Lamed: Israel Education

Engage. Educate. Apply. Israel.

Lamed is a source for teens looking to expand their experience with Israel. Through engaging with Israeli culture and people, educating about politics and daily life, and teaching how to apply this knowledge in the world, Lamed aims to prepare teens with a well-rounded, multifaceted understanding of Israel so that information can be more evenly distributed to the next generation of leaders.

 
 
  • Samantha Brody

We're All In This Together: Supporting Other Zionists (Even When You Disagree)

Across the world and on every corner of the internet, Zionism is under attack. Online, Zionists are attacked in comments for being colonialists, murderers, apartheid supporters, and so much worse. Even within the pro-Israel community, members of different organizations often attack one another. While external attacks are often the most personally hurtful, the visible internal struggle between Zionists of different political affiliations is often what makes the pro-Israel community such an easy target for hate.

Of course, it's important to have discussions about what we each want to see and how we understand our Zionism. After all, the pro-Israel community spans a wide variety of opinions on foreign and domestic policies. However, being on social media lately has made me realize that we have more in common than we have different.

Recently, after much hesitation, I picked up Tiktok. I thought it would be fun to post videos about Israel since, if you know me, you know that's my singular interest. So I started posting. The first few videos didn't get many views, but then I posted this video:

I didn't intend for this video to be inflammatory. In fact, when I was making it, I tried to think of the most basic and difficult-to-contest caption I could. However, despite this, I received quite a bit of hate. (My personal favorite was "nope you denie facts". Just the spelling on that one...) And I was lucky, because this video was mostly viewed by Zionists who understood nuance and even some who helped facilitate conversations and correct misconceptions.

Later, I posted this one:

Here, I wasn't so lucky. One comment I received even accused me of shooting children in the head. However, the comments that truly broke my heart were those of other Zionists. Comments like "Right wing Zionism> Liberal Zionism" and "liberal zionism is the worst ideology on earth" made me realize that our greatest weakness is ourselves. Comments accusing us of murder and apartheid continue to litter Tiktok and other social media platforms because we in the Zionist community are too busy fighting each other. If the user who commented "Right wing Zionism> Liberal Zionism" had instead issued a condemnation of the man who accused me of careless murder, Zionism would have maintained a stronger and more positive face as a whole. If we spent half as much energy protecting our baseline value as we do petitioning for changes within that, I believe that Israel would have less controversy attached to its name.

So here's what I'm asking: before you comment, read what else has been said. If you see something horrific and unjustifiable, correct them instead of pushing more hate toward pro-Israel users. Aggressive anti-Zionists and even anti-Semites don't see a wide spectrum of opinions about Israel: they see themselves and "the colonialist regime". If it's truly a constructive comment, consider sending a direct message to the account rather than a one-off comment that ultimately isn't going to make a change.

Be aware of what you say and how it can hurt the individual and the greater Zionist movement because, even if we disagree, we're all in this together.

 

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