by Phil Rockstroh
Although my mother fled Nazi Germany, as a child, on a Kindertransport, with a few family valuables sewn into her clothing, and I was brought up on the myths and hagiography of the Zionist state, I, over time, came to recognize the folly of the whole colonialist enterprise — the folly of ethnic exclusion and expulsion, the inherent tragedy of nationalism based on the delusion of religious birthright. With much sorrow, I came to the sad realization that the dream of the State of Israel was based on European chauvinism and exceptionalism. This reckoning has been a difficult one for me to bear — the hardest awakening of my adult life.
My father was born on a Reservation in the American mid-west. His people, like the Palestinians, resisted invaders of European ancestry and were crushed. At present, both peoples remain exiled and caged in their native land.
The Jewish side of myself understands the historical traumas that gave rise to the yearning for a tribal Homeland. Atavistically, I suffer the Jewish state’s collective night terrors and reel in its daylight rationalizations for its brutalities. But the Native American in me knows the rage of those crushed by the heartless force of an invading people.