When I was a Jewish kid growing up in suburban Los Angeles, we thought being Jewish meant supporting Israel

There really wasn’t a choice. If you identified as Jewish, as I and most of my friends did, the religious education we got, the youth groups we joined, and the summer camps where we played were all grounded in one thing. It wasn’t Godit was Zionism, the political project of settling Jewish people in Israel

We never asked and no one ever taught us in Sunday school who had already been living on that land, long known as Palestine, when European Jews arrived around the end of the 19th century and started building settlements there

My own break with Zionism came in my mid20s, after reading the letters of Zionism’s founder, Theodor Herzl, imploring Cecil Rhodes, the leader of British land theft in Africa, to support his work in Palestine. Their projects were both “something colonial,” Herzl assured Rhodes.

Today, younger Jews are asking hard questions at earlier ages, and more of them have been actively critical of Israel in its assaults on Palestinians and Palestinian rights.

Read the full article here.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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