For today’s refugees, no one has foretold the end of their exile, like God did for Abraham. The length of their displacement cannot be estimated and the path of their journey cannot be anticipated. Generations might be born and raised in refugee camps. The concept of home slowly becomes elusive, describing neither the impermanence of the refugee camp nor the country of origin: as U2 sings, “Home... hard to know what it is if you've never had one.”
The critical importance of environmental education in Israel is coming into focus. Last week we taught a seventh grade class about the humanitarian crisis in Haiti. As global climate change envelopes every world citizen in a planetary crisis, Israel must lead the way toward progress.
But it is not just war that creates refugees. At the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres stated that climate change will become the biggest driver of population displacement within the not-too-distant future, as droughts become more frequent and rising sea levels inundate coastal and island nations.
As a young nation in an ancient homeland, we must share our gratitude with the world. I am proud that Israel has one of the most successful field hospitals operating in Haiti, and hope that the Jewish state will help lead the world forward. We are incredibly lucky to be back in our homeland, a safe-haven for Jews like Moti, and a home for us all.