Friends and family in Israel encounter near death experiences every day

Imagine this if you would. Every morning you wake up, worried that a friend or family member could have been killed through an act of terrorism while you were sleeping. That each day, you fear the worst. You fear the possibility that someone you care for could have been murdered by someone that believes acts of violence against people is the only way to solve anything. This reality is a daily occurrence for several Sam Houston State students, including myself.We have friends and family in Israel. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear a story of a near-death experience from someone we know. This past week for instance, I heard from a friend from Chicago who has family in Israel. Her family was in the same vicinity in Haifa as a recent attack. It took her family in Chicago nearly a day to contact their family members to find out they were luckythis time. These stories are heard all too often, but we must face the facts and realize that this continues to happen. We must continue to acknowledge that we are connected to those facing terrorism daily, even here sitting in our classes at Sam Houston State.I talk with my friends from all corners of Israel via the Internet daily. Imagine what my friends are going through as they try to continue on with their lives, as they realize that people they know are being killed daily. The statistics on the rampage in Israel really bring this into the picture. Approximately 420 Israelis have been murdered and 3,606 have been seriously injured since September 2000. There are about six and a half million people in Israel. That means that one out of every 1,614 Israelis has been killed or seriously injured in that period of time through terrorist attacks, with one out of every 15,476 Israelis actually being killed in the attacks mostly perpetrated by Arab radicals.If you compared that to the United States, there would be almost 177,000 of America’s 285 million citizens that would have either been killed or seriously injured in a 20 month span. Can you imagine how many of those 177,000 people that you would know? The Israelis are being seen as the oppressors by the neighboring Arab countries. How can this be true? The Israelis were the ones who were attacked by the five surrounding countries the day after its formation? The Arabs were the ones who, in the late 1940s, refused their own state granted by the United Nations because they wanted nothing to do with a Jewish state in their region. The Israelis have worked for peace with Arafat and his Palestinian movement time and time again. Each time an agreement is agreed upon, there is more and more terrorism that can be trailed back to the PLO. The Palestinians refuse to take care of their part of the agreement. They continue to allow these radicals in their movement to roam the streets, despite the fact that the Israelis have told them exactly who it is they need to bring to justice. Israel must take care of business and work to destroy terrorism. What Israel has faced for quite some time is the exact same thing that we as Americans have faced since Sept. 11. Now you can come to grips with the world that some of your fellow Bearkats wake up to everyday.

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