Shai’s Letter

Hello dear Kim,

First of all I want to bless your great activity for my country, Israel.
Secondly I decided to pick up the glove and to write a letter about my personal feelings about the Middle East.
My name is Shai and I was born in 1967, five months after The Six-Day War, which we are going to talk about later.

In May 1948 the UN voted to give us, the Jews, a state – after 6 million people were murdered in the holocaust in Europe (I lost my family in Poland).
A single small state and a warm house to the people that survived the German war machine.
Of course my neighbors, the Arabs, didn’t want it and the War of Independence broke out. Let’s mention that the Arabs have several countries (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi, Egypt etc), finally the state of Israel was born – a small baby.

A few more wars broke out, The Six-Day War (1967), The Yom Kippur War (1973) and the main idea was to erase Israel from the map.
Why? Just like that, no reason, they just wanted the new baby.
And then Syria and Egypt paid the ”rent” when they lost the Golan heights, the Gaza strip and Sinai.

Mr. President Anwar Sadat (R.I.P.) who made peace with us in 1977 got back Sinai, but he was clever, he said NO to the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza Strip is a disaster, over 1 million people live there, very poor, not like in the West Bank where they are rich and they’ve got everything.
So, Gaza is a good land for terror and another two babies were born: Hamas and Hezbollah. Both of them got food (weapons, money) from Iran.

Israel received thousands of missiles and rockets and there was no choice but to occupy those places.
Wow, that made a lot of noise in the world. Bad Israel! I ask: if it would have been the USA – what would the world have said then?

In 2000 the IDF withdrew from Lebanon and the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that we had to withdraw from Gaza as well.
OK, we did it, bad Israel gave the chance to Lebanon and Gaza to build something by their own. And what did we get instead?
Yes, missiles, bombs, killing of children and innocent people etc.
And now it is Iran that says that we should disappear. And I ask again, WHY?

The Iranians are not Arabs, they are Persian muslims, what did we do to them?
What is our crime?
I have a 10-year-old child and I ask myself what future does he have?
I am working for an American company, with a lot of branches worldwide, I have friends in Iran, Saudi, Lebanon, Egypt and we are very good friends. We are talking, drinking, eating at international meetings, and I am asking a last time… why isn’t it like that in reality?
Why is the Middle East full of envy, full of fundamentalistic religions?

For God? For Allah? Who knows if they exist?

Maybe I am naive, maybe I put here the Israeli point of view, but….

We are tired, we just want to give our kids a chance to a better life, otherwise where will we go? To Sweden (Ha Ha… Muslims everywhere), Germany? Thanks, we have already been there!!

Kim, again I appreciate your activities and wish you all the best.

You are a holy man.


”So why was the wall raised, why were the checkpoints established?”


As I read mr. Kim’s blog and the ”letters from Israel section” I started to feel that I should share my experience, and my opinion of Israel, it’s people and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that seemingly became part of our lives. But as I imagine the letter I would write it always goes to dark places.
I do not wish to make a grim picture of my beloved Israel, but it seems if I wish to discuss the conflict, specially the allegations of Israeli apartheid, that hurts me deeply, I have to go there.

When discussing the check points and the West Bank wall people say it’s illegal and inhumane, that we don’t have a right to treat the Palestinians as some sort of cattle that we close within a cage. Today all I hear of Israel are these allegations of racism and apartheid, but all I can recall of why all of this was created, is my time at school around the year 2000 when the Second intifada (A.K.A Intifada Al-Aqsa) started.

As the Palestinian Popular uprising started one of the most remembered incidents was the Ramallah lynch where two IDF reservists entered Ramallah by accident (there were no checkpoints at that time) and were lynched by a large mob. After this incident our teachers devoted an hour talking about the conflict. I clearly remember my teacher saying: ”Although this is a bloody incidents, I try to understand the Palestinian point of view. They have accumulated a lot of anger and that two soldiers were an object that they could focus their anger on.”

After the incidents a wave of murderous terror acts started. Every other day a suicide bomber blew up in a bus, or a mall. At first, it was working, people got scared, I remember how for several months everybody refrained of going out, they preferred to stay at home. I felt that too, but then something even worse happened: we got used to it, we became numb. I remember clearly me sitting in class when one of the students that was checking the news on his cell-phone (something new at that time) saying: ”There was a terrorist act in Netanya.” And then us asking him automatically: ”How many died?” and it was just another day in school. I still watched the news regularly, but it was out of an almost compulsive need to be up-to-date. I recall how motionless and emotionless I was as they read the names of the victims: ”And these are the names of the 21 deceased that were taken at the bombing in the Delphinarium night-club in Tel-Aviv…” By the way at this terrorist act most of the killed were kids aged 14-18 and the oldest was the bouncer aged 25. And most of them went to the same school.

So why was the wall raised, why were the checkpoints established? Because as much as we would like the Palestinians to move freely on their lands, we had to take control of the situation. Since those times suicide bombing became very rare (relatively) and what we suffer is ”just” the rockets from Gaza for the most part.

Are the measures we have taken to stop these terrorists humane? Maybe not, many innocent Palestinians now live in less than optimal conditions with many of their rights violated. But were those measures justified? You tell me…

Thank you,


Itamar’s Letter

Hallå/Hej alla

My name is Itamar Margalit, 24 years old from northern Israel (only 15 minutes by car from Nazareth). I have just finished my B.A. in communication, and I’m about to start my M.A. in political communication (and probably move to Jerusalem).

I have to say that this blog came to me ’by accident’ when I saw a report in the Israeli TV about the owner of the blog. That interview reminded me of my last trip in the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark), as well as my visit to Iceland last year (and my dream to visit Faroe Islands and Åland). I’m talking about the landscapes, the culture and the stories of those people who seem to be so far away from me, and that’s the reason why it’s like magic to me.

I must say that during my journeys, when I told other people that I’m from Israel, I was welcomed by the hosts and some were interested about the life there. And that’s the point with us, the Israelis – we really want to have a good and quiet life, without so much noise and problems. I’ve just finished a week off in Eilat – the southern place in Israel – and I can see just how true this is. As a country which has not so many friends among her neighbours, we feel ”stacking” in the middle together with people who doesn’t like you by definition. Maybe that’s the reason why I feel attracted to borders, while I hope to have a non-visible sometime in the future, like in the EU.

Anyway, I hope you’ve got a little bit of an Israeli perspective, and if you live in the Nordic countries (also if you don’t) – you’re more than welcome to add me as your friend on facebook.

Best regards,
Itamar Margalit