Browsed by
Author: Binny Zupnick

Binny is originally from New York but made Aliyah at the age of 14 to Jerusalem where he attended Yeshivat Chorev. Binny then skipped 12th grade to attend Machon Lev where he was able to start his degree in Software Engineering. Binny cut that short to study in Yeshivat Har Etzion where he was for one year. After his year in yeshiva, he entered the work force working in web development, then did the army, and now works in the cyber defense sector.
It’s Us vs. Them ?>

It’s Us vs. Them

I grew up in a very tight-knit orthodox bubble in New York and since then have moved to a relatively tight-knit orthodox bubble in Israel. Here I meet people of all types of backgrounds, but having left America at 16 and never really having met a Reform or Conservative Jew, I’ve come to idolize the other streams a bit. In my childhood mind, there were two types of Jews; Orthodox and non-religious. I had no knowledge of the fact that other…

Read More Read More

My first terror attack ?>

My first terror attack

See me up there? That guy on the left with the grey shirt,  orange shorts, tzitzit, and pride flag sticking out of his backpack? That’s me looking pretty bored at my first terror attack. After work I came in from central Israel to attend the march on my own. I grew up in Jerusalem and felt it was important to stand by my city and by the values I l believe in. The only pride parades I’ve attended have both…

Read More Read More

A Critique of The Left: Israel is a Country Too ?>

A Critique of The Left: Israel is a Country Too

I went on another march last Friday. For a quick recap, it’s a monthly march hosted by Combatants for Peace with the vague agenda of ending the occupation. I woke up at 10:45 that morning, with the bus leaving at 11:45 from Tel Aviv, so in my haste, I forgot my Israeli flag that I brought last time. At the start of the march, unlike last time, a Palestinian started handing out Palestinian flags. Loads of them. I immediately felt uncomfortable…

Read More Read More

Labels, Boxes, and Understanding My Love for Israel ?>

Labels, Boxes, and Understanding My Love for Israel

In recent years I’ve felt a constant tension between the way I identify myself and the labels that others throw at me. Labels like “anti-Semite”, “anti-Zionist”, or “anti-Israel”. When people tell you from all sides what you are, it’s not easy to hold it back from soaking in; “am I really against Zionism? Am I really against Israel?”. I know my beliefs, but no one is immune to this. Although I strive to not give in to these type of trappings, everyone…

Read More Read More

Soldiers, Flags, and a March Against The Occupation ?>

Soldiers, Flags, and a March Against The Occupation

On Friday the 1st of April I decided to attend what was called a Freedom March hosted by Combatants for Peace and Standing Together. It was a monthly march, but this one was “special” since it fell out two days after Palestinian Land Day. I was extremely hesitant to join the march in general, and particularly because I wasn’t sure about this Land Day. It felt as if it took it from a march of equality to a one-sided march of Palestinian…

Read More Read More

My Fears ?>

My Fears

Story 1 I was walking across the bridge from my home in Givat Shmuel to Bnei Brak. Walking towards me was an Arab looking teenager. Hands in his pockets, jeans, sneakers, hood, walking right towards me. I instantly noticed my heartbeat and started sweating but I forced myself to walk straight. “Everything’s okay Binny. He’s just a kid walking somewhere”. I take my headphones off as I do when I’m in Jerusalem and as I get close to him he turns to…

Read More Read More

Talking about StandWithUs ?>

Talking about StandWithUs

I would like to talk about StandWithUs, how it seems to attempt to accomplish its stated mission, and what I think is actually being achieved. Its mission Here’s a quote from its mission statement: We believe that education is the road to peace.[1] That is an absolutely beautiful mission and something I can’t disagree with. I think that education is key and the only way for a peaceful future. We must teach that peace is a possible and viable solution. We…

Read More Read More

Confronting the Message and Not the Messenger, from Biblical Times to Now ?>

Confronting the Message and Not the Messenger, from Biblical Times to Now

“Israel is the most moral army in the world” is a quote that I grew up hearing. It’s not simply a platitude but it was a fact and it had depth. I had such respect and love for Israel and the IDF it drove me to the country and drove me to enlistment. Growing up and getting a more nuanced understanding, I learned never to use such grand statements like “the most ____ thing ever”. Israel being a morally upstanding…

Read More Read More

My Neighbor: Yishai Schlissel ?>

My Neighbor: Yishai Schlissel

I see a lot of people posting about distancing themselves from the perpetrators of the acts of terror over the past day. I’d like to take the opposite approach. Like Yishai Schlissel, I’m a proud religious Jew, and like the murderers and perpetrators of the most recent price tag attack, I’m a proud Zionist. I think we should stop saying that these people are not of our kind. Are not of our community. Personally, I see, if not daily then…

Read More Read More

How my Zionism and Religion Brought Me to Vote Meretz ?>

How my Zionism and Religion Brought Me to Vote Meretz

In the weeks leading up to the elections, my friend and I spent every spare moment campaigning for Meretz. Friday mornings were spent on busy corners in Givat Shmuel in our bright green Meretz shirts handing out flyers and asking people if they are interested in hearing about the party. Given that both of us have clearly visible knitted yarmulkes on our heads, people were interested in our views. They seemed to think my bright orange yarmulke and my bright green…

Read More Read More