We have just been told that since 2001 more than 12,800 rockets have been fired into Israel, and more than 500,000 Israelis have less than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket is launched from Gaza into Israel. I look at the second hand of my watch realizing I am now one of those people, and that at any time rockets could be heading our way and our security team wouldn’t offer much protection. But fear doesn’t seem to rule here. It is amazing to see how people seem to just go about their day and live their lives. The diversity of Israel is immediately known. I came here wondering why people cannot simply live together and coexist. I have found this is actually the case. People of many different faiths, colors and races from all over the world, speaking many different languages, seem to co-exist within the boundaries of Israel.
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Bio: Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela represents District 5, which includes west and central Phoenix. He is blogging during a trip to Israel about his experiences in the tumultuous Holy Land.
Daniel is a fourth-generation Phoenician and a special operations firefighter. He and his wife of 17 years have two children and live in Phoenix.