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Shelter From the Storm

Israeli children taking cover during rocket attack

Israeli children taking cover during rocket attack
Photo Credit: Dima Vazinovich / Flash90

I laugh and I roll my eyes because it is hipster to side with the underdog, but not when the underdog kills her own people.

Siding with the underdog when she kills her own people is accomplice to murder. This thought is absurd because that would essentially make my very own president an accomplice to murder. I abandon that thought because the NSA is always listening and I am pretty sure that they can read thoughts at this point and I don’t want to call President Obama an accomplice to murder, even in my own head.

I walk into my quiet apartment and ponder the incredible irony that is Israel- I make a mental note to buy a fan already because 90 degrees is too unbearably hot for a girl who grew up in New England. I’m thinking about my friends and family in the US and about slurpees and sweet sticky fingers and mosquitoes and summer at home and then I feel a vibration from my cell phone and snap out of the reminiscent reverie. I am forced to start thinking about Israel again. I think about Israel and about summer and I realize that just like Summer 2010 was in upstate New York and Summer 2012 was getting ready to make Aliyah, Summer 2014 will forever be my summer of rockets. I don’t need to bother glancing at my phone to know what the vibration was for; I know it will be news. Channel 2’s breaking headline: “Four rockets fired at Jerusalem- two intercepted by the iron dome, two land in open areas.” I think about the people that are dying in Gaza because their government does not value their lives and teaches them that their lives are dispensable. That the deaths of their women and children will serve a greater cause. I think about their lack of morality and I am filled with pride in my Israel. I am proud of my stepsister who is doing tedious patrols near the border of Gaza. I am proud of my friends who work tirelessly on the Iron Dome which protects me by intercepting rockets aimed at civilian areas. I am filled with pride for my friends who volunteer for the IDF and commit themselves to protecting Israel. For protecting Israel and for protecting me and for protecting every tourist that arrives on her shores. For protecting us because we are human. And because Israel values human life.

I think about being the underdog and I think about Israel.

For years, Jews have been the underdog. On May 14, 1948, we unequivocally declared that we will no longer be the underdog. We achieved our 2,000 year old dream to return to our homeland, and whether it was the right thing or not, we have not been the underdog since.

We have an army. We have a democratic government. We develop our own technologies and we share them with the world. We administer humanitarian aid at almost every opportunity. We give because it is right and we give because it is the Jewish spirit to share.

I read things on the internet all the time about Israel. Lots of them are true. A majority of them aren’t.

I read mostly that I am a Zionist pig. That there is “Genocide” in Palestine. Just like the genocide in Darfur. I read that Israel is an apartheid state. Like apartheid South Africa, but worse. I read that the impressive number of Palestinian women raped by IDF soldiers (ZERO) is not because IDF soldiers are moral, but rather because they don’t think that Palestinian women are good enough to rape. I read that we killed and/or kidnapped three teenagers so that we could “play the underdog to the media and kill Arabs”.

About the Author: Ariela Aharon is a patriotic American expat currently residing in Jerusalem, Israel and studying Psychology. When she is not volunteering for Magen David Adom, stressing about the MCAT, or passionately questioning everything, she likes to spend time with her friends and family. She can usually make it a few hours without entering into a heated debate about things that have little to no bearing on her life. Yalla.


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