Not the Israel I Know

(Washington Post) Joseph M. Hochstein - In his Oct. 7 column Richard Cohen writes about an American who lived in Israel for more than 20 years and left, concluding, "In the perpetual war against Israel, its enemies are winning." I too have lived in Israel for more than 20 years and the Israel in which I live does not match Cohen's description. Recent survey research found more than 80% of Israelis happy with their lives, despite all hardships. We in Israel continue going out to cafes, restaurants, theaters, sports events, concerts, and public festivals. On a personal note, a suicide bomber from the Islamic Jihad nearly killed me a few years ago, and one of my sons, a paratrooper, was killed in a Hizballah ambush. Yet, in my view, life in Israel remains desirable. I spend time with intelligent, stimulating, and decent people, part of an Israeli majority that, according to the polls, supports efforts to achieve peace but doesn't expect miracles any time soon. Hope is part of the Israeli character. It's the title of the national anthem, "Hatikva." The writer is former editor-publisher of the Washington Jewish Week and a former managing editor of Congressional Quarterly.

2003-10-24 00:00:00

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