By: Meytal Russo, University of Texas San Antonio, Hasbara Fellow
Why does fighting for Israel matter?
Israel has become such a complicated place to speak about. The country I grew up to love and to cherish has become a country surrounded with hate and negativity. It was not until I was much older that I realized the place I cherished so much would become the one I had to constantly defend.
I want the world to understand that the fight against Israel is a hurtful and painful one. Those who seek to delegitimize and eliminate Israel are speaking about eliminating my friends, my family, my culture, and my history. How can anyone be okay with that? How can one sit back and agree that the movement of hate surrounding Israel makes sense?
I want the world to understand that Israel is so much more than the conflict. Israel is home to top innovations, incredible research, beautiful, historical places, and to the three monotheistic religions in the world. Israel is Hebrew and humor, stubbornness and laughter, street food and chocolate milk in a bag.
I want the world to understand that Israel does her very best. Israel might not always be on the correct side, the correct party, or the correct legislation, but is any country? I want the world to understand that it is hard to find an Israel supporter who also supports every single thing that the Israeli government does. Just like, as an American, I do not agree with all of the legislations and statements said by the government, but I still fully recognize the country of the United States as legitimate. I want the world to understand that you can criticize freely, but you must recognize as well.
I want the world to understand that Israel is a place to be proud of. That Israel is a place to learn from, that will challenge you, and will enlighten you. I want the world to understand that there is still so much to be done and we all want to be on the right side of history. I want the world to understand that Israel truly seeks peace and so do all Israel supporters.
I want the world to understand the real Israel.