On Purim I went to a party where I saw some people I know dressed as "Obstacles to Peace." They were wearing T-shirts that they got from here and handing out bumper stickers. I went home a looked up the website and saw that they were not a political campaign- rather, a fund raising campaign for the Fogel children (they are not a fund, not tax deductable but they say that all the money goes directly to the kids.)

Obstacle to peaceMy son was wearing his Darth Vader mask the next day and picked up the bumper sticker and I decided to take a picture of him because the irony was just too great. You see, we live in the West Bank. We are technically "settlers"- although anyone would find this hilarious if they actually came here because it is basically like a suburb with soccer moms and bnei akiva. If it wasn''t for the security fence on the neighboring hilltop it would be hard to distinguish our neighborhood from one in the San Fernando Valley.

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We are not rabid, menacing or particularly interested in oppressing anyone. We live peacefully with our Arab neighbors, with many coming to work here on a daily basis and even a few people from the yishuv who go there (although this is far less common than it used to be.)


It is almost laughable that we are considered "obstacles to peace." And yet, there is a fear that rises up in the back of my throat as I keep up with the political dialogue- especially after the Fogel family was murdered. Over and over again I have seen the same thing- world opinion is that we deserve to die just because we live here. Our sheer audacity to be Jews living on land where people would rather have Judenfrei has turned us into fair game.

A recent blog featured on the  Jewish Journal of Los Angeles website got my attention (here is an article I wrote in response) because the writer seemed to think that we couldn’t mourn for the Fogel Family unless we brought up everything that Israel has ever done wrong. But let’s be real, the Fogel Family was asleep in their beds and their only crime was being Jewish and living somewhere where they were not wanted. They didn’t deserve to die, it is not understandable- it is unthinkable. It is an outrage and anyone who tries to justify it is missing the point entirely.

I am not particularly political, I don’t know what the future holds and I only wish I could think of a solution to the stalemate with the Palestinians. There is only one thing that I know- NOBODY can tell me where I can or cannot live simply because I am Jewish. Our yishuv was bought and developed privately, it is not “stolen” or appropriated or given to us by the Israeli government. If a Palestinian state is created I expect to be treated like a human being who is allowed to live freely. I expect to stay.


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