On Wednesday, I returned to Israel from a trip to the United States. I found it challenging to communicate to people in the U.S. what it's like to live in Israel, particularly with the growing and ominous threats to the Jewish state from all points of the compass.
In today's Jerusalem Post, Naomi Ragen paints a compelling portrait of the current Middle East conditions using the brush of her family's summertime vacation.
You can read her entire article here:
Here's an excerpt I found particularly relevant. It's an excellent synopsis of the current situation in Israel and how some Israelis are feeling about the growing dangers and "the gathering storm."
On Sunday, August 19, when we were all back home, parents getting the children's clothes and school supplies ready for the start of the new school year, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy told Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh that 'Egypt and Palestine are one entity.'
And so the storm gathers. Turkey, once a friend, ally and popular vacation spot, has been transformed into an Islamic republic which has slammed its door in our faces. Egypt, our peace partner, has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood. Syria is overwhelmed by savage forces, none of them reasonable or less hate-filled toward us than the other. Lebanon's Hezbollah is an Iranian puppet. And Iran and Iraq, once enemies, now cooperate to overcome the Western boycott that is naively attempting to slow down the production of a nuclear bomb to fulfill the Iranian mullahs' insane vision of messianic days - Muslim fanatic style - i.e. a map with no Israel.
We and our children and grandchildren, the remnant of the great nation of Israel of biblical times, sit in the middle of a maelstrom as the evil forces of the world gather around our hard-won, industrious, beautiful little country and its wonderful, creative, beautiful people. Some have faith in our army. Some in our government. Some in God. Some, like myself, in all three.
But wherever we put that faith, it is increasingly clear that we can no longer put it in any of our fellow human beings in America or Europe. For it is clear that President Barack Obama, unlike his predecessor, is not ready for a war against a nation with weapons of mass destruction simply because of the human threat they pose to mankind. He is focused on exposing Mr. Romney's tax returns.
His head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has made it clear that America's timetable and Israel's differ. We are facing utter annihilation; America is not. Still, in a final ringing slap in the face, he nevertheless urges Israel to do nothing as he feels we lack the capability to defend ourselves. How helpful.
As for Europe, instead of calling Iran a global genocidal enemy of all Europe and all humanity, and Ahmadinejad the spiritual heir to Hitler and the Nazis, they came out with the 'strongly worded statement' that 'Israel has a right to exist.'
Thank you so much. What would we do without you Europeans? The words 'never again' ring hollow these days, as the storm clouds gather and the peaceful days of summer come to an end, and we wait, patiently, filled with fear and courage and hope for what is to come.
But our enemies, however numerous, would do well to remember this: They are not facing the unarmed Jews of Europe 70 years ago. This time, they will be at the center of any hell they unleash.