It never really was

A Jewish woman explains why she is leaving Sweden:

I just can’t live like this any longer. I can’t accept that life consists of long periods of fear and despair, interrupted by the short bursts of happiness I get when I come back to Israel. I can’t raise my kids to hide who they are, I can’t usher them into a society that teaches them they are the other and that being less of who they are is the key to survival.

I just can’t, not anymore.

I got back to Sweden yesterday and something has changed, the shift is so tangible. Within me, yes, but also in the world around me. I take down my Israeli flag that I so proudly hung from my balcony. I’m told it is no longer safe, and I have to make a choice between being open and keeping my children safe. The Palestinian flag hanging from my neighbor’s window is still visible across the courtyard. I notice the injustice, but the outrage is replaced with sadness and fatigue.

I called this my home for 33 years. Yet, I realize now that it isn’t, and it never really was.

She’s absolutely correct. Sweden wasn’t her home. It isn’t her home. If it was, she would have been flying a Swedish flag from her balcony, not an Israeli one. Just as Israel belongs to the Jews, Sweden belongs to the Swedes. And Sweden’s younger generation is not at all shy about proclaiming it.

I expect her Palestinian neighbor is also going to discover that Sweden isn’t his home in the near future.