Thursday, January 1, 2009


The disclaimer: I'm not a journalist. You may be shocked, shocked to hear that but my goal in my posts is to be as honest as I can be about the way I see things here, not to report the news. I am not promoting an agenda or trying to give a balanced account of every subject. I have my opinions and preferences about things and simply try to express those opinions carefully and accurately. I avoid political issues because,frankly,the last thing this world needs is another political voice.

Why do I write? Imagine that you are in my shoes for a moment. You come to Israel with your Arab Christian spouse and kids to the Jewish state to live. Immediately you are stereotyped (and let's be honest, we all do that to some degree), usually incorrectly, but that's fine because you can usually find amusement seeing people's reaction when they discover their stereotype was way wrong. Regardless, you are essentially an outsider.

While minding your own business trying to make a life in your new environment, the next thing you know you are under attack by rockets shot in order to kill, maim, and terrify you and everyone around you (actually, they really are aiming to kill everyone around you, but would celebrate just the same if they got you or your family). And to top it all off, those rocket shooters are of the same ethnicity as your spouse (hence the stereotype spoken about above). Good times.

Then, after waiting way too long and enduring several attacks too many, you have to suddenly uproot (while under fire) and relocate in the middle of the school year. Just like that, you start over. Maybe it's just me, but I think anyone going through something like that will form some sorts of opinions about matters whether one once cared about them previously or not. In this country you can try to remain neutral and "stay above the fray", but sooner or later events will grab you. That's a fact, that's the reality.

Although thankfully we have no part or stake in this conflict, I still love Arabs and Jews alike. Many times I feel I live in the best of both worlds here, enjoying living life in one culture and having family and friends in the other. Not fully belonging to either but also inseparable from both. We are on the fringe and at the same time caught in the middle of everything.

As a result, we experience the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly of both peoples. And while both have their serious problems, even fatal flaws, they are each wonderful peoples in their own right. And because of/in spite of these things, I have formed certain opinions about things. Not all are in concrete, mind you, but my opinions are based on the unique situation through which we have had to navigate and maneuver.

Take everything written here with a grain of salt. It is only one view of life here from my outsider/insider perspective. There are other aspects to this country and other sides to the stories about which I write, so if you are interested in those you can find droves of information to the contrary. The information is available and, as I always say, read and decide for yourself.

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