Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jewish Like Me

McGill University is one of the bigger University's in Canada and it's campus is here in Montreal. It may actually qualify as an "Ivy League" school. I was going through the McGill Daily paper online and came across this story, "Jewish Like Me" written by Jesse Rosenfeld, a Toronto transplant.

It's a very good article that illustrates the dichotomy of what it is to be a Jew from a North American perspective. As a Palestinian forced to leave his home I am encouraged by this public display of condemnation of Israel's violent past and a call for justice for the Palestinian people.

Here's part of the article:

"Like most kids growing up Jewish, I loved Israel. I identified with the country and saw my Jewish identity expressed in it.

Maybe it was because I found inspiration in an Israeli culture that seemed to focus on youth. I liked how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, referred to the “New Israeli Jew” – strong, committed and independent – as opposed to the idea of a “European Jew” – weak, emasculated, and dependent. Or maybe I wanted to identify with something other than tedious family gatherings in Toronto complete with a grandmother who pinched my cheeks.

Either way, as a short, underweight early teen looking to find a form of community and feeling of empowerment, Israel and its image provided me with a feeling of masculinity. The Israeli myth allowed me to reject the stuffiness of North American Jewish culture while keeping a sense of an imagined community that was still accepted, and even encouraged, by my family and community.

As I explored this more, I began to realize that Zionism was synonymous with a violent colonization and occupation of another people."

>> Read More Here

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