Writing as a dedicated Zionist who wants a better Israel
But, contrary to their belief, I am a Jew and a Zionist. I believe that the Jewish people deserve a right to self-determination in their historical homeland. At the same time, I also believe that it is our responsibility to endorse a moral state – one that upholds its democracy and ensures equal human rights.
As I form a greater connection to the State of Israel, so too emerges a greater urge to call Israel out for its wrongdoings. I am not a politician, nor am I journalist; all I am is a Zionist that wants a better Israel.
Several years ago I made aliyah and served in the IDF. To describe the three years would defeat the purpose of the article. Rather I’d like to share two specific experiences that “humanized” the conflict for me.
Together with a team of 12 soldiers, we were instructed to invade a Palestinian house in the West Bank during the early hours of the morning. We forced through the doors, only to hear the weeping children in the background.
Put aside the politics, I ask why should these children be subjected to such trauma at such a young age? In Gaza, in that greenhouse, I lost a friend. He had stood on an improvised explosive device that detonated and within seconds had lost his life.
We’re so busy following news confirming our bias that we land up forgetting the individuals living through the conflict – the people like you and me.
We forget the minorities, those whose voices aren’t as powerful. We forget those children that my friends and I woke up; we forget my friend who stood on the device. We forget the people.
As Diaspora Jewry, let’s forget the politics for the meanwhile. Rather, lets play our part to support a state that ensures safety, equality and individual rights for every human being.
It is irresponsible not to educate ourselves on some of the mistakes Israel has made throughout its last 68 years of independence. Let us condemn the mistreatment of others regardless of their race, sex or religion.
Let us stand against the occupation and condemn Jewish settler violence. Let’s accept the Palestinian right to national self-determination. Let’s practise the beauty of Judaism in upholding our state – the Judaism that teaches the tenet to love your neighbour as you love yourself.