Why on Earth? That was the most common reaction from almost all of the people whom I told that I am going to Israel. To be frank I was a bit apprehensive myself when my manager asked me how comfortable I was to go there. But, as my friends know, I always try to venture into uncharted waters and more over many from my group have been to Israel for much longer periods than I was planning to. Yes, I said to him.
I will discuss on my travel experiences at a different time, now my main agenda (Gosh! I imbibed the meeting culture) here is to clarify on some myths that most of us have on this country which is a bit larger than our very own “God’s Own Country”. I will first surmise my point and then discuss in detail. If you feel India is a very unsafe country because there were a blast in Delhi, a train accident in Bihar, or there was a robbery, a mugging in Bangalore, then yes Israel is definitely not for you. For that matter I doubt if there is any place in this world where you can live.
You may say I am being highly opinioned in this perception of mine, but then I am speaking with first hand experience and not from some overblown media reports. I have traveled extensively in the last few days and I tell you I felt more at home here than at some places in India. I don’t mean any disrespect to my mother land, I very well understand the reason for such feelings of mine and I tell you they arise from my inability to speak the local language. Though I don’t speak the Hebrew, I am amazed at the trouble the people take to make you understand things in English. Remind you they are not many native English speakers in Israel. Sometimes I really did not know what to say of their kindness.
Now if you feel the people are an epitome of virtue, they are all immortals which we are not, then you get me wrong. The people are very aggressive, very frank, very opinionated and insecure. You see they are any other hard working people like you and me who are trying to eke out a living.
This should answer many of your queries about the people here. Now coming to the most important issue, most of us feel Israel is a burning cauldron. Let me ask you how did you know that?
Did you speak to any Israeli?
Did you speak to any one who had been to Israel? Did you at least talk to any Jew from India?
I am sure the answer to the above questions will be a BIG NO from most of you. Then why do you feel it is an unsafe country to be in. Let me put it this way, what do you think of a foreigner who discuss among themselves about India being a land of “Magicians and Snake charmers”. You get the point right; I after being here feel the same. The last week end, I had been to Dead Sea and to go there I had to travel for considerable amount of time in West Bank. Am I not writing this, is that not proof enough. I happened to be in Jerusalem on the day of feast of Ramadan, It was peace and harmony that greeted me.
I am not saying Israel is a country without problems, infact it had or has problems with all its neighbors. I am not saying Israel is a paradise; it is too far from it. What I am trying to tell you is, don’t form an opinion about some country or people in this case Israel and Israelis just based on the media reports. You must know by now what gets media attention and what doesn’t.
I know here that I spit out my ire against all those ill informed, but I remind you it is not anything personal. It pains me to see well informed people making such stupid statements just because they fail to use their commonsense. If you have any queries, mind you any kind of queries about Israel, do let me know in this blog. I will try to answer them to the best I can. “SHALOM”over 5 years ago