Old New Dream
Imagine growing up with the memory of the smell of the gas mask from Operation Desert Storm; an insidious reminder of the fear running through my veins at age 7, as my parents removed my gas mask for drinking in the sealed room. My formative years were spent amid living room conversations, morning newspapers and live broadcast TV news on politics and security issues -- they don't let you run away.
Imagine growing up into the military: proud and motivated to protect your beloved country; and then, another war — this time in Lebanon — and you relive this fear once again, now from within.
This is my story. These are just a few of the things that shaped my bond to the land of Israel, and sharpened by sense of reality.
One need not be a prophet to see that our world is a boiling pot, with the core of its heat around the Middle East. Drastic changes recently occurred in various countries of the Arab world: regimes crashed; prior Israeli enemies were renewed; and blurred threats became more clear. Meanwhile, other changes happen around the world, from the Far East to Russia and Europe. Powerful interests come together and add some more fog on the political map. What is cooking in this pot? We do not know, but it seems like it simmers for too long...hopefully it won't burn!
It's common to hear criticism about the Jews in Europe, where the days before World War II are referenced: Why didn't they leave? How could they not have seen what was going on? These are questions we can't really answer, and I prefer not to ponder. The Jews are in the best situation than ever before; we finally have our own state and, while it may be easy to be smug, we must remember the danger of too high a comfort level. For 3,000 years we waited for this state on the land of our ancestors. Now all we have to do is protect it!
I'm not eager for war, and I'm not rushing into the fire. Nevertheless, if there is to be a war in Israel, I will want to be there. This is my homeland, and I'm obligated to protect it. We are all obligated to protect it, whether this means taking up a weapon and fighting in defense, or pushing the world's lobby for Israel, maintaining and encouraging cash flow to the state, or supporting the Zionist philosophy. It is our obligation.
Zionism is an old dream, part of which came true. But our work is not done. Being a Zionist means being devoted to Israel, loving her and sharing this passion with the world.