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I Am Tel Aviv



Tel Aviv, Israel. Some say that it is one of the most technologically ambitious cities in the entire world. Not only that, but its beauty will make your jaw drop. I’ve experienced it firsthand, and there is no parallel. Turn your head in one direction, and a bustling city, full of life, awaits you. Face the other direction, and you’ll find sand as soft as velvet, met by a warm and inviting sea. Day after peaceful day, the sun shines, and people innocently go about their business in this bustling city. The first day of the New Year (not the Jewish New Year), citizens were going about their daily lives, just as we all do, until someone decided to change that.

A man, wearing sunglasses and dressed in black, left a grocery store and proceeded to open fire into a cafe, sushi restaurant, and a bar called “Ha’Simta” (Hebrew for “The Alley”) unprompted. It has been concluded that the cafe was the main target of the massacre. Subsequently, the attacker took a taxi and shot its driver. Two innocent citizens, living their lives just as you and I do every day, were left dead in this horrifying attack. Israel is a resilient country, as she needs to be, but this shook the population, leaving them fearful and definitely dubious of what is to come.

The worst part is that this is far from the first time that a situation like this has occurred in Israel. As ISIS stampedes throughout the Middle East, wreaking unthinkable horror and havoc, Israeli-Palestinian conflict is reaching a new high. Tension has risen between the Jews and the Arabs, and, thusly, has contributed to an increased level of strain between the two groups and their polar ideals.

Remember the panic the world was thrown into over the Paris attacks? Trending all over the internet were the hashtags “#IAmParis”, “#PrayForParis”, and “#JeSuisParis”. The world came together in melancholy harmony over an unthinkable tragedy. It was truly a beautiful thing that such unity could come out of something so inconceivable. For weeks in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, there was constant news coverage to assuage the public’s fear of a recurrence. It hit so close to home in all of our hearts, earning it the complete attention of social media.

Meanwhile, frequent attacks in Israel go unnoticed in America. Just like France, Israel is one of America’s closest allies, and has been for years. Shouldn’t we offer Israel the same support and unwavering solidarity that we’ve given to France? Day after day, Israeli blood is shed and conflict abounds as the media turns a blind eye.

Here’s the thing: It is not just Israel and France where people are dying in cold blood. All throughout Africa, the rest of the Middle East, and even domestically, terrorists are killing the innocent. This is a fight that we are taking part in here in America with the San Bernardino attack, as well as throughout the rest of the entire world. There cannot be a single terrorist attack that we ignore. We may draw lines in the sand to separate us, but are are all people. We all hurt. When a country is bleeding, support from her allies always helps to stop the flow.

So, yes, I Am Paris. And I Am Tel Aviv. I Am Damaturu. I Am Punjab. I Am Jerusalem. I Am San Bernardino. I Am Human. And I hope for peace in our beautiful world.