I never liked war movies,

Always ran away from them.

I love my life optimistic

With a little drama,

But I did not believe

I will be part of a war

An endless war.


To wake up to the alarm scream,

Such a scary sound

That moves the soul around.

We have 40 seconds to run to shelter

40-seconds which feel like a battle for my life,

And I, I want to stay alive.

After all the boom sounds, I know I have survived, for now.

But what about the next time? And the next time after that?


These days there are no nights and days

And any worries I had before forgotten,

And requests to God I had once wished, return to me.

I have but one wish left, please let all of this end.


Now it is a quiet again, but it may be the still before the bigger storm.

Missy Poem

”I am Nir. I am Israel.”

I am Nir.

I am a free man, living in the free country of Israel.
I am Jewish. I am not religious. I am a human being.
I hate war, I hate violence, I hate prejudice and evil where ever it shows its ugly head. If you would ask me what I want right now more than anything, my answer will not be an Iphone (I hate Apple…But that’s beside the point), a new tablet or a car; it won’t be a home, money or even happiness; my one wish is for peace.
My name is Nir, and I wish for the same as all other Israelis.

In a country so fraught with violence, war and death people think we might have gotten used to it… But the truth is that we never do. Each picture of a child being hurt due to acts of war touches our hearts and sends shivers down our spine, be it a Jewish child, a Christian child, a Muslim child and any other child from any religion or ethnic group. You see world, WE do not care who you are and where you came from…We only want peace and safety.

There are many so called ”saints” who demonize us. These Hamas leaders who keep screaming ”They are evil!” While we only reply ”Please let us send your citizens aid”. They keep firing missiles at our children and we supply them with electricity, food and money, to help their innocents. They target our loved ones, in our homes, our streets and our sky scrapers and we? We let their people know when and where we are going to strike against these attacks, so their innocent citizens can stay out of harm’s way…

When I saw a video of a terrorist sending missiles on our homes, being hit by a missile shot from our air-force I felt pity for him. I know he was evil. I know his only intent was killing me and anyone else who is a Jew. And I know that there was no other way to save innocent lives. I agree with it all, and I approve of his death. But I do not take pride or happiness in it because unlike them (Hamas and other terrorist groups) I find happiness in life. Not death. Unlike them, When I see a man, woman, child or animal die, no matter what evil he might have done, I still find it in me to feel a little sad for the loss of a life from our planet. Unlike them, I DO NOT go out to the street to dance and sing about how they died. Yes, that terrorist had to die, but I am Nir, I am an Israeli and therefore I am not happy that he is dead. I am happy that other lives were saved because of it.

Many people ask what you would do, world, if your cities were bombarded by thousands of missiles. What would you do if your innocent civilians were targeted each and every day? I DON’T agree with that question because this is not a question. This is a fact. We are part of this world, just like they are. We are a part of this world just like anyone else… And we are being targeted. So I don’t ask you, world, ”What would you do?” I am asking you ”Why are you letting it happen?”

If today all the terrorist groups will say ”We want peace. We want to live for life and not death and because of it, we will not fight you” Israel will be happy, it will most likely help them build themselves and thrive alongside Israel. But if Israel would stop fighting, will open its borders and say ”we will never fight again” would there be peace in the Middle East? I think that it is clear that Israel will simply be wiped out in a matter of days, its population murdered for the sake of death.

Israel and Jews in general believe in the phrase ”To save even one life is to save a whole world” but the Hamas belief is ”We love death as much as the Jews love life”. I would gladly help a fellow Muslim if I saw him injured or hurt, would he do the same for me? I believe he might, if wasn’t brainwashed by terrorists who twist the words of their fate to support their own evil agendas.

World, I do not want war. I do not want to see anyone suffer. But I believe in the simple and most important right of any living being, the right to live. And that is why I am supporting my country and hope you will help us find a solution and resolution to this bitter situation.

I don’t believe in death. I don’t believe in terror.
I believe in life. I believe in peace. I am Nir. I am Israel.

For a friend

A friend of mine asked me to write a letter for Letters From Israel. She is a Ukrainian-born Israeli who came to Israel as a teenager. I got to know her well while volunteering. She knows that I am a writer and wanted me to contribute to the site. She wanted me to write ”something positive.” That was her request. I hope when all is said and done she will approve of my letter, but I certainly can’t guarantee it.

I should say that legally, I am not an Israeli. I did, however, live for a year in Israel volunteering as an English teacher and learning all about Israeli culture. For those who have no experience with Israel I can tell you honestly that it’s an incredible place. I thoroughly enjoyed the kind and caring treatment I received in Israel. The people are uniquely intelligent and motivated and extremely physically attractive (though that last part is not especially relevant). It is a true melting pot, where people from all over the world can come together. My friend’s story (moving to Israel as a teenager who doesn’t speak Hebrew) is a remarkably common one. A million and a half Jews have arrived from Russia and eastern Europe in just the past 20 years and all of them are welcomed with open arms. In my first week in Israel, a man on the bus I had never met invited me (in broken English) to his house for a home-cooked meal.

Now if you’re reading this, you may wonder why I’m worried about this letter not being received positively. So far all I’ve done is complement and humanize Israelis. Well, my fear comes from the extremely complex feelings I have about the place.

Not everything in Israel is good. When you hear that Israel is mistreating their Arab population, I cannot deny that that is true. Arabs do not have full rights in Israel. There are radicals among Israel’s religious who go to bizarre extremes: some religious believe the country of Israel is not a legitimate State and protest it’s existence. Most religious are extremely unfair to women and some are even abusive. It is true that the Israeli government is launching missile strikes against Palestinians in Gaza.

But there is something missing from this picture of Israel, and that is context.

Israel, for lack of a better analogy, is a battered child. Even ten years before the creation of the country, the people faced regular raids by their Arabic neighbors. The very moment that Israel declared it’s statehood, it was attacked by every surrounding Arab country. Israel has fought a number of wars between then and now and there is almost constant strife between the land and it’s neighbors.

Imagine if this happened to you, personally.

Imagine you live in a government-built housing complex in the bad part of town. Your neighbors are foreigners. You do not speak their language. They do not like you.
Imagine if you only lived in that government housing complex because your parents were gathered up and sent to jail because they had no home.
Imagine if those neighbors attacked you periodically; not the neighborhood adults, but the neighborhood children.
They throw rocks at you and call you names. They even threatening to kill you or blow up your house.
How would you react?

I don’t know about you, but I would be terrified. I would fear for my life. I would do whatever I could to keep my family safe.

This is how every Israeli feels. Point blank. They are afraid. Let me say that again, because it bears repeating. Israelis are afraid. How many of the conquerors you know from studying history conquer their neighbors because they are afraid? How many colonial powers allow themselves to be governed by fear? I know of none. Israelis are not conquerors. Israelis are not warmongers. Israelis are forced to defend themselves by force from attacks from the Palestinians in Gaza.

By the way, let’s talk about the Palestinians. In the 1940’s, they had exactly the same opportunity as the Israelis had to form a government and claim a part of Israel. They did not. Instead, they called on the other Arab countries to attack Israel. Their government still believes in public executions. They build rockets underneath school buildings and in residential areas. They send children to harass soldiers, then only show the world what happens when a soldier responds with violence. They do not allow the free exchange of information to their citizens, and worst of all, those in control of Gaza bribe average citizens into strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up Israeli civilians along with themselves. Gaza is a terrible place to live under Hamas control.

I will not tell you that Israelis are a completely righteous people. I don’t believe they are. The state of Israel does a great many things I do not support. Still, I can’t see any way to look at the situation in Gaza and believe that the Palestinians deserve the benefit of the doubt. Between Israel and Gaza, Israel is the more free and more righteous country. Israel’s actions are not all virtuous, but Hammas’s actions are indefensible. I won’t insist that anyone advocate for Israel, but I will insist that Israel be allowed to defend themselves.

The Israeli military, should they so wish, could kill thousands of people in Gaza without any trouble. The associated press says that 27 civilians and militants have died in Gaza. The purpose of the attacks are not terrorism, they are military. Hundreds of bombs have been fired against civilians in the past week. This is what led to the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

Brian Levenson

”Aren’t the journalists aware of the responsibility they have?”

To claim that the Palestinians who were killed by ’Israeli Barbarians’ were peaceful citizens is like to claim that poor Osama Bin Laden was killed by ’American Terrorists’.

But in Israel there is something bigger, something IMMIDIATE. We protect ourselves from danger that we face endlessly, especially in the last week. Maybe YOU could have prevented this war if you’d known the truth and you’d worked to press the terrorists who maybe wouldn’t start the rocket rain on us. Maybe if you’d known the truth you could have helped the peaceful Palestinians who can’t do anything about their bloody leaders (who by the way use their citizens as human shields on purpose – for you to let it continue happening!)

Maybe in the year 1918-1919,  my Jewish grand-grandmother wouldn’t fall from her mothers’ hands because she and her husband were shot by a group of Soviet radicals called Denikintzi and Machonovtzi. Maybe she and her 5 brothers could have had a better life and not lose everything they had. These groups of radicals did it for many Jewish families – just burst into their houses and shot at every corner of their house – killed old people, young and tiny ones. They thought that Jews drink blood, and they’d do anything to protect the Soviet nation.
Who knew then that so huge amount of Heroes who were mentioned in the Media were Jews? Media ’forgot’ to mention this small detail that awoke groups of mindless people.

This is happening again, actually, it never ceased happening – Media has blood on its hands. Aren’t the journalists aware of the responsibility they have? Can’t they differentiate between real things and staged lies? What do they want? I can’t understand!

What do you want? Do you understand? Did you ever stop to think about how you affect the situation? Can you live your regular life if you are bombed daily? How would you feel to be awake at night because different noises remind you of sirens? How would you be able to stay calm on the way to the kindergarten with your kids when you hear 5 BOOMS from neighbour cities while you walk with them? Where do you want me to live? I am not safe anywhere. Here I am a ’Barbarian Israeli’ and anywhere else I am Jew and a target for terrorist attacks.

Maybe you never heard about these things. Maybe you never heard that Israeli Jews and Arabs study together, work together, mixed couples marry and there are mixed friendships. Didn’t you know that the Head of my College is a Muslim? Didn’t you know that there are a lot of youngsters from both sides who try to find solutions together? Didn’t you know that even Palestinians don’t know the truth because everything they see about Israel is translated wrongly? Try to read and even come to see with your own eyes what really happens and maybe something will change for the better.

Lena, 23 year old student from the center of Israel.