In the week before the Knesse elections, a situation arose that is paradigmatic for many Jewish people around the world and for their understanding of Israel: A young Israeli woman who is currently doing her military service was visiting her family in Uzbekistan.

Your return flight went via Dubai and thus through Iranian airspace.

There was a medical emergency on board right there, and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Tehran.

Knowing that she was in danger of being arrested, imprisoned and held as a bargaining chip by the anti-Semitic mullahs' regime as an Israeli and active soldier, she texted her parents.

The Israeli Prime Minister was informed within a very short time.

And the Mossad made preparations to get the young woman out of Iran.

It was not needed: the nationality of the woman, who also has another passport, was not discovered at Tehran airport, after a few hours she was able to fly on.

For me - and for many other Jews - the effort that was made to save this one Israeli from mortal danger represents one thing above all: for the importance that the life of an individual person has in the self-image of the Jewish state of Israel Has.

There are hundreds of known and thousands more unknown examples of this in Israel's history.

Separate delivery rooms for Jewish and Arab women

A few days after the soldier's safe arrival in her home country, my understanding of Israel was shaken.

Since then I've been asking myself the question: Is Israel, the Jewish and democratic state, changing for me, the German diaspora Jew?

Because as a result of the last Knesset elections, it is becoming apparent that the right-wing extremist, LGBTQI-hostile, racist, bigoted enemies of democracy Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich could hold important ministerial posts in Netanyahu's next cabinet.

Ben-Gvir worships terrorists Meir Kahane and Baruch Goldstein.

Smotrich wants separate delivery rooms for Jewish and Arab women.

Both want to annex the entire West Bank without granting the Palestinians living there civil rights such as the right to vote.

Why might that change my understanding of Israel?

The Jewish state – it is not called that because the state itself is supposed to be Jewish, but because it is the state for Jews – has always been my safe haven for me.

It is the assurance that my friends, my family and myself as Jews are finally no longer outlaws in the world after thousands of years.

No matter how intense and murderous the hatred for us should become, as long as Israel exists in its current form, we have a place to go that will keep us safe from persecution.

A place where we don't have to fear hatred and discrimination.

When we are free to be Jewish, however we practice it.

Since the founding of the state, this has also been part of Israel's self-image.