Zionist Ideology and World Jewry:
Reflections on a Conference
I began to pull my thoughts together on the beach at Ascalon.
After almost a week of debate, in a hall heavy with emotional oratory, the Sabbath had come as a relief. We had driven across the hot Judean hills to the seashore. The young people had welcomed me—a stranger but a guest—into the intimacy of their friendship. As reserve and shyness melted, our conversation grew lively and un-self-conscious. We talked directly, about what they were doing and about what I thought; and we relaxed in the ease of mutual understanding.
I hadn’t brought my bathing trunks with me and had to sit in the shade while the young Israelis plunged gaily into the surf. I looked about me. There was nothing foreign in the teen-agers who posed for snapshots, in the families who had brought their lunches down from Tel Aviv. The understanding that had appeared to be out of reach around the conference tables came almost as a matter of course here. In the months that have since gone by, I have not ceased to wonder what obstruction back there at Givath Ram distorted the flow of our discussion so that we could not recognize one another’s words.
About the Author