Op-Ed: Thanksgiving Isn’t a Holiday in Israel, But That Won’t Stop Gratitude for America

Israeli and American flags fly in the above stock image. (steinphoto / Getty Images)

Every year, I appreciate watching my American friends take part in their Thanksgiving tradition. Thanksgiving is not a holiday here in Israel, but we can all agree it is a wonderful habit to set aside a day to exercise gratitude.

This year, I am especially thankful for the numerous Americans who model good friendship in a variety of ways.

For starters, I am especially grateful for our American friends who have helped hundreds of small, family-owned businesses in Israel survive a horrible global pandemic.

In Israel, tourism essentially vanished during the pandemic, and because much of our national economy is driven by tourism, thousands of Israeli citizens were at risk of losing their income and the businesses that took generations to establish. Especially hard-hit were the mom-and-pop shops that line the streets of Jerusalem whose entire income is derived from tourists.

When Israel was essentially shut down, and America itself was struggling with economic uncertainty and businesses closing, our American friends kept many small businesses in Israel alive by continuing to purchase products from us — even though they were oceans away.

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