Our Day in the Shomron ?>

Our Day in the Shomron

A strange coincidence of vacations gave Binny, Benzi, our friend Shevi, and me a day off for an adventure. We took a car to the Shomron/parts of Area C in the northern West Bank. Here’s what happened (in no particular order): We took our kippahs off when we went through mainly Palestinian areas out of concern for our safety. It felt a bit wrong: Are we generalizing too much about Palestinians? Am I giving up my religious identity for fear?…

Read More Read More

My Aliyahversary and Hamilton ?>

My Aliyahversary and Hamilton

Happy Aliyahversary, Binny! Thanks. It’s been 4 years since I’ve officially made aliyah, 6 years since I’ve been bothering my parents to let me become a citizen, 8 years since I moved here for the first time, and 22 years since I’ve been dreaming of Israel. Most things I dreamed of doing/accomplishing from the age of 16 have so far come true to some extent: Study in an Israeli University, learn in an Israeli Yeshiva, do high school here in Israel, work…

Read More Read More

Having a State Matters ?>

Having a State Matters

Binny’s explanation of the word “Occupation” is an important step in discussing this conflict. In light of it, I want to point out one inherent wrong that goes hand-in-hand with the Occupation: Palestinians in the West Bank don’t have a state. I think we Israelis know this simple truth but don’t always acknowledge how unfair it is. I feel a little surge of pride every time I get to use my Israeli passport. I know that laws were designed with…

Read More Read More

Why I Call it An Occupation ?>

Why I Call it An Occupation

I sometimes mention in conversation “the occupation” and many people seem offended by this term, so I’d like to talk about it. Not to offend people but rather to clarify my meaning, define my terms, and through my explanation, answer some recurring objections I hear when I talk about it. I’m going to try to avoid talking legalities and theory as much as possible and stick more to real daily life. First I’d like to talk some history and this map…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

Military Occupations and their Effects ?>

Military Occupations and their Effects

The Nature of Military Occupation Military occupations are never tolerated by the occupied. The British Armed Forces were deployed in Northern Ireland in 1969 at the request of the Unionist Government of Northern Ireland. These soldiers were welcomed by the Catholic population of Ireland in response to Protestant riots and terrorism against Catholic marches for civil rights at the time. However, by 1971 the same Catholics, organized as the IRA, were fighting the British in a brutal campaign of terrorism….

Read More Read More

Love is not a Victory March ?>

Love is not a Victory March

In Memory of Shira Banki I wanted to sit alone. I wanted to sit alone and cry. But I was seated at the front of the bus and a little girl had fallen asleep on my shoulder and I tried to cry gently so as not to wake her up. And I lost myself in the cold, in the broken, in the Hallelujah. For as children we were bright lights shining, then we were dimmed, until we truly believed that…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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