Over the past few weeks, I have had the feeling that people abroad are more fearful than usual. I have understood this, literally or between the lines, from a number of messages and telephone conversations. “First Corona and now war in Europe. What is happening to us?” a friend wrote to me. Another wrote me specifically that he was afraid of war and Russian missiles. A Russian missile attack is feared by quite a few people I spoke to. I heard from a colleague: “The mood is devastated.” Someone else from Switzerland told me that part of the population feels like they are in a coma. Uncertainty paralyzes people, that’s why they buy silver and gold, another told me. It was also reported that the German government is planning a missile shield over Germany. To this end, Germany wants to buy the Israeli missile defense system Iron Dome that has been used to such great effect against Palestinian missile attacks from the Gaza Strip. In three years, the Israeli missile defense system should be operational for Germany. Who would have ever thought that Israel’s missile defense system would have to be deployed in Europe. Israel’s technology protects German citizens from Russian missiles.
For this reason I just want to encourage you. Life goes on. True, some of you live closer to the Russian border than we do. But we live in the Middle East near the Gaza Strip and we know what it means to live in fear. This is exactly what our enemies and your enemies want to achieve. Terror and rockets are often part of everyday life in Israel, and yet we live. The enemies want to weaken us, affect our life and paralyze us. Even if the mood around us is not always the best, we will not let the enemy rule our lives. That’s why you’ve admired Israel for years, a nation that enjoys life despite wars, uprisings and waves of terror. Follow us.
I am writing to you today because I want to encourage you. Life goes on and everything will get better. What you and we are experiencing during this time is not easy, it’s true. A new wave of terror has broken out here in Israel. Eleven dead in one week, more terror victims than in the last two years combined. Palestinian terrorists shoot blindly in Israeli cities to kill Jews, knowing they will end up killed themselves.
After our Prime Minister asked citizens who hold a gun license to carry their guns, my sons and I retrieved our firearms from the safe and are once again going to work with a gun on our belts (not exactly convenient). You never know who will be the next attacker, and with our offices situated in the heart of Jerusalem, one can’t be too careful. And we are still before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in April, which is why Israel’s security services expect an escalation in the coming weeks.
Times are crazy and often we don’t understand why everything is happening at once. Yes, we too have the same thoughts and concerns as you.
But I do know one thing: life is the most precious gift that God has given us, and we in Israel don’t want to give that up, despite all our fears and hardships. Just as God promised the prophet Isaiah that Israel need not fear, “Fear not, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my justice!”
I am sure that God supports all his children with these words. So I can only encourage you, everything will be fine.