Why I took my Children to Palestine: Raising Ethical Jewish Children in the Age of the Zionist Empire

"And you shall teach this to your children"

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Many Jewish families take their children to Israel to strengthen their children’s Jewish identities. I, as a Jewish mother, instead took my children to Palestine. Rather than touring the modern Israeli city of Tel Aviv, we toured the heavily occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Rather than going to Israeli resorts to float in the dead sea, we took infrequent “Arabic showers” where water for bathing is heated on the stove because fuel is too expensive to have continuous running hot water. Instead of going to the Ayalon Institute, a Tel Aviv museum of munitions productions from 1945 to 1948, we picked up the tear gas canisters and rubber bullet casings that scatter the ground in West Bank villages.

Why, as a Jewish mother would I choose this option for my children? Isn’t this a terrible choice for a children’s vacation and shouldn’t adolescent American Jewish children be shielded from…

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