Conflicting Beliefs

Andreia - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: war

My mom always told me that I should have grown up in the sixties; I am a true Libra: diplomatic, fair, cheerful, pleasure oriented and peace loving. I like to believe that any problem can eventually be fixed in a reasonable and logical manner. I like to believe that through communication with words, any two feuding parties can reconcile their differences. I like to believe that even though nothing is perfect, anything and everything can and will get better.

I do not promote war. Killing others may temporarily get rid of or suppress an enemy, but it does not solve anything; it creates more animosity.

While I do not believe that war is ever the correct answer, I find myself at a crossroads. Half of my family is Israeli and currently lives in Israel, a country constantly at war. My grandparents, my father, my aunts and uncles, and numerous other family members have served in the Israeli army. Currently, my twenty-year-old cousin, Tal, is serving. Most army members do not actually fight in combat, but Tal wanted to do so for a very long time. He worked his way up to an esteemed position and has his own group to lead.

I remember having a conversation with him on a beach in Haifa this past summer. As we sat listening to the dark waves role upon the shore, surrounded by other locals out enjoying the night, I asked him about the army. As I know very little Hebrew, we had to speak in English. His was particularly shaky, but I could usually understand what he was saying. While I don’t remember his words verbatim, he said something along the lines of: “You have to put the other soldiers before yourself. I would die for any of them.” I could never imagine having such a mentality. I think that it is incredibly brave of him.

I find Tal’s ambitions and hard work beyond admirable. This is my crossroads. While I do not think that war should be the answer to any problem, I also have tremendous respect for Tal and all that he does. A piece of my heart is in Israel. How can I be against the Israeli army fighting in war, when there likely would not be an Israel without the war? How could I tell my cousin, who has risked his life for his country, that I do not support him?

I do support my cousin and the Israeli army. I wish that war had never begun, but because it has, I do not know if and how it can end. I know that Israel will never give up, and if that entails continuing in war, then I support the country one hundred percent, despite my personally idealistic beliefs. I do not believe in war, but I do believe in Israel, and if that means supporting war, then I support this war.