But, the aim of my blog is to share my personal experiences, rather than discuss politics. In the last few days there were so many things going on and these days are incredibly hard for me. To be abroad when so many things happen back home is not easy at all. There are so many things that I need to deal with at the same time, you might think that things that happen so far cannot affect my life so badly, but they do. First of all, when you are abroad everything looks ten times more serious than it really is in reality, and I find myself walking around for days now, panicking and connecting to every type of media that exists.  Even though most of the people back home tell me all the time that I am overreacting, I simply can’t relax.

Ok but I guess these feelings are normal to have no? Let’s talk about the social media for a second. What is going on there? My Facebook wall looks like a warzone, my Twitter account looks like a battlefield! People from all sides are completely out of control! There is so much violence everywhere like there is not enough of it anyway these days. I really considered at some point to disconnect from Facebook. These last days I found myself in so many virtual attacks from all sides. No matter what I wrote there was always someone who has to attack me.

People became so radical! There is no middle anymore; everything is either black or white! And this is deeply disturbing! For example, when I said to Israeli people that I am sensitive for the pain of the Palestinian people, they said I am anti-Semitic and that I don’t love my “Jewish brothers and sisters”. When I said to Muslim people that I also feel the pain of the Israeli citizens and soldiers, they said I am not aware of the suffer of the Palestinian people. Come-on! What’s wrong with people?? Why can I not feel for both sides at the same time? Why do I need to be on one side and hate the other?

In addition to these ongoing exhausting discussions, don’t forget the false posts and lies that both sides are constantly sharing all day long. How can you believe everything you see? I actually had a discussion with a young girl who is so convinced that everything in the Israeli media are lies, so she believed that the 3 Israeli teens were not really murdered and Israel “faked” their bodies, what? This is really too much, there are some situations where you must show some basic respect, at least for those who just died. Why would any state fake a horrible situation like this?

And last but not least, I must say something about my feelings as a Jewish Israeli woman, who lives in Europe. Well, things are not good at all. I am very sad to hear about the last incidents especially in Belgium, where anti-Semitism became almost a natural part of daily life. Did you hear about it? Jewish people were not allowed to buy and to enter certain shops. I am sorry but this is not a normal situation, are we back to 1940?

The atmosphere in Germany, England, France, and also in the Netherlands is not better! Only by accident I peeked in the Facebook event of a pro-Palestinian demonstration that took place in Amsterdam, and I was horrified to see the comments people are making and the language that they use! The line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism was crossed. It is one thing to protest against the actions of the Israeli government, but it is completely different thing to say that all the Israelis are Nazis, or that they all need to be burned! The European states must take an action here! As I always say, if I condemn Hamas for example, it doesn’t mean I think all the Muslims are terrorists. Once again, I don’t favor one side on the other, I only try to explain how complicated the situation is, especially when you are abroad.

We are all going through hard time now days. I wish and pray that the violence on both sides will end very soon. My heart goes out to all the victims’ families and friends. I truly ask you not to add more hate and violence in the social media, it’s been enough now! And hope one day we can all live together in peace. Pray for peace!


Ronie Barel

verhuisde van Israël naar Nederland, activist, blogger

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