More than 2,256 rockets were sent to the sacred land of Israel in 2012, injuring several Israeli citizens; as retaliation, Israel has laid-waste to the Gaza strip. Flattening homes and buildings, and demolishing streets with devastating efficiency and accuracy. The human cost is high and these attacks have killed more than soldiers but also woman and children have fallen victim to the bombings. To many, the situation seems an endless conflict of death and destruction with no end in sight. A young Jewish man that proudly wears the flag of Israel sheds some light on the on the situation.

I’m pro-Israeli. I was born in Israel to a family, which suffered Nazi persecution. 23 family members were murdered along with more than 6 million in Europe’s death camps, all of them were fully integrated secular people who were sent to their deaths just because they were Jewish. So I have to say I do support the idea of a Jewish state that can decide upon and shape its fate by itself. When I look all that Israel achieved in its 62 years of existence until today, I think that one can just agree that it’s a country we can be proud of.

I think the current situation in the Gaza strip is extremely complicated. Unfortunately, one of our main characteristics as human beings is the tendency to simplify complex realities in order to make sense of it all – there are always the good guys and the bad guys. After years of endless discussions all I want to say is – the world of “them” and “us” are generalizing terms, which completely ignore the political complexity.This being the financial and other interests,the inter- and intra-organizational conflicts, the opinions and propaganda, which should be the first thing to look at in this struggle. The people of Gaza should know that they have my sympathy and empathy; I wish I could help them. They are suffering from a cruel, oppressing, fanatical regime, which treats women like trash, executes homosexuals, robs the Gazans off their hopes, and the worst thing – incites and feeds them with poisonous hatred. In additional to this, Hamas has been collecting weapons for years and storing them in the vicinity of civilian infrastructure like schools, mosques, hospitals and even a football stadium, putting those civilians in horrible danger, using them as human shields and hence committing a serious war crime.

When those rockets are being launched at Israeli cities and villages, their only purpose is to kill as many civilians as possible, which is the second most serious war crime. When the IDF attacks military Hamas targets in Gaza, like in past 7 days, the only purpose is to prevent those weapons from killing Israeli civilians. Israel pulled completely out of Gaza in 2005 and destroyed the Jewish settlements, which stood there for 40 years, hoping to make a further step to show it is ready for peace. Hamas’ answer has been the bombardment of major cities inside undisputed Israeli territory; Israel has been left with no choice but to defend its’ citizens by fighting back.

I don’t see Palestinians as a threat to me. I was raised to cherish the peace between Israel and Palestine as a supreme value that should be upheld – I want us to coexist together, there is no other choice – life is too precious and too many people have been paying the heaviest price of all. The only threat I feel is from religiously derived fanaticism, whose main goal is to spread its darkness as far as possible. Hamas and other organisations in Gaza strip do not sanctify life, they sanctify death, I hope this madness stops one day.

But It seems that there is a growing movement to attack Israel through labels such as: tyrant, oppressor, apartheid state, you name it. These claims are aiming to undermine Israel’s most basic right to exist. Stop just for one moment, and think. Stop supporting Hamas. If not for 4 million Israelis who have been attacked by its rockets during the past week, do it for the poor 1.5 million Palestinian civilians suffering daily from this fanatical darkness in Gaza. Israel lives in a very tough neighborhood, there are many problems that need to be addressed and we need to start now. Maybe you do not realise it, but your attitude creates more hatred and immortalizes the conflict – pushing a peaceful solution further away from us all. If you really want to help the Palestinians, drop the propaganda slogans and come visit us in Israel and also visit the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

I am proud to live in a country with a modern, open society, where the Arab minority among other minorities enjoys full rights, Arabic is our second official language (every Israeli has 3 years of Arabic lessons in school), there are Arab members in our parliament and in the government, there is even a minimum contingent for Arab students in the university which has to be fulfilled.

In the best-case scenario, I see two states eventually coming out from our situation, Israel and Palestine, coexisting and benefitting from the presence each other. I see prosperity, I see hope, I see people that realise what they have been missing out during all those years of religious hate.

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