I stand with Israel

By Brad McQueen

Why has the Left made hating Israel the “new black”? Thousands of rockets have been raining down on a country the size of New Jersey from the bloodthirsty Hamas terrorists in the Gaza strip. Each rocket was sent with a prayer hoping to kill Jews in Israel.

Enough was enough and Israel’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu decided once and for all to rid Israel of this horrid threat and launched a ground invasion. Now on the leftist-controlled news outlets we predictably see the rubble of mosques or collateral damage of the Israeli counter-attack while they are remarkably silent on the attacks Israel has stoically endured and the tremendous amount of support for Israel in our own country.

Just before Israel declared its independence in 1948 there was a proposal on the table to have a two state solution, one Israel and the other Palestine, to resolve countering Jewish/Palestinian claims to the lands now encompassing Israel.

The Palestinian leaders rejected the offer and instead listened to the surrounding Arab states that promised to push the Jews into the sea and offer the entire country to the Palestinians.

Most Palestinians fled into the surrounding countries hoping to return and take over the vanquished Jews’ properties and lands. These Jews just left Europe after surviving the Holocaust and knew what surviving against all odds meant because they lived it in their escape from war ravaged Europe and the Holocaust.

The Jews declared their independence to the world and were shortly invaded from all sides by over- confident Arab countries. Israel vanquished them all and has repelled countless Arab invasions over its 65 year history. In each instance Israel has gained huge swaths of lands which it would eventually return to the beaten countries in exchange for peace.
I spent the summer of 1988 working on a kibbutz south of the Sea of Galilee in Israel on the border with Jordan. I heard the multiple daily sonic booms of Israeli fighter jets monitoring the border between Israel and Jordan and began to find comfort that their military was on the job.

I had my preconceptions about Israel, that it was a monolithically religious country of all Jews that loved using its military to teach its enemies a lesson. I found out that there is nothing monolithic about Israel.

I found that the people are incredibly toughened by years of wars, invasions, and possible invasions and terrorist attacks. I also discovered that underneath that tough exterior are some of the warmest people I have ever encountered.

My first night in Israel I naively walked into the old city of Jerusalem well past dark with my backpack on. A patrolling Israeli soldier, realizing that I was a lost American, told me I was in an incredibly dangerous part of town and walked me to a traveler’s hostel in a safe part of town where I could stay for the night. That scenario was repeated time and again as Israelis helped me navigate the bus and taxi systems of their country sharing food and good conversation repeatedly.

I also got to know about a country under constant vigilance for the next terrorist attack. I became acquainted with two-hour security check-ins at the airport and airplane cockpits that had two soldiers stationed in a compartment between the pilot and the passengers.

I became familiar with having my backpack checked for bombs as I went into every store and evacuating bus terminals when an unsuspecting tourist left their luggage unattended as they got food or went to the bathroom.

I became accustomed to the beeping of the radio on the public bus which signaled the news was on and every Israeli became quiet waiting for any news that they may have to mobilize as an attack or invasion was in progress. Every Israeli citizen, man and woman, must serve in the military for three years and then is on permanent active reserve in defense of their country.

I became acquainted with this version of Israel in 1988, long before the U.S. was attacked by Muslim terrorists in New York City and some these same safety precautions were instituted in our country.

My heart ached that the Israeli’s daily life was spent always on the defensive, always on the lookout for danger. Yet they always kept that warmth just beneath their tough exteriors.

Yes, Israel has one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world, but they use their military strength with dread, as a last resort, not as some sort of macho display of chest thumping. Israel is familiar with war, death, and the constant threat of extinction. They detest war.

Israel is a tiny country. Every time there was an attack, someone knew the family or was friends with a friend of the victim family. Attacks on Israel were very personal.
Israel is a democracy in a sea of Muslim theocracies and Arab monarchies.

Israel had a woman, Golda Meir, as its first elected prime minister and has always had equal rights for women as they fulfill their mandatory military service of three years just like every man must. Arab countries surrounding Israel treat their women as they did in the Middle Ages, as property and subject them to honor killings supported by their societies.

Israel has made the desert bloom with agriculture, industry, and innovation raising the standard of living for all its people, both Jews and non-Jews. Israelis are extremely educated. I found myself working in an orchard on my kibbutz next to people who earned their doctorates and could converse on any topic with ease. The surrounding Arab countries’ leaders prefer to keep their populations in complacent, uneducated squalor.

Israel respects the rights of minorities. There is a sizeable Israeli Arab population and they even have representatives in the Knesset, the Israeli legislative body. Surrounding Arab countries prefer to hold on to power through tribal connections and murderous force.

Israel’s population is a mixture of the secular and the religious. You might see a tattooed skateboarder zigzagging through Hasidic Jews in Tel Aviv after passing teenage girls with painted red nails holding on to their military issued rifles slung over their shoulders at a bus stop doing their mandatory military service.

Israel still has kibbutzim, small agricultural/industrial communities that share their resources with their community in an Israeli version of “lived” socialism. The kibbutz I lived and worked on still had the remnants of barbed wire and guard posts that protected the community from incursions across the border during the time of its founding.

Kibbutzim were a way to unite the diverse Jews from all over the world who settled in Israel after World War II with their multitude of languages and customs to create the new “Israeli” culture speaking the common language of Hebrew.

Israelis are diverse politically spanning both sides of the political spectrum, but fiercely united when attacked from the outside.

Israel protects gays in its country, as gays are hung from cranes in surrounding Arab countries.

Israel respects religious tolerance, as surrounding Muslim countries murder or imprison Christians.

Israel has one of the most advanced militaries in the world and has yet to invade its neighbors in the name of conquest, rather only uses its military for defensive purposes.
Israel has nuclear weapons and has not once threatened to use them against its neighbors. Iran routinely threatens to use any nuclear weapons it develops against Israel at its first opportunity.

When we were attacked on 9/11 Israel mourned with us and sent first responders to help search the rubble of the World Trade Center Towers. Arab countries around the world, including children in Gaza, danced in the streets in celebration of the attack on our country and the murder of thousands of our citizens on 9/11.

So when I see thousands of rockets being sent into Israel by Hamas terrorists I shudder for my brothers and sisters in Israel who have dealt with this crap for the past 65 years as a country and for thousands of years as a people.

When I see the leftist media portray the Israelis as aggressors, rather than the underdogs in a sea of hatred, envy, and violence acting in defense of its peoples’ existence, my blood boils. I am tired of trying to discern the left’s motives, crazy doesn’t deserve that energy, it only deserves our scorn.

I marvel at how upside down our country and world has become over the last six years under the Obama administration. The underdogs are now considered the aggressors, the achievers are now the greedy, the wealthy are now the thieves, society’s takers are elevated as producers are forced to support them. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are sent millions to pursue their ends, while Israel is left to fend for itself.

I may not recognize our country and the world these days, but one thing is for sure. I love America for, among other things, being that beacon of liberty, goodness, and hope for the world to aspire to. I look with awe as Israel reflects that beacon of light and hope in a sea of darkness and hopelessness. I know Israel, I’ve experienced Israel, and therefore I stand with Israel.

bradBrad McQueen is a former Common Core insider and current public school teacher in Tucson, Arizona and is the author of the anti-Common Core book “The Cult of Common Core”. Connect with Brad at cultofcommoncore@gmail.com

About Letter to the Editor 349 Articles
Under the leadership of Editor in Chief Huey Freeman, the Editorial Board of the Arizona Daily Independent offers readers an opportunity to comment on current events and the pressing issues of the day. Occasionally, the Board weighs-in on issues of concern for the residents of Arizona and the US.