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Marjorie Ingall wants your responses

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Many of you seem to have a lot to say concerning my little cri de coeur about reconciling my liberalism with Zionism, and my uneasy feeling that I’ve fallen down on the parenting job by not addressing my ambivalence head-on with my kids. I appreciate all the comments, positive and negative. (Well, maybe not so much the one calling me a vapid ignoramus, but then I just took deep breaths and bought shoes on the Internet until the sad feelings passed!)

I’d love to continue to engage with you on this subject. I’ll devote my next column to responding to readers’ comments and questions. Send your suggestions, objections, and queries to—please try to be civil so your own mama would be proud of you—in as few words as possible, by day’s end Wednesday, and I’ll answer as many as I can next Monday. Thanks!

Never Never Land [Tablet Magazine]

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Not a short response, but one I think you need to read:

I would love to speak to you further, if you are interested.

moe says:

I would like to know what is so “ambivalent” about these facts:
1. Jews buy land in the land of Israel and get attacked by Arab bullies and dictators. So I don’t get the seat analogy if you paid for the bus ticket.
2. Israel negotiates peace with Palestinians only to get more extreme suicide bombings. These are mostly stopped by a fence. But that fence is also “bad”.
3. Israel (the big scary Likud) leaves Gaza and hands it to the PA in 2005 only to get more rockets and war.
4. Israel leaves Lebanon in 2000, only to get rockets, kidnappings, and war in 2006.
I don’t know any country in the world that took so many risks for peace. I don’t understand how you can be blind/or have a twisted concept of these facts.

I stand corrected on the unjustified assumption about Ms. Ingalls not knowing anybody who served in the military, and I apologize for any ad hominem tone. However, I still have the uneasy feeling that what you expressed in your column was more social embarrassment about being associated with unfashionable Israel than real moral qualms. And I have trouble believing you didn’t expect to provoke the “hostility” you now complain about, because of your sneering dismissal of any emotional identification with Israel. The point of comparing Israel Independence Day parades with Justin Bieber concerts can only be that both are callow, immature performances; and further that loving Israel is childish, and the true sophisticate would never have, or at least never admit to, such crude feelings. (Such an imputation is never made about Palestinian nationalism; that is apparently authentic rather than childish, and you feel that you must teach its tenets to your children, which you have done so successfully that your daughter faithfully reproduces the Arab propaganda line about Jews barging their way into a place that doesn’t belong to them any longer, if it ever did. Again, you didn’t think using your daughter in this way would provoke a reaction?)

I promise you that acute left-wing Israeli critics of Israeli politics, people like Amos Oz who, with respect, has had to face a lot worse than nasty Internet comments over the years, “feels a stirring in his heart when he sees the Israeli flag.” I participated in a New Jewish Agenda protest outside the Israeli consulate in Philadelphia at the outbreak of the intifada in 1987 and I went to many peace movement rallies when I lived in Israel in the 1990s, and I screamed in dismay when I finished my first stint of guard duty in the Israeli army one Saturday night in November 1995 and I heard that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had been assassinated by a right-wing Jewish extremist. And I have always felt a stirring in my heart when I see the Israeli flag, a love I always felt was best fulfilled by working for peace. And though my political opinions have shifted over the years as I came to see that the Palestinian leadership has never wanted a separate state of their own living in peace with Israel, and would not accept one if offered, nevertheless, for me, I always did and always will stand with Israel, and I would sooner be scorned as an out-of-date Zionist than be lauded as a sophisticated, deracinated “citizen of the world.”

rosmar says:

Marjorie, I just want to say I appreciate your article, and your continued conversation. I half-want you to respond to the misinformation about Israel’s continuing role in undermining peace, but the other half of me worries that that is far too huge and complex of a topic to take on on the internet.

Jacob Arnon says:

“My panicked reaction to her words surprised me. I found myself trying to convince her that Israel did have that right. But that’s not what I believe. But I’m not sure what I believe. I want my children to love Israel, but I don’t want them to identify with bullies. I was spinning in my own head like the desperate, overwhelmed woman in the Calgon commercial: J Street, take me away!”

Marjorie you are overdoing it.

If her kids are not old enough to understand complexities of history, stay away from the subject.

What do you teach them about Canada and the dispossession of the Indians from their land by Europeans, and others including Jews?

Let’s not be hypocritical about the subject. The Palestinians had more of a chance for their own State in 1947 and 1948 which they turned down and chose to disposes Jews of their land instead.

Do you know the history of the Jews in Mandate Palestine? Why do you give priority to the Arab point of view, their narrative?

Do you ever think of the little Jewish girls driven from their homes in Iraq, in Egypt and other Arab countries?

Leah says:

Marjorie from what I read of your post I will never read any of your books to my five children, three daughter and two boys ages 4, 7, 8, and 11.

Your ambivalence towards your Jewishness isn’t liberal, it’s a personal problem of yours.

I love Justin. He’s so cute and makes really awesome songs. Hope i can see him live soon
evil smiley

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Discuss Our Column

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