"After attending Hebrew school from kindergarten to senior year of high school, being active in NFTY, attending a URJ camp for 13 years, and going on NFTY in Israel, I thought I knew a fair amount about Israel. So when I took a Politics of the Middle East class in college, I thought I would at least have the history of Israel covered. How many times have I learned about Israel's wars? Defensive wars to protect the Jewish people. There's the War of Independence, the 6-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Intifadas, the 2006 Lebanon War, etc. Each framed as necessary to protecting our homeland. Well imagine my surprise when I learned about an entire war and period of Israeli military history that seemed to be missing from the curriculum of every Jewish program I have ever attended: the Lebanon incidents in the 1970's and the Lebanon War from 1982 to 1985. This wasn't just a war - it was an occupation for 3 years of Southern Lebanon. During this time the IDF participated in the massacre of Palestinians in refugee camps. They literally surrounded a city and refugee camp, preventing people from escaping, and watched while military groups killed Palestinians and Muslims in the city of Sabra and the refugee camp of Shatila. How convenient that this occupation, this stain on Israel's "moral" army, is left out of every lesson on Israel and its history. I felt lied to. I struggled with my lack of knowledge on Israel and my connection to what I now consider to be places of Israeli propaganda. Israel is an occupying force, and this occupation is not Israel's first. One day this occupation will end and it will be on us to teach the stories, the injustices committed, to our children so that we will not continue to repeat our own history of violence against our neighbors." -NFTY, URJ alumn

NFTY, URJSophie Trauberman