Wednesday, July 13, 2005

You cannot blame anyone for being worried or frightened, or for panicking after a terror attack, but I was a bit surprised that the only Maccabiah athlete who decided to leave Israel after the bombing in Nethanya yesterday is Dutch. I could think of at least one other European nation that is better known than the Dutch for surrendering right after the first shot is fired/bomb has exploded.
I fully understand if someone is afraid of visiting Israel because of 'the situation'. The coming weeks and months will probably be more tense and violent than the last few months, since most Palestinian opposition groups are interested in seeing the disengagement delayed or canceled, and/or in making it look like Israel is being chased away by them. When friends or family ask me whether it is safe to come ( this reminds me of Laurence Olivier torturing Dustin Hoffman and asking "Is it safe?" in The Marathon Man ), I warn them and tell them that we live very ordinary lives, but that the danger of terrorist attacks remains and will remain for at least some time.
Security risks are something that you always have to take into account when you come here, it is quite 'un-smart' ( I want to say it in a nice way ) to think that being in Israel is nothing but having fun, seeing beautiful Jewish boys and girls, feeling oh so Jewish and proud, and then you go back home, feeling good that you have done your Zionist mitzvah for the next few years. Kol HaKavod to all those who decided to stay. In Zionism there always has been a very important role for checkbook-Zionists, but there is no such thing as sun-and-beach-Zionism, if you decide to come here you are not asked whether you want the whole package or not.

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