Israel: Rugged People, Warm Hearts

As you have been reading in my blog, Time Magazine, USA Today or watching CNN, you may get the impression that Israel is full of dangerous places and people. Well, I must admit, to a certain degree that is true, there are plenty of things that have happened, are happening or have the potential to happen that are of grave concern, however there is also a beautiful side of Israel. A side that is too often overlooked. Beneath the fighting and unrest lays a prosperous land and wonderful people who are living in an uncertain world, yet they face each day refusing to give up hope. The strength and perseverance that I see in the eyes of the people that I have met is humbling. It won't be much longer that I will be back in the good ol'e U.S.of A where we have things so good that we can let entitlement, pettiness and useless drama rule our lives. - Earlier today I was in Ashkelon, Sderot and (viewed) the Gaza Strip while Elliot Chordoff (an American born Israeli who is a government expert on terrorism) briefed us on the history of conflicts fought between Israel, its neighbors and residents. Later, I went to a local school and youth center. These people are amazing. Their strength in the midst of war is inspiring. The threat of terrorist attacks is something they live with every day. Over 10k rockets hit Sderot in the past decade. The last one only one week ago, they choose to survive and continue to live their lives every day in the face of this reality! If you ask me, it makes my crappiest day look pretty good. Everyday these people are wondering if they will lose their own life or the life of a loved one at the hands of a terrorist, while we in American get ticked off if our Starbucks Latte isn't the right consistency or temperature (not to say that isn't important, but common, really?!? Are you kiddin' me!?!)ridiculous! - The hospitality has been amazing. Under the rugged exterior of these tenacious people are warm hearts, laughter and hutzpa! The hospitality and food has been so great I am going to have to lose 10 pounds when I get back home! The hummus is off the hook! - It is difficult not to admire the strength of these people when you experience their humor, and realistic no-non-sense view of life. I am already looking forward to the next trip out here! More on this later. All the best, -Craig


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