My Love Affair With Israel

A few hours ago, Yom Hazikaron (memorial day) has officially started In Israel and with it the commemoration of the 23,162 fallen soldiers and victims of terror acts through the years. 24 hours later, Tomorrow evening, Israel will transition from the saddest day of the year, to the happiest with the festivity of Yom Ha’atzmaut (independence day), where we sing , dance and celebrate the life and existence of the state of Israel, home.

Below is what I wrote for Israel, in these emotional days.

My Love Affair With Israel by Alon Nissan


You are the most complicated relationship I had ever. 

We have been dating for 25 years; I have been living with you for 23.

Among your trees, among your buildings, among your people, with you. With all your glory, with all your might. 

From the first time I saw you, I immediately fell in love. You were perfect. We were perfect. 

My childhood was attached with your beauty and serenity; you were so pretty and young. So vibrant and pure. So much passion. You were mine, and I was yours. 

However, as I grew up, we started to fight. I felt like you changed, like you were different. Maybe it was me that changed. Or maybe I just didn't see those sides of you before. 

You made me cry. I lost people because of you. I lost Yuval. I lost Ofer. I lost Yosi. I lost Yadidyah. All because of you. Why would you do that to me? To them? The pain is unbearable, even years later. 

I was so kind to you. I took care of you. I protected you. I fought for you. I showed you off. I bragged about you to other people. Some knew you; some have never seen you before. I was fine knowing you will have other guys, as long as we stuck together...but you, you didn't care. I was just another guy.

These past two years, we have been living apart. For the first time.

I look at you now from afar, captivated as you keep on living without me, but I do not care: I am close, maybe closer than I have ever been. I talk about you every day. Nonstop. We are together before I go to sleep, before I go to bed, In my dream, Even when I get back to my home away from you, you are there, talking to me from a computer screen, telling me about your day. Most of the time, it seems like you have bad days, and you make me so mad that I do not want to see you again. Yes, some days I hate you. Some days I am ashamed of you. Some days I just want to break up and say it's over. 

But deep down inside I know that we both changed. That we changed together. Our relationship changed. I know your bad sides. I know your good sides. Yet I'm still amazed by you. I believe in you. I believe in us. You are a part of me, of who I am. We are not IN LOVE anymore, we are not blind. We just love each other. Through sickness and in health, until death do us part. 

You are 66 this year. Today, physically, we are so far apart. But it's ok, don't be mad. I am planning to celebrate many future birthdays with you. Emotionally, we both know, we were never as close as we are today. 

Tomorrow, as I stare at the flag with my weary eyes and sing the HaTikva with trembling lips, my heart will pound in your honor, with pain and anger with your ugly sides, with pride and passion with your beautiful sides. Isn't this love? 

Happy birthday. See you soon.