A New Tomorrow
It’s election eve, and I have no idea what to write. Should I focus on my hope for a new tomorrow? Or perhaps on the lingering fear of an identical yesterday?
Truth be told, I’m tired.
I’m tired of the pundits and experts. Of the polls and the statistical analyses. I’m mostly tired of the poisoned discourse. It’s such a shame, and a cruel irony, that this beautiful expression of democracy often helps to accentuate polarity.
This is why I’m extremely happy to host a guest on my blog.
I’ve known the author of this guest post for 17 years. I met him in 1998, when we were both drafted into the IDF. I’ve spent many the nights on guard duty with him and can safely say that I know his heart and soul.
We tend to bestow the honored title of “salt of the earth” on the deceased, but in this case I think we can make an exception.
Though from a very different background and life story, the author and I share many ideals and beliefs. You can consider the words below as my own.
I’m a leftist.
You’ve been warned about me.
You’ve been told that I will destroy this country. That I will divide Jerusalem, and bring thousands of terrorists into the streets of Tel-Aviv. That nothing connects me to the homeland.
And who knows what else.
So what. I don’t care.
I did my best to convince, to fight. I tried to explain.
Most of you are choosing your Prime Minister just like you choose a football squad. From the heart. With no reasoning.
And he tells you that I’m not a Zionist, that I’m a traitor. That I have no values.
You should know, though, that I love Israel.
I was told that there are three things that build the connection between man and his land. Working it. Fighting over it. Hiking it.
I have worked it. Walking along watering pipes in the avocado fields. Picking up every bit of trimmed foliage in the deciduous orchards. Acre after acre. Tree after tree.
Israel. My heart explodes with every drop of rain quenching your thirst. I am there for every snow in the Golan, and every flood in the Judea Desert.
You claim I am not a Zionist. Yet still I served as a combat soldier for three years, of which one was spent in the most screwed up and god forsaken outpost deep in Lebanon.
I still serve. I answer every call. For 14 years now, I do reserve duty. In all weathers, and where ever I’m needed.
Except once. Not because of my values, but because I was in South America. Try not to judge please.
It was my values that led me to protect an isolated settlement in the West Bank populated only with empty haphazard structures.
But you told me to go, so I went. And I stayed. I swallowed my anger and frustration because you told me to protect.
The land that I so love. The land that I traveled across every inch of. Every beautiful fountain in every hidden valley. In the Galilee, and in the Negev.
I yearn to see you flower. Not only in the Spring when people smile. I want to see people leading a respectable life, and building a future. Not only in Judea and Samaria, but also in the Galilee and the Negev.
I want there to be good in this country.
So call me what you want.
I don’t care.
Just close your eyes for a second and try to forget the threats and fears that were cast upon you. I’m the leftist you see on the other side. The other side of this difficult and special people. Not a demon or a traitor. Just someone who wants it to be good here.
Close your eyes and think. Are you truly satisfied with where Israel is and where it’s going?
Or perhaps it’s time to try something else.
Written by my dear friend, Uri Tsur, March 16, 2015.