& I stand with Palestine
13 years ago I visited Israel with my husband.
We were newly wed and the idea of spending a month an a half in a new country was exciting and was exactly what we needed at the time.
Vicky was going for a business trip that meant our accommodations were paid for. And when you are young and broke, that's quite a big deal!
We were going to be in Israel during passover. Up until that point I did not know much about Israeli culture or what passover is or its importance was in Israel.
Curiosity led me to one Wikipedia article after another and before even visiting this exotic country I started falling in love with its culture and people.
When we finally landed in Israel, it was a real treat, to all my senses!!
It's a beautiful country! The food is so delicious and the people are welcoming and warm.
We lived in a tiny apartment overlooking the sea in Tel Aviv. There was a lively market just below the apartment building and the streets were always bustling with people, young and old, kids and adults, making it the most interesting town I had ever visited.
Vicky would go to work and I would go around the town, on a bike and a map in hand, it was before Google Maps was available.
I had picked up some local words and knew greeting people with “Shalom” will instantly bring a smile on their face.
I would ask for directions from strangers, get food suggestions from walkers and listen to very interesting stories from people I would be-friend on my hiatus on the beach.
Never once did I feel scared or like an outsider in a country where I looked nothing like the residents who belonged there.
I was always welcomed with a smile and shared laughter that echoed the bustling streets.
And on this very trip, I went to Palestine.
And you know the strangest thing? People in Palestine are also so very kind with beautiful and warm smiles and have the laughter that echoes its bustling streets.
It breaks my heart to know that it's not laughter that's echoing on those streets I walked once, but wailing cries of mother's. Mother's whose children have been mercilessly killed and abducted.
Mother's who are still awaiting the news of their children and there is no hope to hold on to.
Mother's who have no time to grieve because they are out there fighting for their nation and for the children of other mothers. Because they know what it means to lose a child.
Grandmothers and great grandmothers who have seen this happen a long time ago and are now reliving this horror with their own children.
Terrorism benefits no one!
There are children dying on both sides.
They don't deserve to die out of hatred and violence.
Nothing justifies terrorism. Nothing.
While I know the history between the two countries runs deep and is sour, I really hope we can overlook the past and save these children.
I stand with Children.
I stand with their wailing Mothers.
I stand with Israel.
& I stand with Palestine.