Category Archives: zionism

Loyalty Oath

I am still here with less than 2 weeks to go. Our wedding anniversary is this Thursday, and Eric asked me what I wanted. I jokingly told him I wanted a baby (although I wouldn’t mind going out to eat too). Who knows, he might decide to make an early appearance and be an anniversary present.

Besides obsessing about baby (which I think is a good thing), I wanted to breach a topics which has been in the Israeli and international news: the so-called Loyalty Oath espoused by Yisrael Beiteinu.

According to yesterday’s Haaretz

“The ministerial legislative committee rejected on Sunday a bill stating that those who wish to retain Israeli citizenship would have to declare their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

The bill, put forth by Yisrael Beiteinu’s MK David Rotem, stated that oath would include a pledge of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish, Zionist, and democratic state, to its emblems and values, and serving Israel either through military service or through any equivalent alternatives.”

Thank G-d.  An initiative like this would have surely backfired. Of course I have no disillusions of Israeli Arabs ever accepting the Jewish, Zionist nature of this country. I think as far as they are concerned, they could accept Israel, but only as a secular State. And the anti-Israel declarations and demonstrations following the recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza are disturbing. Continue reading

Israelis Don’t Know Crap about American Jewry

Hey sorry for the long delay on blogging. Graduate school studies have bogged me down as of late. I’ll write about that in my next post. For now I will share with you an article in the Jerusalem Post about how the Israeli media completely disregarded the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities.

Such an oversight exemplifies the complete ignorance that many Israelis have of the Jewish diaspora, particularly the American Jews–which is a particularly stupid strategy given that American Jewry have been a significant source of funding for Israel. Moreover, they are not just another backwater diaspora community. They are the size of Israel!

Not only do they fail to understand, but they actually think they know what they are talking about and don’t seem to care about learning more. The article also reveals some of the historic disdain that Israel has harbored toward diaspora Jewry and the ever widening rift between American and Israeli Jewry. Continue reading

The Holiday Season

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have come and gone here, but we are still in the midst of the holiday season, with Sukkot starting Tuesday night. It’s hard to get anything done during this time of year–you’re always getting ready for the next chag plus shabbat too. So there’s a lot of time spent food shopping and cooking if you end up hosting all of the meals (which I didn’t). Even if you don’t host each meal, it’s a very busy time.

Luckily for Rosh Hashana, we were invited for almost every meal by people of Ner Kedoshim, the orthodox shul that we’ve been frequenting here. By the time the chag was over, I was ready to go on a diet! Continue reading

Presentense, FOE

Good afternoon to you. Now I’m trying to shift my blog writting from once-a-week, lengthy articles, to small spurts several times a week. Good luck with that! As time progresses I get busier and busier, adding more activities like extrcurricular writing projects, and hebrew studies. When am I going to find the time to go to school? Truth is, it’s just going to get busier once we have a family. I guess the only solution is not sleeping.

Recently, I published an article for a magazine called Presentense, which is run out of the Presentense Group. http://issuu.com/presentense/docs/pt6 Continue reading

Chicago Bound

Hey hey,

On Thursday I take a plane to Chicago to take part in another joyous wedding. My friends are making the wedding internationally themed–my friend Symi has studied and traveled abroad and her fiance, Justin, finished an MA at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Supposedly I will be sitting among people whose topic of interest is the Middle East–from both sides of the fence. It should be interesting.

It will be interesting to get people’s responses–whether they are Israel friendly or not–to the fact that I am now from Israel. In the case of anti-Israel folk I feel like it is the mark of Cain. In some people’s minds it’s like saying, ‘hey I’m an ax murderer, you should avoid me at all costs or else scorn me!’ and ‘I represent a very politically incorrect form of ideology called Zionism–aren’t I weird?’ Continue reading

Yom Hazikaron, Yom Haatzmaut

I really did want to post an entry yesterday but I guess I didn’t get around to it. Well it’s partly because my computer is in the shop–nothing happened to it, but just it needed a cleanup. Tonight I’m just using Eric’s computer to complete this entry.

Not having the computer over the last few days was actually pretty liberating in the sense that I wasn’t glued to the Internet. Instead I spent more time on the mirpeset, listening to the birds and voices of people on their way home or to someone elses’ for a meal or stretching and looking up at the clouds slowly changing form. It’s amazing how much more satisfactory this activity was compared to reading emails!

Some of you might be wondering why I haven’t addressed and am not planning to devote any of my blog to the Palestinian perspective of Israeli Independence Day. It’s not that I wanted to deny the existence of their narrative. There’s no denying that Independence Day is a crappy day for the Palestinians who feel they were kicked out of their homeland. It’s probably a very weird occassion for Palestinian Israeli citizens. The truth is that I could devote so much time to this topic and to my feelings towards this topic–which are complicated and contradictory.

For this year, I thought I should keep in simple and write about my perspective on the day to day level. G-d willing there will be many more years where I can write more in depth about this, Of course you’re welcome to add your story in the comment section below.

Israel is a place of contradicting and extreme emotions. The same could be said of Judaism which celebrates times of mourning (shiva, 9th of Av) and times of joy (weddings, Simchat Torah) with the same amount of intensity. People will tell you here that it’s unbelievable how the country goes from the intense low of Yom Hazikaron to the intense high of Yom Haatzmaut in such a short time. In the U.S. we celebrate Memorial Day and Independence Day in separate months, but here you are not made to forget that Israel’s independence was earned and continues to be earned through the sacrifice of its soldiers because commemoration is followed by celebration.  Continue reading

Rechovot, Ayalon Institute

I’m sitting at home recuperating from a three-day Tiyul in the Negev organized by Pardes. Israel’s desert is beautiful and stark and I didn’t want to leave. It’s only a few hours from Jerusalem, but I was really in culture shock when I got back. It was especially jarring to drive up to Tel-Aviv on Friday because Tel-Aviv looks more like a city in the U.S. than a small settlement in the Negev. The visit itself was really fun–we went up to meet with Schelley Dardashti, a genealogist and journalist that Eric had been corresponding with, and we partook in a delicious Persian barbeque.

Before I write about the Negev and Schelley, I should mention more about our visit to Eric’s cousins in Rechovot–2 weekends ago my how time flies! Muncie is the first cousion of Eric’s grandfather, and she has a daughter named Hannah and grandson Yeftah. We stayed with Hannah, who cooked a lovely Friday night dinner for us. Yeftah was there along with Muncie and Hannah’s boyfriend Amiram. Hannah is a radiologist and Amiram is a professional actor and mime who studied in France for several years. Continue reading