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Feb 14th

When you’re looking in from the outside

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We hardly think we’re alone in having heard from non-Jewish friends wondering why we would ever, in heaven’s sake, visit Israel. It’s so unsafe! The terrorists. The bombings. The threats from Iran. Are you out of your mind to put yourself so directly in harm’s way?

Well, let’s imagine a conversation we might have with a friend from New York or California. “How can you live in Colorado? Either the fires burn down your homes or the nut cases shoot up your schools and your movie theaters.”

Yes, we have had many tragic forest fires this past summer, and in many earlier summers. Yes, we are stained by “Columbine,” which has become a metonymy, a sort of nation- al symbol for the heinous shootings that, alas, break out around the country. And yes, we were the location of the terrible shooting in Aurora two months ago in the Century 16 Theater; and of other terrible murders and dismemberments.

However, other than taking an extra, careful look before getting into the car at night, does anyone in Colorado really feel unsafe? Is Colorado a dangerous place to live? By living in Colorado, are you out of your mind to put yourself so directly in harm’s way?

Clearly, the frequency of truly terrible events is so small that, no, we don’t think people in Colorado are scared or foolish for living here. Colorado is a beautiful place with friendly souls, gorgeous weather and an enviable lifestyle. Coloradans know this about Colorado. Israelis also know it about Israel. In Israel, children go to school, businesses open and close daily, sports and publishing and courtroom trials proceed, traffic gets heavy and frustrating, and new buildings arise into the sky — just like in Colorado.

Want a dangerous place? Try Syria.

Want a nice vacation? Try Israel.

Want an accurate perspective? Try looking from the inside, not from the outside looking in.

Copyright © 2012 by the Intermountain Jewish News

 

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