Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Outsider

I have just finished breakfast. Eggs and bagel. One can't get more Jewish than that. Typically after breakfast I feel full and ready to jump start the day.

As I was chomping on my bagel smeared with butter I was scrolling through my iPhone. As I clicked on the Facebook App I was excited to see if more people had liked my newly set profile picture. But as I scrolled through my newsfeed every post was about Israel. I clicked on an article, "Shalom MotherF*****" The profanity set me off and I thought it was another naïve article. Instead it was a piece of art crafted for the purpose of people like me. People who cannot sleep at night. People who are worried sick to their stomach. People who just finished their bagel and want to throw up.

I have been on the news twice since I have returned home from Israel. The first time around I thought I did a great job representing the Jewish people. I gave facts. I showed the truth- what an amazing concept- truth in the news.

The second time.

They said they wanted my emotion, how it feels to be in a "war zone". So I told my story about being in a bomb shelter in the hospital. I was sick and instead of seeing the doctor right away I was brought to a tiny concrete room. Though I only had to go in a bomb shelter once. Many Israelis have been experiencing rocket filled skies for a decade. Going into a bomb shelter is "normal".  I had to do it once.

They should have asked me what my emotion is outside a "war zone".

I feel blinded. When I was in Israel I could see the situation. I could talk to Israelis who were there. Now I have a cotton cloth sown onto my face. Many people say to me, "We're so glad you're home. Aren't you?" I typically respond, "Yes it's great to be home. When can I go back?" WHEN CAN I GO BACK? I am tense. Shoulders heightened filled with worry and wonder. Being outside a war zone.

 It is our turn to advocate for Israel. Even though I am not in Israel I have my family there. I have eight million Israelis to advocate for. And so do you. ​

--Dana Brown

Age, 17

South Bend, IN

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