What if your friend had to die to preserve a Jewish state?

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On September 9, I rented a car with two American Jewish friends and drove up through settlements in the central West Bank in an effort to taste the settler experience.

As we were leaving Shiloh, we picked up two young hitchhikers headed north– a guy who is about to enter the army and his girlfriend– and I turned on the video camera and asked them the question that plagues me:

If a young person you know will have to die to preserve Israel as a Jewish state, wouldn’t you rather just lose the Jewish state?

The young man’s answer begins a minute in. Among other things he says:

When we don’t have a Jewish country, it’s not one man die, it’s 6 million…

All the history for the Jewish is: We don’t have a country, they kill us. Now we have a country… If one man die, I have to remember, that 6 million died, and my grandfather come here and dream about it, to be in Israel… This is my place. Not Germany, not the United States… I am willing to kill for this country… I do this for the world, not just for Israel.


I apologize ahead of time for my performance in the video. I’m not nearly so poised as the young man, I don’t ask the question in the precise manner that I do above. I say that everyone in the car is a Jew; and I point to Allison Deger at the wheel and say that she’s my niece and it’s not worth her dying to preserve a Jewish state. That’s a misrepresentation: She’s not my niece, she’s my niece’s generation.

Nonetheless, the young man and I have a sincere exchange, on what I believe is a vital historical question that Americans should consider.

P.S. Our next stop was Ariel, where I asked a young Russian emigre bartender the same question: Look at all these young people in the bar, one may have to die to preserve the Jewish state, it’s not worth it. He said bluntly, But that is the reality. It’s a Jewish state, and it is going to defend that status. P.S. he is moving to Canada to start a business.


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How about adding a Jewish State based on the internationally recognized border. Most of us can agree that demanding that Israel be Jewish state is not democratic…but do think you should add on “a Jewish state based on the 67 border” And really something that that young man uses the… Read more »

I think that this video shows the effect of the type of indoctrination and propaganda which Yoav Shamir highlighted in Defamation, which is leading these people to conclude that the only alternative to an ethno-religious apartheid state is the Holocaust. It’s madness.

I have friends that died to preserve our state. I can die just as well the next time shit hits the fan. Some things are worth dying for and killing for though i prefer neither. Is it worth dying for your country Philip, or your niece dying for it? Or… Read more »

>> Some things are worth dying for and killing for …

It’s a shame you’ve chosen to die and kill for colonialism, supremacism, injustice and immorality.

“I have friends that died to preserve our state.” Did they die at Netzarim? I wonder how the parents of the soldiers who died defending Netzarim feel. And what is the point of dying for the state if the state collapses anyway? The most tragic will be the last person… Read more »