I have but one biography to give for my country

I don’t usually quibble with what’s written about me, but hey! I only have one biography to give for my nation.

Philip Weiss writes at Mondoweiss:

The ’67 War galvanized… young Gershom Gorenberg to move to Israel.

At the time of the 1967 war, I was 11 years old, in 6th grade, living with my parents in Los Angeles. I moved to Israel 10 years later. My decision had nothing to do with the 1967 war. I preferred living here because there is no split between Jewish and general politics, between being a Jew and a citizen. This is the meaning of national liberation: When I criticize the Israeli government, I do it as a citizen bearing the full risks and benefits of any decision that government may take. This, in fact, is the reason that Israeli debate is fiercer than that among Diaspora Jews, something which Weiss has sought and failed to understand.

Phil – the answer is Zionism. It’s our country, and we feel free to say what we want about it. Indeed, we feel obligated to speak.

I don’t fault American Jews for deciding not to live here. (It’s a difficult decision, as I know well.) I would like them to support Israel in a way that takes into account its need for peace. I also think that Philip Weiss could show more compassion for the dilemmas that many Diaspora Jews face in doing so.

I’ve written more on those dilemmas here.

1 thought on “I have but one biography to give for my country”

  1. Gershom,

    On his now-defunct NY Observer blog, Phillip argued incessantly that American Jews are disloyal because of their attachments to Israel, and that they are underrepresented in the U.S. Military, placing an undue burden on non-Jewish soldiers forced to go to war in Iraq owing to the machinations of the Jewish minority. It’s the usual claptrap that, with a little tweaking, is largely congruent with the tropes one might have found in Nazi-era propaganda. No wonder Pat Buchanan’s magazine, The American Conservative, has given him a platform.

    Does he even deserve rebuttal?

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