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Opinion

Israel’s Blunt Message To U.S.

via NBC

Israeli tour guide Yoav Rotem, who has been offering tours in Israel for 18 years, discussed the emotions he and many Israelis have experienced during the Israel-Hamas war.

He expressed shock, shame, and fear but also emphasized the unity and strength of Israelis against those who attack them.

“So I can say that my emotions and, you know, many Israeli emotions, my family and everyone, starts with a lot of shock, shame… fear,” Rotem said. “How did it happen to us? And it moved to this emotion that we have to finish it, which, it’s us or them. And we’re there. We’re united around that. We really understand that there is evil and good over here, and we’re definitely the good. And there’s no doubt about it.”

Rotem expressed concern about the pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the U.S., stating that many protesters have been manipulated and encouraged them to simply do their own research.

“I really think that these people have been manipulated very badly,” he said.

He highlighted the importance of understanding the truth and learning about the situation in Israel, rather than jumping to conclusions.

“The truth is out there,” he pressed. “And I think people are trying… people obviously are manipulated by social media instead of investigating themselves. People that haven’t been to Israel can’t have the understanding of how Israel is a place where Jews and Arabs get along.”

“Israel is not looking for bloodshed. Israel is looking for peace all the time. And Israel reacts to… whoever attacks it.”

“I don’t think these people shouting, ‘Free Palestine’ really understand what they shout, and what they stand for,” he explained. “It has been proven by many, many times that they’ve been exposed to the truth. They said, ‘Oh, I didn’t know.’ And that’s very unfortunate. I really want to talk to these people and tell them, go learn.”

‘Don’t learn from TikTok, don’t learn from Twitter. Go really learn what happened, what happens there now. And I’m here for that. I’m here to encourage people that wants to support Israel, to talk to people.”

Rotem’s mission on his tour of the U.S. is to change hearts and minds by sharing the facts.

“But we are the front of the battle is not only Gaza Strip right now, and it’s not the Israeli northern border. It’s basically all around the world. If people know the truth and have facts, they should share it,” he said. “Because what’s stopping Israel from demolishing the evil of Hamas is always their world opinion and the pressure from the West. And today we have to stand strong until the end of the mission.”

The article also mentions student groups condemning Israel and the U.S. House of Representatives voting to condemn antisemitism on college campuses.

Lastly, Rotem discussed his love for his country and the positive aspects of Israel that he enjoys sharing with tourists.

“It’s a love-love situation,” he said. “I became a tour guide because of my love for the country and my love actually to be with people I knew. I knew that I always want to be around people… You know, the best way to share it was to become a tour guide.”

“And obviously in my studies and in my walking around Israel, you always see. When you sit back at home, you say you have a lot of complaints, but when you walk around, you see the good side of Israel, the connection between the people, the hugging people, the good food, the relationship between Jews and Arabs that are in many places are very good and supportive.”

“And again, you know that you see all of Israel,” he concluded. “You don’t just sit in your home whining about situations. So, it definitely strengthened my love to Israel, my passion to share it and to understand that the significance of Israel to the world. Actually, this is something, it’s a deep understanding that I have.”

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