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If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)

The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows: Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe....

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

First Steps in Zionism Part 2 - some reflections.

Of course, I've missed out a lot of what happened in the 40s, 50s and early 60s. I had only just become a 'teenager' in '66. How I hated that word! Teenagers this; teenagers that. Judge a whole generation because they had reached 13.

In the UK, I could just remember the orange juice ration for babies and my sister being weighed in at the 'clinic', which actually was the Methodist Church Hall. It would feature again in my early life.

Being a voracious reader, and my parents having subscribed for me to a part-work encyclopedia called 'Knowledge', I had some idea of the possible consequences if the USA/USSR confrontation had gone wrong in '62. I can still recall the day that President Kennedy was assassinated. I was aware of the Suez crisis but I couldn't have told you much about it.

Growing up in an English Market Town in the Durham Dales had a great many blessings and privileges; not least our very own Museum/French Chateau and a Public School, Grammar School and Secondary School. 

It wasn't idyllic, by any means, but it was a much better life than many, even in the UK, enjoyed.

We didn't hear much about Israel. As far as my generation was concerned, it was where it was supposed to be, where the Bible said it was, more or less. We knew nothing of the Balfour declaration or the machinations of T.E. Lawrence and the Foreign Office. My father's generation, having done National Service, couldn't comprehend why Irgun and other groups attacked the King David Hotel and hung National Servicemen, just young men trying to serve King and Country. 

Now, at a distance, I can only wish that we had kept our word. I think that there are apologies due on both sides.

I don't know that I really 'became' a Zionist. I think it is the word that best describes what I believe and how those beliefs developed. For me, and for many, Israel had every right to exist in its homeland. After all, a war had just been fought for the right of all of us to live freely and in our own countries. At least, that's what the people fought for.

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