Monday, November 15, 2010

I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way

I'm in a bad mood which has morphed into anger and depression quick. At ulpan today, our wonderful teacher Hadas, who is Israeli, stated her views on Americans who volunteer for our military, and Jews who do the same in particular. Since I am the only participant here, the comments and conversation were towards me. While the cultural differences make me pretty sure that she wasn't attempting to really bait me into an argument or offend me purposely, she nonetheless did.

Now I don't like talking to people about the politics behind American involvement in Iraq. There are a myriad of reasons, but simply, the impression I'm left with from people who I do engage in these conversations is that they don't understand me as a person, and my views as an American. So I stay away from these topics. Hadas however plunged right in, and proceded to ask why anyone, let alone Jews, would join the American military and fight somewhere else, for a land that is not ours. That here in Israel, when you join the army, you have to because without the army, there is no Israel, no life, no Jews, etc. But for Americans, this is simply not so. There's no reason an American, let alone an American Jew should ever risk his or her life for something that is not necessary.

Well, first, I am attempting to look at the evening as a big step toward recovery, as I sat there silently in class and yes'd her to death, while keeping my cool even as I was getting extremely mad. I said nothing that I regret, I did not yell, I did not verbally assault her or anyone else. I wanted to, but I didn't.

After a few hours, here I am and I am obviously still quite upset about it. I don't know that I can continue with anything quite coherent and understandable, but I will leave you with a few points that are floating around my head right now:

* The state of Israel owes a portion (the size is debatable) of it's security in the world to United States support. This support comes in various forms, both economic and militarily.

* The invasion and subsequent regime change in Iraq removed an avowed enemy of the state of Israel, Saddam Hussein. The same enemy who in 1991 shot SCUD missiles at Israel daily. Who supported Hezbollah and Hamas.

* The American military actions throughout the globe don't fit in to the neat definition of "defending your homeland" as Israel's actions do. However, without taking the fight to America's enemies, the enemy would be happy as a pig in shit to bring the fight to us, ie. 9/11, or to our allies, ie. Israel.

* American military power and projection allow me to be able to travel to places in the world with relative safety. Terrorists and enemies are aware of the fact that the US has military power to project right into their backyard, and we will do so in order to protect our citizens.

Anyway, fuck all that. I'm tired of this shit. Obviously I still have a ways to go with this whole acceptance thing.

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