As a child, I wasn’t a conformist. When told to attend a singing group at my elementary school, I wasn’t having any part of it. When forced by teachers, I rebelled. I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy an hour of sing-along to silly songs and this was the 90s when it was safe for children to play hooky and swing on the play-set outside. I was up-front with my parents, telling them I wasn’t singing and preferred the playground more; I confessed to skipping music class with no prompting. As an adult, I’m still bold and honest, unlike my society. Western society isn’t progressing as an honest and bold society. It is becoming a conformist society, with a series of demands that directly relate to the Jewish community.

I was consistently told by my 82nd Airborne Daddy that only weak people scream - the brave were always on the outside watching chaos unfold. As a millennial outsider, I examine my generation and adjudge them to be weak. Cyber stalking and bullying, harassment, megaphones, demands, violence, demeaning comments, etc. all in the name of “liberal progression” aren’t strength, they are a form of weakness. The previous tactics are meant to force society to bend to the will of the brashest. I would submit to you, if you aren’t capable of having a calm conversation, then I’m not willing to listen to your point.

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As a Jew, I’m told that society will be more comfortable with, and even open to my identity if I conform to their terms:
  • Linda Sarsour is an inspiration for women
  • I cannot be a zionist
  • I can’t be a feminist unless I denounce Israel
  • I can’t be a zionist and believe in human rights
  • Jews living in Israel are white colonialists living in Arab territory
  • Israel can’t have an army, because G-d forbid the Jews be able to defend themselves
  • Jews don’t have a culture
  • Israel is responsible for the world’s problems
  • Everything wrong in the world is a zionist/Jewish conspiracy
  • Jerusalem, despite having a Hebrew name, is an Arab-Muslim city
  • Jews aren’t allowed a country
  • Even though I don’t have a culture, anything that is from my culture (Israel) must be banned (BDS)
  • Despite archeology, history, and science, I have no history as a Jew in Israel
  • Israelis aren’t allowed to have musical acts play in their country
  • Despite having three degrees, and currently working on my fourth at an Ivy League, I need to “read a history book” in order to unlearn my understanding of Jewish history
  • The list goes of anti-Israel mendacity goes on…

Just as I wasn’t partial to silly songs about cuckoo birds then, I’m not amenable to hypocrisy, baseless rhetoric, and wishful thinking now. I’m not a conformist and I’m begging younger Jews to think for themselves. I refuse to be a “good Jew” (a term used today - especially in the Arab world - to refer to Jews that are non-zionists). Its easy to conform, it makes for less headaches and provides more “friends” and allies. Being a sell-out makes for more comfortable conversations on campus. Blending in prevents from being a target by bigots. To spend hours researching about Israel and its people, seeking out original documentation in search for history via literature and archeology, analyzing and reaching conclusions, is to be a modern rebel. The new anti-Israel movement calls for zombies - people who don’t think or research on their own. I have chosen to be cerebral, doing my research (even getting two degrees in the subject), living in Israel, connecting to its culture and people, accepting Israel as my own. By not choosing to conform, I choose to be right. I choose to be a bad Jewish girl.  

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