Upon reading Elicia Brown’s column, “This Land Is Your Land?” (Back Of The Book, June 10), I feel compelled to respond. Teaching her daughter Talia about Israel is a very worthwhile idea, and I have a few suggestions.
First, enroll her in a Jewish school. I know the cost is high, but the cost to Jewish identity if not enrolled is even greater. In a yeshiva or day school, she will imbibe love of Israel with the very air she breathes.
Second, ignore those writers whom the word “Zionist” makes “skittish.” Zionists conceived the idea of the restoration of the Jewish State, drained the swamps, rebuilt the cities and farms, revived the Hebrew language, and gave their lives so that we would be able to have this discussion. Zionists are freedom fighters, heroes, like the American minutemen and all others who fought for freedom. We should be proud of them, and of the label.
Third, forget about “both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Palestinians do not agonize over our side. In fact, there is only one side — that of the people who, overcoming 2,000 years of bitter persecution, returned to their ancestral homeland, only to be confronted by the descendants of those who stole the land from those who stole it from us.
Despite this bitter confrontation, accompanied by over one hundred years of violent attacks and attempts to destroy us, our people have restored a vibrant society, democratic, equal in standard of living to Western Europe, and capable of resisting the constant attacks.
Teach Talia to be proud — generations of downtrodden Jews in the past, and generations of Jews yet to be born-will be thankful to you.