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  • Writer's pictureWendy Yaniv - Founder / Group Leader

What’s next? Sharing Q&A ...

Drops of water from the waves during sunset on the Mediterranean!

I took this photo of a beautiful sunset in Tel Aviv, with the waves crashing at one of our farewell dinners of one of my groups. I look at it now and it makes me feel that the drops of water are tears of pain, hope, and some lost dreams ...

I know my blogs have been scarce ... there's just not a lot of "good" news and I am not one to repost what we all can read. We're in a holding place of pain, questioning, hopes and dreams for a better future! I do want to thank each of you who have asked probing questions about what is going on and are interested in a broader perspective; offering the opportunity for conversation vs just following the popular hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. I not only welcome the conversation but appreciate the willingness to engage and question the narrative. We need more of those conversations.

I thought I would share the most common questions I have been receiving (almost weekly).

Some facts, some opinions, and all as of where it stands now ...

  1. Am I planning any other volunteer trips? As of now, my next volunteer trip will potentially be in late Oct/November. Please reach out to me if you are interested. It will be an organized volunteer group, different than what I did in January, and based on the needs at the time.

  2. Is it safe to go? I can tell you that I never felt unsafe, nor did any of the volunteers that were with me. Having said that, it's a very personal decision. The northern border is pretty much off-limits for any civilian population. Yes, the country is on high alert but life is continuing and volunteers from around the world are everywhere. It is a desperately needed "hug" for Israelis and it is so appreciated!

  3. When will I be resuming my trips? I miss my travelers and the experiences we have together. I certainly want to be back there but I do not see it happening until 2025. If you have a group, with general dates in mind, please be in touch since I anticipate the calendar will be booking up fairly quickly at the end of the war. I would love to start planning for better days!

  4. What are my thoughts about the situation? This is a loaded question and I am NOT an expert by any means. I have a lot of thoughts, like everyone else, but will try to stay with facts vs opinions. OK, I may put a few opinions in there as well! It's difficult to get facts versus what feeds a popular narrative and what is truth versus AI misinformation or just a repeated statement that, somehow, becomes a new "truth". So often we view these situations as an all-or-nothing narrative. "If I want peace for the Palestinians then I have to be anti-Israel." "If I believe in what Israel is doing then I hate the Palestinians." Wrong and wrong! I caution you to examine anyone on any side who uses this extreme rhetoric! In the end, I believe that most would want a Gaza that is free and able to pursue a peaceful existence, create a future of education and prosperity, and work together with all of the countries in the Middle East to create a life well-lived and a future for their children. To live in peace with Israel. A Palestinian state that does not call for the destruction of Israel and Jews. Yes, that's what the slogan "from the river to the sea" means. Can that happen with Hamas in power? No, that is not possible. They are a terrorist organization and they do not want freedom and a good life for the people of Gaza. They are like any drug gang in the world - the people must remain desperate for them to remain in power. They want the destruction of Israel, Jews, and anyone else that is not Muslim. And by the way, (opinion here) I do NOT agree with the Israeli government and I believe they are enemies of the state and we need to clean house. Having said that, if the U.S. was faced with 70,000 hostages being held by a terrorist group on our border (women, babies, elderly) and a violent massacre of 350,000 of our citizens ... what would we do? Let that sink in. Those are the numbers based on the population of Israel vs the US. There is so much to say and a blog is not the place. Some have asked if I would do a ZOOM to share what I know. Happy to do that or I could offer, (there would be a fee per person) to bring in an expert to hear and ask questions. Show of hands ...

One last "opinion" ... This situation is bringing us back to very dark times in history with the rise in anti-semitism. Whether you agree with Israel and its policies or not does not make it okay to be complacent about the rise of anti-semitism. Evil is evil and we cannot allow any group of people to be targeted in violent ways.

We need to keep conversations going, we need to keep humanity alive and I do look forward to the day of being able to travel back to Israel for the beauty and, hopefully, a "new" future!!!

In the meantime, we keep praying for peace!

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