A MESSAGE FROM THE FRONT
By Jonathan Berg
Judging by how the Middle East is covered in the international
press, I suppose that viewed from the U.S., Israel looks
like a war zone bombs, shootings, mortars, tanks.
But the truth is that life goes on maybe not
completely as normal, but pretty close to it.
Shopping malls are still packed on Saturday nights,
restaurants and cafes still fill up on the weekends.
We still go to concerts and plays. We still have traffic
jams at least twice a day on every major artery. And
we still have to put up with a variety of labor disputes
(at least half a dozen strikes at the moment).
All this despite what has become known as hamatzav
"the situation." That's why when you ask us
how we are, a common reply these days is, "By me,
My point is, don't be scared off by all the horrible
news you hear. Of course, every single death is a terrible
tragedy, and the daily news can be very depressing and
painful. But despite all the dreadful news, Israel has
NOT become an especially dangerous place.
A person in Israel is still much more likely to
be the victim of a motorist, rather than a terrorist.
You run a far greater risk of dying from falling down
in the U.S. than from a terrorist attack in Israel.
Of course, that's not what the terrorists want you
to think. They're called "terrorists" because
their aim is to instill terror far beyond what
is actually warranted by the direct damage they cause.
The success of terrorism lies in its producing a disproportionate
amount of fear. But recognizing this is the key to understanding
how each and every one of us can personally do something
to fight terrorism. For even though there's not much
we can do to prevent the terrorist acts themselves,
we can nevertheless fight terrorism, each of us personally,
simply by not letting the terrorists dupe us into harboring
So, don't fall for the mistaken belief that Israel
has become a dangerous place! That's exactly what they
want you to think. But you can fight terrorism by resisting
the false conclusions the terrorists want you to draw.
Understand that you're probably just as safe in
Israel as you are at home. And then, show that you understand,
by coming to see us in Israel, more than ever before.
This is the one thing everyone can do to fight terrorism
show by your very presence in Israel that you
won't be fooled!
Jonathan Berg made aliyah from California eighteen
years ago and teaches logic in the Department of Philosophy
at the University of Haifa. He and his wife Sharon have
three children, ages 14-21. They are active members
of Congregation Moriah in Haifa.
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