The line above is taken from the Israeli anthem and probably describes best the sincere wish of every Israeli, with no regard to his skin color, socioeconomic background or religion. Yet after 120 years since the national anthem of the Israeli people called “The Hope” was written and 58 or so years after the state of Israel has declared its independence, the people of Israel find themselves once again struggling for their ancestral rights.
This summer, the state of Israel witnessed a major bloodshed due to a fierce battle with the Hezbollah terrorist group. The so called confrontation which resulted from a deliberate ambush by the Hezbollah which killed 8 IDF soldiers and the kidnap of 2 other IDF soldiers, led to escalation and a major regional war for a month.
The aftermath of this terrible fighting brought us all from both sides of the electric fence to one major conclusion: There are no winners in real wars (as opposed to wars in computer games), but rather countless losers and casualties. Both sides suffered terribly from the war and its consequences upon their economy, infrastructure and the well being of their people. I will not judge in this article who suffered more or who was to blame between the 2 involved states, since this is one of the most subjective judging that can be made. I would rather prefer to give you my perspective of the personal tragedy which this war has brought upon in first hand.
This year I have completed my bachelor degree’s requirements and had the privilege, during my last academic year, to know a wonderful person named Noam Goldman, who was a student in my faculty at Tel Aviv University. Noam lived in Tel-Aviv trying to live a normal- peaceful life, in a chaotic region. He was called as a reserve soldier to help out in the ongoing battle against the Hezbollah and found his terrible death in a burning tank that was hit by a Hezbollah missile. He was only 27 years old. I didn’t know Noam very well since we were buddies just for academic reasons, yet in a blink of an eye, all his dreams and wishes, all the hopes of his parents to watch him getting married and have their grandchildren- have perished.
Noam Goldman, may his soul rest in peace, is just an example of many lives that were taken in this terrible war. You see, as mentioned above, at war there are only losers, shattered hearts and a never ending agony. All that Israel asks is to live peacefully, although surrounded by Arab states.
Looking back at biblical times, and arguing who has better rights on this land will lead to more destruction and killing of innocent people from both sides of the fence. I call upon the younger generation of the Arabic states to make a difference and grasp our stretched-forward hand. This region can be a prosperous one, but only if both sides of the story will be smart enough to leave their glorious past behind them and make some room for mutual understanding. If we will be smart enough to go through this route rather than a destructive one, we just might be able to fulfill Yitzhak Rabin dream of: “no more wars, no more bloodsheds”. And by that hopefully, fulfill our will to be a real free nation in our land!