Thoughts of a Traveler: My First Impression of Israel and its Lasting Impact on Me
Though Gil Travel does not get involved with politics, we want to share this human story letter.
Thank you to Oren and Joanne for sharing this thought-provoking letter with us and allowing us to share it.
Joanne is a Northern Californian friend who recently visited Israel for the first time when she visited her son who was on a one semester exchange program in Israel.
I must admit that our trip to Israel forever changed me. Once I got home I realized the impact it had on me. I signed up and received daily emails from the Jerusalem Post. Bruce and I have discussed spending a year in Israel with the twins once Eli leaves for college. I looked online to see if we could get jobs for one year. Unfortunately we are both not qualified for much, US criminal defense lawyers who don't speak Hebrew, but it is something we are still trying to work out.
I watch the news everyday now and feel like this time the fighting is different. I don't know why. Maybe I am just more aware and no longer an ignorant Jewish American. I have always like and supported my president. I can no longer say that and question his views and policies towards Israel. Hillary Clinton spoke out on behalf of Israel and explained the extend to which Israel had tried to negotiate for peace on prior occasions without Hamas willing to work in any way towards peace. She is an advocate for Israel. I wish she was involved in this situation.
Eli is in constant contact with everyone from his trip and they discuss the events daily. He is extremely confident of Israel's ability to defend itself and feels an incredibly loyalty and bond to Israel.
My 89 year old father, a veteran of WWII says that it is easy to hate and blame the Jews as he has witnessed this in his lifetime. Very depressing and sobering.
What is most striking is the apathy and anti-Israeli sentiment that I am beginning to see. People seem to think that because of the wide disparity in the casualties that Israeli is going too far. They are criticized for defending themselves and succeeding. When I do speak about it I ask people what Israeli should do with an enemy who continues to attack them and deny their right to exist. (conversations I never would have had prior to my trip to Israel).
As our lives continue in their daily routines I want you to know that I think of all of the Mosts daily and pray for your safety as well as the safety of all the citizens of Israel. Spending time with your family strengthened my love and belief in the need for Israel to exist. I don't think I would feel the same if I had just been a tourist for one week. I cannot thank all of you enough for that gift.
With love and prayers for peace,