I’m Not Israeli

I’m not Israeli, I’m Jewish. I don’t have a middle eastern culture, I don’t like humus or tahina, heck, I don’t even like falafel. How do I feel about israel? Well I’m certainly not against it. I absolutely recognize israel in it’s historical context as far as the history and traditions of Judaism go and I also recognize the cultural and religious ties to the land inherent in Judaism. What I don’t feel though, is any obligation to have to automatically defend, argue or debate the current political landscape or recent history of the land of israel under it’s modern government and it’s policies or decisions. I’m not some sort of anti-Zionist or neturai karta, I just don’t feel that simply being Jewish makes me some sort of expert on how other Jews thousands of miles away feel about things and certainly I don’t feel any insight to explain or defend the decisions of a government in a country that I don’t hold citizenship in.

I’ve been mulling this fact over for a fair few years now, basically ever since I entered secular society and the workforce and realized that people seemed to decide my opinion on issues related to the middle east automatically, based on my act of wearing a yarmulke.

Let me be clear. I’ve visited israel and I support the right of my fellow Jews to have their home, but I barely manage to have time to keep up with what congress or parliament are doing, never mind the Knesset.

(Post written on my phone at 4am. Please excuse the spelling or grammatical errors.)

5 Responses to “I’m Not Israeli”

  1. I can TOTALLY relate. I grew up in a very reform home. We all had bar/bat mitzvahs, I went to Jewish summer camp (non denominational and kosher). However, until two years ago, NOBODY in my immediate family (3 brothers, 3 step sisters, myself) had been to Israel. My dad and step mom finally went about two years ago. We were not a Zionist home. Israel was never talked about except for the cliche “Next year in Jerusalem”; which I think for me was always a spiritual place.

    I’m not Israeli. I hate when people learn I’m Jewish they ask if I speak Hebrew or have lived in Israel (I teach high school so kids ask all sorts of things). I actually don’t love hummus or tahini or tzatziki too :).

    I have VERY mixed feelings about the little I do keep up with in regards to Israel, its politics, its occupied lands, etc.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll end here in the name of simply sharing and saying, “I feel ya”.

  2. I admire you, FrumPunk, for admitting that you are not an expert on Israeli politics and security issues. I keep up with these issues fairly closely and have strong opinions about them. But it drives me crazy that there are all these Jews who know nothing about Israel except what they read in the New York Times (the left) or Cross-Currents (the right), and yet they seem to think that they have some authority on these matters just because they are Jewish. Don’t get me wrong: Everyone can say what they want. But they often sound like idiots.

  3. To Katrina: Many Americans like to voice their opinions concerning American politics, etcetera even when when they are woefully ignorant about whatever subject they are currently conversing upon. While they generally sound stupid, they have every right to it. So too, Jews have every right to speak and sound stupid about Israel. Everyone has the right to maintain an opinion of their country. Don’t get irritated by the fact that they have uninformed opinions. At least they have them.

  4. Shoot. Missed the last sentence (reading off a small screen). Never mind!

  5. Suppose, you think so becauseyou don’t live there any more and just don’t have time to be that close to the problems of the country although of course it doesn’t mean you do not feel sorry for the Jews living in Israel.

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