Wednesday, 6 June 2012

An Ideological Crisis.

The Netzer Ideology is one of the main discussion topics here on Shnat. Mainly because we're all pretty passionate about it, and also because we spend nan entire year trying to come to terms with our own ideology in the movement and living it out in Israel. Often, people find that they don't fully agree with this ideology, or what they thought is very different to what we're lead to believe through our years in the movement prior to shnat.
I think its also to do with having so many different opinions where ever you are throughout the year.

So here I was, at 4am one Sunday morning with Lily in the kitchen eating scrambled eggs and carimalised onions having one of the most intense ideological discussions I've ever had.

It started with a story about a boy on Machon, who was being a typical Right Wing, closed minded fool, and being rather rude to my friend.

We spoke about this thing that we're all supposed to go back to our countries and practice called "Israel Advocacy" and while he techniques are interesting, the out come can often be negative, depending on which way you look at it. Our lecturer who gave this class, pretty much shattered all the preconceived ideas of what shnat is about, and why were here. I felt as though I was being turned into a minion on the one hand, but also, being enlightened to what was going on around me-to which I hadn't previously known.

First, Humiliate your opponent.
Then, Answer the question.
Do your Research. Know your facts, and if you dont...
Manipulate the situation to your needs.
The aim is to H.A.R.M.

From this we moved to talking about the Ideology, and why were in Netzer. We started discussing things like the pilars: Noar, Tzioni, Reformi. (Reform Zionist Youth)
What they don't really tell you about is where you put commas and full stops, and how those can really affect the meaning of the movement.

  1. If I had said Youth Reform, Zionist, You'd probably think of people who have changed their interpretaton on how old you can be and still be called a youth, Right?
  2. If I had said Reform, Zionist Youth, you would probably think of Reform Jews, who are also Zionist and mostly under the age of 25, Right?
  3. If I had said Reform Zionist, Youth, You would thing of Youth, who think in a Reform Zionist way, Right?

Well, I was under the impression, that we were number 2, and I was really shocked, that I hadn't taken time to figure this out before, because I had been indoctrinated, using other unique methods, by Madrichim who had come on shnat and learnt these things. Maybe without even knowing it, which is the true beauty of Propaganda.
I came to Netzer, and on their Gap Year program as a South African Reform Jew, who was kind of a Zionist. I got here, and have since realised that what they really wanted, and what everyone thought was that we were all people who were focussed on Zionism, and were maybe not that religious, and that we kinda did our own thing.
But that was not the case.

Maybe, in South Africa, we do things a little differently.
Maybe we focus a little less on the whole Zionism thing, because we have a whole heap of stuff to worry about in our own country, and would, in all honesty, spend way more time bettering a society which we understand way better, than one thats half way round the world.
Maybe it's our fault that we just don't understand because we focus on bettering the world, so it will be a better place to live in for future generations.
Maybe we focus a little too much on the whole, lets be jews thing, so that at Camp, we have amazing services and send people on Shnat, to the land of the Jewish people, and let them find their own spirituality.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that sound like a bad thing to you?

Louring kids in with a false sense of purpose as to what they're doing seems wrong to me, and maybe we should change Netzer South Africa to Reform Jewish Youth, with one of our platforms being Zionist, and not the other way around.