Can love be genetic? Is it inside your body and soul, or is it only the upbringing that creates such a love and devotion for a country and a people. As long as I can remember there was love for Israel in my family. My grandparents from mothers side loved Israel, so did my mother. My parents loved Israel so much that they, when we lived in Israel, did everything to help the country in all possible ways. For this they received from the mayor of Jerusalem, in that time Teddy Kollek, the Yad Vashem Knesset medal.
Back in Holland, plagued by homesickness, I even got more fanatic in defending Israel and I could no longer hear a word wrong about Israel. Years went by and somehow we never went back to Israel. Afraid that my memories were more beautiful than the reality, I choose for other destinations for my vacations. I got married, got my children, divorced but Israel was deep in my heart and my love never disappeared. After the Gaza war “operation Protective edge” and the Har Nof terror attack in 2014 I founded the group “Time To Stand Up For Israel”.
While very busy with defending and supporting Israel, I realized it was crazy that I had not been in Israel, not been home, for decades. I booked my first vacation in 2015 and was extremely happy my memories were not disappointing and Israel still give me the good vibes it always gave me. After that vacation many followed and I knew this is the country I want to live in forever, this is the country I want to die in.
In 2018 most of my kids left the house, my relationship ended and I did not enjoy at work. I have a fulltime job and I work 70 hours a week for Israel on voluntarily base. My motto is “I only live once” and it was time to define new goals in my life. My new goal is, not surprising, working for Israel. To be able to devote my life to Israel sounds like a blessing to me. So my new mission started, networking, writing letters etc. Unfortunately Israel has totally different working ethics. It is quite normal not to answer letters, specially with the more important connections and being friends with someone and granting him/her something is more important than skills and expertise.
Difficult and often discouraging. But confident as I am about my absolute devotion and love for Israel, my lack of fear and my overdose of energy and my skills, I am convinced that at the end, I will reach my goal and work for Israel. Because I know I can contribute a lot for the country I love.
But in addition to literally working for Israel, it is also important to always carry out a Pro-Israel attitude to the people around you… Tell the truth when you hear the lies, do not be afraid to wear proud your Jewish symbols, as a kipa, a necklace with the Magen David etc etc. Be proud to stand with Israel, do not hide your opinion, raise the blue and white flag of Israel.
Because Israel is truly the only shining star in a sea of darkness, the beacon of light in the world. I would be honored to work for her in all ways.
Am Yisrael Chai