Let me tell you why I love Israel. I love
the feeling of walking down the Tel Aviv boardwalk at three in the
morning amidst the crowds of teenagers about to go clubbing. I love
sitting at cafés on the sand, at a table where the warm
ocean water just touches my feet. I love ordering humus, falafels
and kabobs — all Israeli delicacies. I love the feeling of
being in a country enriched with history, culture and
personality.

So let’s forget for a moment about the politics and
policies of the Middle East, and let’s think about life.
Let’s think about the students our age that all want one thing: to
live a normal, peaceful life in Israel. Teenagers who neither want
to be stopped each time they enter a store to have their bag
checked, nor want to pass through various metal detectors each day,
but want to live a life like you and me. A life where they can
party, eat at restaurants, sit at coffee shops, dance, shop and
just have some good old fun.

Terrorists who seek Israel’s destruction have infringed
upon such basic rights, and have implanted fear into the daily
lives of Israelis. Israelis fear they will die, that their children
will die and their friends will die. They live through Sept. 11 on
a daily basis, facing incessant suicide bombings.

As Americans we have become desensitized to the phrase
“suicide bombing.” Ten people die, and we don’t
wince. Two are shot, and we don’t cringe. We remember the
terror of Sept. 11 yet forget what terrorism means. We have become
less naïve as a result of Sept. 11 but still not aware enough.
We know the devastation of terrorist attacks yet refuse to stand by
a country that faces terrorism daily. We mourn for the losses
incurred during Sept. 11, yet stand by and watch a country be
victimized by the same terror we knew all too well.

This is why I cringe and wince when I hear about the deaths of
innocent Israelis from terrorist attacks. This is why I care enough
about Israel and her residents, including the Palestinians, to
write and make readers understand not the politics of the country,
nor the history of the country, but rather the cultural and social
climates that affect the country. And how terrorism makes it
impossible to live a normal, peaceful life.

So let me try and paint this picture for you: As American
teenagers, we worry about getting good grades, Israeli teens worry
about making it to tomorrow. We worry about getting through
college; they worry about getting through the day. Our friends
forget to call us, and we don’t think much about it. Their
friends forget to call them, and they turn on the news to see if
there was another terrorist bombing. Some of them stop turning on
the news altogether because each day another person dies, and each
day the news becomes more depressing to watch.

Maybe now you understand the lifestyle of Israeli society.
It’s a terrible lifestyle to live. As Americans we
don’t know what it’s like to live with that fear
everyday, to never know when your last day will be. There is a lot
we don’t understand, that we can’t understand. But
there is one thing we should understand. The Israelis want peace.
They want to live a life of normalcy.

However, until the terrorism stops, neither the Israelis nor the
Palestinians will live a life of normalcy. So before you judge the
government so much for its targeted killings of terrorist groups,
maybe you should put yourself in the mindset and shoes of the
Israeli government. What would you do if your innocent citizens
were dying daily from terrorist activity? The Israeli government
has an obligation to protect its citizens. Wouldn’t you want
America to do the same for you?

Risch is an LSA sophomore, and a member of the Daily’s
editorial board.

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