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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 Their Fault ?>

It’s Their Fault

I was standing in line to go up to The Temple Mount. Why not, right? I’d like to see what the fuss is all about. People have waged wars, spilled blood, and fought for decades for this hill. Do I wear my kippa? Not wear my kippa? I read the news weekly in Palestinian media of religious Jews “storming” The Temple Mount. Did I want to add to that? But screw that. The Temple Mount has a very clear Jewish connection…

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Transparency is Good. Right? ?>

Transparency is Good. Right?

Israel recently  passed what’s colloquially called The NGO bill. Officially it’s called the “Transparency Requirements for Parties Supported by Foreign State Entities Bill 5766-2016”.   Great! I think transparency is really important. When you see an NGO that is pumping millions of dollars into Israel to advance a certain agenda the FIRST question you should ask is “what’s in it for them” and that’s often-times answered by who holds the wallet and thus power. That wallet is held “hostage” by…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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