California to New York: Moderates are Passionate About Israel | 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel

1,001 Reasons to Love Israel


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California to New York: Moderates are Passionate About Israel


We are not what you would refer to as a "white" nation. Our lineage started out in Iraq – not a white country. We became a numerous people in Egypt – not a white country. We entered the Land of Israel and grew – not a white country.

We never lived in a white nation for the first 1,500 years of our existence. It was only after the Romans exiled us that we moved to European countries that are considered "white."

By 1950, there were 1.5 million white European Jews in Israel. There were also 600,000 Jews from the Arab nations. Today, for every Jew who came to Israel from "white" countries in Europe and Russia, there is a Jew who came from a "non-white" country in the Middle East and North Africa.

One in three marriages in Israel are between a Jew of European descent and a Jew of Middle Eastern/North African lineage. Over the past 2 generations, the nation of Israel has collectively given birth to a new national skin tone. It reinforces a truth here: Color means next to nothing in Israel.

Thank G-d, I have three children. I am from New York and my wife is from Ukraine. We are white, just like our children. We live in a city dominated by Jews from everywhere. Our city has the largest Ethiopian Jewish population on earth.

At least one of our children will marry a Jew of another color -- maybe even all of them. Our grandchildren, just like our ancestors, will not be white. They will have a distinct ethnic, cultural, and Jewish identity the world hasn't seen for thousands of years. But it's who we are. It's who we always were. As Israelis continue to marry on merit of who people really are, rather than what they look like, this trend will accelerate.

Nobody is afraid to speak their peace. No issue is off limits. A religious Jew can work in an office, and be open about his observance. He can sit right next to a gay person talking about his life.

There is no political correctness so a religious man feels no fear by boldly warning his gay friend that his lifestyle will chop off 20 years of his life. The gay person feels no problem telling him to mind his own business. The arguments are honest. People generally come away with such disagreements better friends.

Growing up in Long Island, NY, it was all about ethnicity. The Jews lived in this town, the Irish in this town, the Italians here, the Hispanics here, and the African-Americans there. In my hometown of Netanya that doesn't exist. Russians live among French who live among Israelis who live among Moroccans who live among Iranians who live among Ethiopians.

The largest Ethiopian community in Israel lives in Netanya. There is a separated Haredi community, but they do that for religious purposes. The fact is there is no economic segregation, social separation, even political division. We live in a city where everyone lives together, and we all get along just fine.

Days after a Saudi hacker divulged the credit card information of thousands of Israelis, an Israeli did the same to hundreds of Saudis.

He did it to prove it could be done and that Arab hackers should reconsider the consequences of harassing our people. It was a warning that this time, hundreds of people's information was exposed. If there were any problems, a lot more was sure to come.

Instead of destroying the lives of the “enemy,” the Israeli hacker refused to release the CVC security codes of the Saudi credit cards, so nobody outside the owners of the cards could use them. This is the standard in Israel: Even though we have the technology to make all of our enemies suffer, we don't go after those we cannot prove did us any harm.

We spend billions of shekels for pinpointed missiles, all attached with state of the art GPS systems. Why? Even as our enemies lob missiles into civilian centers, not caring at all if they kill mommies, or maim babies, we use our technology for mercy.

We make sure that when we are attacking the enemy, we hit targets with terrorists. We use our technology to the best of our ability to minimize non-combatant causalities of war.

We have even been condemned by generals of European armies for being too merciful, and setting the standard for protecting civilian life too high for them to meet.

Even our most fervent nationalists want every Arab within our borders to live a good life. In the 50 years since 1967, inflation adjusted income for Palestinians have gone up 5 TIMES. Life expectancy has increased 20 YEARS. Palestinians also have their own government, social services, and infrastructure.

Here, it's not a story. The consequences are real and devastating. Sodom is part of our country. It is on our eastern border. The devastation to this city of millions of people was so severe, that thousands of years later, Sodom is still the lowest place on earth. For all of our advances in agriculture and hi-tech, we still can't get anything to grow there.

Artifacts remain of all the great empires that were here both before and after us. Canaan leaves us hints all over the country of it's presence. It was the superpower of its day. They were destroyed due to their open stance towards sexual choices of any kind.

Rome's greatness is still felt today. From coast to coast, there are palaces, ports, even cities that still remain. We see how huge the Roman Empire was judging by its gigantic footprint, still in the sand here. Rome never fell. It imploded for having the same position on this issue as the Sodomites, and the Canaanites.

This isn't religion or morality. It is history and archeology.

When we argue this issue, we see with our own eyes that this is a matter of life and death. The consequences of making the wrong decision are sure to lead to a tragedy on a level we haven't beared since 1945.

Even on the left, the majority of Israelis understand that there are some things that have absolutely no place in a free and honest society.

David Ben Horin is the author of 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel. He developed What You Need to Succeed in Israel for anyone considering a future in Israel. He lives in Netanya with his wife and children.

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