November 16, 2012 - 9:27 AM

Fear and Resolve on the Front Lines

IFCJ

Perspective from Israel from Fellowship friend Florence Broder:

I own a government-issued gas mask. It was simple really; I ordered it over the phone from the post office. As an American living in Israel for over two years, I never thought I’d say that sentence.

It took me awhile to order the mask – it wasn’t like I got off the plane in Israel and checked that task off my list. When there is peace in Israel, it lulls you into a false sense of security. Most Israelis in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are just living their lives. They go to work, they have families, the young people go clubbing, and, always, there are people sitting outside at cafes. The fact is that’s how Israelis truly want to live. They don’t want to have to arm themselves, and they certainly don’t want to send their children off to war. They are still not accustomed to the sight of young soldiers in the streets in military garb. Mothers, wives, and children wait for their sons, husband, and fathers to turn 40, the age when men are no longer required to serve military reserve duty.

Israelis’ sense of security is very fragile, and deep down we all know it can change in a moment. And yesterday it did for me, as missiles from the Gaza Strip were fired at the area near Tel Aviv where I live. As sirens sounded in the city, my heart raced. It took a few seconds for the adrenaline to kick in and make me realize: This is not a drill; it’s for real, and I need to take cover. When you move to Israel, you know this situation is possible, but you pray and hope that it will never happen. When I still lived in New York and there was a terrorist attack or a military threat on Israel, I was always on the edge of my seat, worried about my friends and family members serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). I would immediately call and email loved ones to check on whether they were okay. Yesterday, I was on the receiving end of those calls and emails, with my phone ringing off the hook and my inbox quickly filling up.

Part of me is scared right now. I even wonder if I should go back to America. But I pray for the strength to ride this out, because it’s important, and Israel is my home. Americans got a firsthand taste of terrorism on 9/11. I was in New York at the time, and no one thought about abandoning the city because of the attacks. We resolved to persevere and overcome this evil. We took action on a national level too, immediately invading Afghanistan to go after Osama bin Laden, the architect of the attacks. Americans believe we have the right to defend ourselves, and want to see justice done. The feeling in Israel is the same; we will defend ourselves, and our country.

Israel is now acting in self-defense because it had no choice. It was pushed into a corner and had to protect its citizens. No other government in Israel’s situation would do otherwise. And as scared as I am, I feel the need to do something to help. All Israelis do. Many people in other parts of the country are opening their homes to strangers from southern Israel and taking them in until this conflict ends. I am spending a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter because I am on the front lines fighting another war – the war against anti-Israel propaganda on social media. It’s one that Israel has lost in the past, and it’s one that it can’t afford lose this time. The stakes are too high.

Today I am hosting people at my house for the Sabbath dinner. Traditionally Jews on Friday welcome the Sabbath by singing Shalom Alecheim, meaning “peace unto you.” When my friends and I gather around the table to sing it tonight, it will have an entirely different meaning. And with that I ask that you pray for peace, and for Israel to overcome this evil.

 

Florence Broder is a New Yorker who made aliyah and now lives in Tel Aviv. She is passionate about Israel, travel, and social media. You can follow her on Twitter @flogolightly.

Comments

Submitted by jose Blackburn on
I pray for peace in Israel and I'm praying for the people of Israel. Israel as all the right to defend their land that was given to Abraham by God El Shaddai .Shalom Israel.

Submitted by jose Blackburn on
I pray for peace in Israel and I'm praying for the people of Israel. Israel as all the right to defend their land that was given to Abraham by God El Shaddai .Shalom Israel.

Submitted by Dan Rhomson Haubrich on
I will pray for you your family and all of Isreal tonight and ask god to steer the missiles away from Tel Aviv and Jeruselum.I have studied the older hebrew text of judaism and I have studied the Quran and understand that both parties are peace loving people and want stability but I cannot understand all the fighting.I even visited Jordan where I met Queen Noor and Noa Ben Artzi and I asked them both to invest in peace in the middle east at all cost.When I was in United Arab Emirates I met the Isreali Revolutionary Army and I had reason to believe they were a bit hostile but they reasoned with

Submitted by Rudy on
My prayers for peace are with you. I am a Christian Zionist and I support Israel with my prayers and finances. Thank you for the real story by sharing your thoughts and feelings. Blessings!

Submitted by Barbara Kazlowski on
You are so brave. I truly respect you and hope for an eventual peaceful resolution to this endless war against Israel. However, I realize that militant muslims are intent on destroying Israel, and never have never been interested in peace talks.

Submitted by Gloria Lanphear on
Thank you for sharing your personal story. I would much rather read a personal testimony than what the media has to say in their own biased way. I totally support Israel as a Christian Zionist. I count it a privilege whenever I can contribute to a Jewish ministry knowing that G_d blesses those who bless Israel. My prayers are with you in agreement with King David's prayer in Psalm 44:4-5 "You are my King and my G_d, who decrees victories for Jacob. Through you we puch back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes."

Submitted by TES on
God Bless you...many in the US keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Jeremiah and Psalm 122). God Bless you my Jewish friend.

Submitted by thomas on
JESUS of nazreth born and brought up there and lived among the people there and died and resurected there and still lives in the spirit of the lord and doing the works of the the heavenly father until His 2nd coming.Do please trust him and do his works .He will not gabandon you or forsake you. THE prpmise and the word of god says this again and again encourages and give courages to those who eagerly waiting for his reply.

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