Me: Do you consider yourself a ‘yored’? Or has the term become simply anachronistic?
Joel: No, I don’t. It’s intellectually and politically indefensible as an idea, especially if you take Zionism seriously, and understand how profoundly effective it has been as a form of political education. How can you ‘step down’, so to speak, if you carry Israel with you everywhere you go? How can one feel guilty about being apart from something that is inescapable?
This is Zionism’s inherent paradox: Israel is a state of mind as much as it is an undeniable physical reality. If we are not reminded of it allegorically, through worship, we are confronted by it nearly every day, in the form of tragedy, on the news. As that dreadful Eagles song, “Hotel California”, goes, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
To read more of my interview, and please do, click here. Also keep your eyes out for my new Jewcy column (beginning September) which will explore the subject of Israelis living in the United States.