Thursday, December 1, 2011

An ex Zionist recounts how she undid the brainwashing job

The earlier me

The famous American blue box of the Jewish National Fund

Perhaps the clutch at my former Zionism serves me best when I encounter Zionist American Jews. I understand their discomfort. I can see their pain. I want them to feel the discomfort that one feels when one is learning, growing, and stretching. In the classroom, I tell my students that it is a good thing when they are starting to shift in their seats uncomfortably, when they feel alarmed and nauseous at learning something new. And that it is going to hurt them. I want American Zionist Jews to question these things about Zionism that we were never to question. Rarely they do, but sometimes they do. I can say to them, “I understand how you feel,” and have true empathy in my eyes when I look at them. I know too, though, that it could be years before they realize that the pull they feel is a lie and the pain they feel isn’t about them.

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