A letter from the ambassador

July 11, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Yosef Livne, Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand, has gone home for his son’s Barmitzvah, He reports from Israel.

Yosef Livne

Yosef Livne

Our plane landed in Tel Aviv around 9pm on 3 July. The hot summer night air was humid and familiar. After all summer in Israel are hot and humid. Only this time around there has been an additional element- our son’s Bar Mitzvah. All of us walked down from the plane filled with the emotional expectation of a unique experience, the celebration of an important day in the life of our younger son along with family and friends.

Yet, our trip has been marred almost from the beginning. First we received the news of the cruel murder of the 3 Israeli boys, who had been kidnapped weeks before, and then the entire nation was filled with revulsion of the equally cold murder of an Arab boy in Jerusalem. But, the worse was still waiting. For the last 4 days we have been living under the threat of rockets. Time and again we are rushed into shelters by the sirens. Hundreds of rockets are launched into every part of Israel, primarily into civilian population centers. Over the last days what was to have been a happy family event has changed completely. The care free spirit of summer has vanished and in its place we are connected to the news and the information of the latest attack.  We carry on with our ears tuned to the very real possibility of an air siren going on at any second and our eyes look for the nearest shelter. Three times already we found ourselves in the shelter of our apartment building and once my brother and I were forced to abandon his car and look for refuge in downtown Tel Aviv.

Hamas has decided to put us to test. It will fail! They do not know this nation. We may be bicker and fight among ourselves, but we will not relent. Terrorism will not vanquish us. We shall celebrate our son’s passage from childhood  and his incorporation into Jewish life- even if under the threat of rockets.

Yosef Livne
Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand

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