Why I’m traveling to Israel

Fear and terror will not dictate my actions

Sam Orloff

Violence has become an everyday occurrence in the state of Israel, creating an atmosphere of panic.

In recent weeks, Israel has found itself under attack from a severe wave of terror, the likes of which have not been seen in a decade.

According to the Washington Post, the most recent wave of violence has manifested itself in the form of stabbings, shootings and car rammings, leaving 11 Israelis dead.

According to the New York Times, the violence has included attacks on buses and civilians on the streets.

Israel consistently faces threats to its existence with a scope and magnitude unrivaled by any other country. Yet, the fact that Israel’s citizens must live with this reality is consistent as well.

It is in this context that most people question the idea of traveling to a conflict zone.

A part of me just wants to stay home and not have to deal with this constant fear.  The climate of terror reminds me how easy we have it here. That’s when I think about my friends and family who live in Israel, and how unfair it is for them to shoulder all of the burden.

As a Jew, it pains me to see the continuation of 2,000 years of persecution. As an American, it pains me to see a democracy that protects the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and all minorities, come under attack from both inside and out.

The silence of the world has been shocking but not surprising. Even more startling is the anti-Israel bias shown when the mainstream media reports on news from the region.

All these factors have motivated me to see my trip through.

I intend to travel to Israel in this tough time because violence and fear are simply the goals of terror.

I intend to travel to Israel because acts of terror attacks with knives, axes and cars are meant to scare us. Giving into fear is a victory for terror.

Yet this prejudice is not surprising given historical trends.

In life, we don’t commit to a cause because it is easy, rather, we do so because it is right. For me, to travel to Israel is to do the right thing.