israel. It's an amazing feeling to actually find home. I had been searching my whole life until I came here. So I'm not about to leave and give up my only true home. I think I'm speaking for most Israelis who live here, certainly for many Jews who came from other countries to live and raise their families here.

When deciding what a country or people is like, study them in their everyday way of life when the spotlight isn't war. Look a people's culture, their rhetoric, their education, music, science, their contribution to the world as a whole. What do they teach their children? Is it violence and hate? Or is it geography, math and literature? Israel has the feel of Europe , the openness of India, the freedom and pioneering spirit of America and the foundation of Jewish history all wrapped up in one. People from all over the world who come to make Israel their home find something or somewhere reminiscent of where they came from. This is because of the connection Jews have to Israel. Jews and Israel form one heart inseparable.

So the question shouldn't be why do we continue to stay and put ourselves in harms way, the more accurate question should be why should anyone in his/her right mind let terrorism destroy what they believe in. We must stand up to terror so the world will be a better place for our kids. So although it's understandable for people to ask why don't I just leave, please understand this is our home, our future, our destiny.

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