Political progressive Sarah Glidden takes part in a Birthright Israel trip, riddled with doubt and concern, and after having researched Israel and Palestine extensively in the 40 days (heh) prior to her departure. Her graphic novel style memoir or the experience is nuanced, self-aware, self-critical, and brave. She arrives in Israel braced against being brainwashed and proving her Pakistani boyfriend’s father right that all American Jews eventually support Israel.
"Or maybe I don’t really feel this connection. Maybe it’s just impossible not to, after someone talks to you about holocaust refugees and teenaged soldiers!" p.104
Strip of a marker on floor of where Orthodox Jew Yigal Amir assassinated Yitzhak Rabin that says “murderer,” p. 106.
I haven’t been able to find an image of it online, but if there truly is such a marker on the site of the assassination, it’s indicative of the Israeli personality, to immortalize the actor of the aggression.
"Are those Palestinian boys yelling at us or just "playing?
I suddenly want to be back inside a homey Jerusalem cafe talking about the city’s culture clash instead of wandering around inside it.
[seeing a play] "I feel relaxed. The seats are comfortable; it’s dry and warm in here against the cold rain outside. But my ease in here goes beyond that.
"Almost everyone in this room is Jewish. Many of them are young. They like intellectual theater which means they probably like contemporary art and translated novels.
"They live in Israel, I don’t. They understand what is happening in this play, I don’t. But we probably have so much in common. I’m ashamed to admit to myself that I like this feeling of being in this room. I'm even more ashamed at how much I didn’t like being outside of it."