One of the aims of Independent Australian Jewish Voices is to provide a space for voices that usually get lost in the hardline Zionist rhetoric that passes for mature commentary in our media and communities.
I came to see that I had to separate four core elements of of my identity that I had perpetually intertwined; being a Diasporic Jew and an Israeli, a spiritual being and a human being. This enabled me criticize its government and military strategies without experiencing a compromise of my love for Israel, or being less of a supporter of the country or its safety. I still believe that Israel’s existence and continuation is important, though perhaps I envision it slightly differently than the current government. Most of all I realized how closely linked our Jewish identity, spirituality and love for Israel is to the extent where they are fundamental to our sense of self, which is why I couldn’t criticize Israel’s actions until I viewed these parts of myself as separate entities.
The countless tails of Israel that had always included hard-working kibbutzniks and brave warriors who relentlessly did all in their power to pave the way for the generations to come do not necessarily have to be completely untrue, but the point to make is that they are not the only truth.
More and more Jews, especially the young, simply no longer accept the Israel “right or wrong” ideology. They want robust debate and traditional Zionism simply can’t provide that.