I had the opportunity to speak this afternoon to a group of American students who have just graduated high school. What is unique about their school in the US is that it is described as “pluralistic”. It was enjoyable and motivating, as their minds were open and thirsty, it was upsetting as I saw how they were being deceived and misinformed.
The discussion was not political, it was simply a discussion about opinions, possibilities and thought. These students are supposedly being taught about Israel and our “situation”, they came to Israel to connect to their history and learn, yet they are not allowed to see other sides for themselves, more specifically, the "Right" side. The excuse given is that insurance prices are too high to allow them to visit Judea and Samaria…how convenient.
When we discussed where would the Jews from Judea and Samaria move if, Gd forbid transferred due to an Israeli surrender, their response was… “Trailer parks could be set up, just like the ones they live in now”. The last time I checked, Shilo, Bet El, and Efrat were not trailer parks, neither were the majority of our communities. This is what they are being told, thetruth is being hidden from them…on purpose. How can we expect proper opinions to be formed when our children, our future, are being deceived and misinformed?
After my talk they went to hear a “spokesman” of the PA in Notre Dam in Jerusalem, he refused to come to Beit Shmuel, the center for Reform Judaism in Jerusalem (located on the old border), this they weren’t told at first. The ruse plays on!
As I was leaving, I was surrounded by many of them thanking me for the talk. They expressed such gratitude for hearing a “pro-Israel” speech. I was especially troubled when many of them stated they felt like outsiders in the group for having strong Zionist feelings and feeling connected to our heartland.
This is unfortunately not rare, but common practice among many Israel High School, Birth Right and other educational programs in Israel. It seems that the only students and programs run by “Religious” organizations come out to Judea and Samaria. Why is our history and heritage not being shared with all of our people? Why are the secular organizations keeping our children in the dark? Why are they being subjugated to a limited or mostly one-sided view rather than the full picture?
Seems like someone has some nefarious motives up their sleeves….
It is time to confront the leaders of Conservative and Reform Judaism, and any others who are keeping our people away from their birthright and heritage and ask why are they limiting and keeping our children from their right to choose and see their own heritage and history for themselves. I grew up in the bastion of the Conservative Jewish world, Camp Ramah, USY, the whole 9 yards, I was never taught to be afraid, nor was I taught that all of Israel wasn't a part of me, on the contrary, we were taught the opposite.
Judea and Samaria is the story of all the Jewish people, of all the Jewish people.