Dear Zionist Family,
I still remember Pesach Seder the year I was 21 and the conversation turned to politics. I know I seemed tough and brave, but I felt small. The onslaught rolled down the table to my end and my seat began to feel like a corner, and I became acutely aware of my back against it.
I know that differences of opinion are normal, but I love you and it feels much more urgent that we understand each other, even if we don’t see eye to eye. I want you to know that I forgive you for that moment, and I hope you forgive me for making the choice to stand out, to be different.
My time spent living in Israel taught me many things, but among them is that good decisions are never made out of fear. Let us make the decision together to not fear each other’s opinions, but rather to celebrate them.
Who am I kidding, I can’t celebrate your opinions… I’m a hypocrite. It’s just that your opinions create lived experiences of injustice, displacement, violence and perpetual war. In my head I’m screaming “if you could only see, the world would be better!”
And then, again, I look at myself and feel the hypocrisy. I’m sure you’re all screaming the same thing at me… it’s maddening.
Perhaps just as an exercise, let me let some things out:
If you love Israel so much why don’t you live there?! You would hate it there! The cost of living is high, the services atrocious, your immense tax shekels would go to funding the army and the occupation of the West Bank, you would HATE driving because people are hateful and aggressive on the road, you would be viewed as an outsider for your entire life and treated differently because you aren’t part of the ever-important in-group!
Phew, that feels good to let out. I know you probably hated that, but trust me it’s cathartic.
I love you and hope we can always grow together in spite of our difference.