you asked me if i would martyr myself for the state of israel

"I spent 3 months on High School in Israel and 9 months on Young Judaea Year Course. We never talked about the occupation, we weren't given any space to engage with it. The militarization of Israel and the victories of it's army were glorified and uplifted while the stories of Palestinians were silenced. During High School in Israel, we attended Gadna, a 10 day Israeli Army boot camp which Israeli high school students take part in. We fired M-16s and learned about the history of the IDF. We never talked about the daily nightmare of the occupation and the 18 year old Israeli citizen soldiers who administer it.

I love being Jewish. I love the values I was taught. I love the experiences I had in Israel. I love my Jewish community and my teachers. But, you never told me my experiences in Israel were more complicated than you made them appear. And you never told me about the occupation.

You expected me to love Israel unconditionally and look away when the state acted immorally. And you never told me that any security or safety or happiness I felt in Israel was at the expense of Palestinian lives.

Sitting with my high school class in a cistern at the top of Masada, you asked me if I would martyr myself for the state of Israel. You asked me to yell "A second Masada will not fall" from the top of the fortress. You asked me to dress in IDF uniform and fire an M16. And you never told me what you were asking me to buy into.

#WeWillBeTheGeneration to bring freedom and dignity to Israelis AND Palestinians."

" -Daniel Grover, High School in Israel, Young Judea,American Hebrew Academy