JFNA Solidarity Mission: Rockets fly again

Guest blogger Stuart Wachs, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix, is currently in Israel on a solidarity mission with the Jewish Federations of North America.

As rockets again fly into Israel from Gaza, we once again see the evil that Israel is up against as these rockets are sent with the only intent to kill civilians in Israel. Today we will head south to learn more about the struggles those living under this recurring terror are under and to show them our support.
As Israel is once again under fire, it makes our experiences yesterday even that much more meaningful. We met with IDF soldiers at the hospital who had been very seriously injured. We met with a brother, mother and grandmother of a soldier who was killed in Gaza just three weeks ago. In all of these cases, the amazing spirit of the Israeli people shined. There was no talk of hatred, no talk of revenge, just talk of pride in the Jewish state, pride in being Jewish, the importance of valuing life and fighting for that freedom and for all of us to have a Jewish homeland to come home to.
Amongst the comments of the wounded soldiers and grieving family members was a consistent thread that they were not heroes, they were simply doing their job and what had to be done. They all expressed a deep appreciation for us being here in Israel in these trying times and that we are all in this battle together for the survival of Israel and for freedom and democracy.
No one here is afraid. Not even anyone on the mission. Everyone I spoke with last night was eager go to the south even as rockets were once again flying. Israel is a magical place, the people of Israel are special and it is an amazing honor to be here right now to learn and show our support. I encourage everyone to come to Israel and to come soon. They need to see and hear that we as Jews in the Diaspora and as Americans stand by Israel. I cannot explain how important that is to Israelis.


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