How I Lost My Zionism

I wrote a piece for Peter Beinart’s new blog at The Daily Beast called Zion Square. This is the beginning:

I imbibed Zionism at a very early age. My parents had wanted to go on aliyah as soon as they got married (four years before I was born), but my grandmother’s sudden illness kept them in the United States. I often heard the story of my parents’ families sitting around the radio listening to the 1947 UN vote on partition, making a hash mark for every “yes” vote, the whole neighborhood (Crown Heights in Brooklyn) erupting in cheers when it was obvious that it had passed.

The rest is here. (Go there, read, come back, discuss.)

2 thoughts on “How I Lost My Zionism

  1. The withdrawal (from Lebanon), the invasion (in 1982), the incompetent and criminal way the war and its aftermath were handled all shook me to my core.
    The moment that brought home the evil of the occupation was when I experienced its banality (in1987).
    Rabbi Cohen’s experiences mirror the transformation of Israeli society in the 1980’s (broadly speaking.)
    My question is why there is a constant framing–in some circles–of Israelis as viewing the world as such:
    When I walked around the streets of Jerusalem, especially its Old City, I mainly saw what was beneath its surface. Traveling with archaeology books in hand, I saw the Jerusalem of 2000 years ago clearly, the paths of the priests and the smoke of the sacrifices were clear and palpable, the Palestinian residents were out of focus and almost unintelligible. Why were they still here?
    I don’t want to underestimate the power and growth of the National Religious public, but outside of them, are there any Israelis who actually still think like this in 2012?
    And, if American Jews still talk this way they must be patently stupid (which we all know is not true in the whole); here’s the real answer: American Jews just don’t care about these issues one way or another.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.