Needless to say, the last several weeks triggered array of emotions. First came rage -rockets showering the South, images of frightened children, packed shelters, and no end in site. Then, there was shock – the erie sirens finally reached Tel Aviv and Hamas‘ aggression now possessed over half the country. Next, fear and deep sadness – the piercing boom of an exploding bus paralyzed me for hours because nothing, not even Iron Dome, can protect me now. That same evening, deflation! A cease fire was called. What did we gain from the operation? May have we lost more (like Hamas’ new found international credibility, and inadvertently undermining Fatah’s vulnerable governance)? Who’s side are we on?
And if this wasn’t enough, I read the latest study on Israel’s education and economy…with extremely gloomy findings. Consistently declining since 1970s’, our education here is among the lowest of developed countries. And, schools from Arab and religious communities are of 3rd world standards. On economy, “Start Up Nation” often boasts about how well we’ve weathered the global recession. But what we often fail to mention (and what the report exerts), is that if you combine the Heradim and Arabs, our unemployment is almost twice the international average (14%). With millions of citizens not paying social security and taxes, we are facing a double existential threat: an under-financed military and education system (not to mention pension, healthcare, and so on). This naturally leaves me asking: Israel, how serious are you about your future…surviving in an increasingly dangerous and competitive world?
You’d think we can start making changes by voting in trusted leaders in the upcoming January elections. But that’s barely the case. It’s extremely likely that Prime Minister Netanyahu will be reelected (based on both the incumbency rule and the lack cultivated leadership). And after this week’s primaries, it’s so clear that his party, Likkud, has shifted far more right. Effectively, there will be far less chances of negotiating with Arabs, far less reforms, and far less cooperation with the international community – that is, if he wants to keep his government and party in tact. Again, Israel, how serious are you about your future…harnessing an empowered generation, conducting intelligent diplomacy, and putting aside your ridiculous and dangerous pride to pave the way for a Palestinian State!!
Israel, let me tell you how I’m feeling tonight. I love you so much. I’ve done so much for you, and there’s probably nothing I wouldn’t do for your prosperity and survival. But you’re pushing me away – politically, economically, and ideologically. Moreover, I’ve chosen you out of free will in my adult life, but now it seems more and more unfair to make this decision for my children, and subject them to a society you’re not at all serious about! I’m pleading with you to stop this abusive relationship you’ve engaged in with your middle-class, secular, liberal citizens. And just because we don’t subscribe to religious and hyper-nationalistic ideology, we are entirely serious about our future…a chance to flourish, to continue competing in global markets, to maintain a Jewish majority, and to remain an exemplary nation to first our children and the world at large.