Another Look at a Complicated History of Zionism
I received a review screener of “Colliding Dreams” about three months ago with a note that this was a controversial view of Zionism and as I watched the film that thought stayed on my mind. For me, it was not controversial and actually mirrored many of my own views but then I had spent many years building the land when I lived on my kibbutz in the Jordan Valley and was surrounded by the early ideals that had been set forth by many who were part of the founding of the State of Israel. My own thoughts came from my idea of building a nation and this is what propelled my moving to Israel before she had reached her sixteenth birthday.
Oren Rudavsky and Joseph Dorman capture my feelings in this new documentary and also present multiple viewpoints on it. What we really see here are perspectives on Zionism. In actuality we see two main yet different kinds of Zionism—the whole land versus a land for the Jews. Having been a product of Young Judaea, I had some thoughts of my own on how I felt about Israel and I often still find myself at odds with many others.
I grew up believing that Theodore Herzl was the Zionist superman and what he had to say became a guiding force in my life. When the Six Day War broke out in Israel, I had no problem serving in the army and being sent into combat because I believed it was my duty to protect our land regardless the cost. I find this interesting in that I avoided the American draft because I felt that war was immoral and here I was in a country that had to fight to stay alive. We really believed back then that peace would come to Israel if we could show her military strength and the one thing that really loomed over everything else was the idea that peace was indeed coming.
In the film we see Jews and Arabs living, working and even celebrating together in the early 20th-century Palestine. Not everyone thought that peace would come and so we had dissenters in our own ranks. I quickly learned that our beliefs come from our educations and we never really agree on anything about Israel. Many of us believe what we want to believe and see what we want things to be. I grew up in America where peace was a way of life but living in Israel, I also learned that war can also be a way of life.
We get no resolution in the film. The film throws down a challenge and asks us to think about our prejudices and that is not an easy task. It was only after seeing the film “Censored Voices” that some of my opinions changed. We must all realize that each of us has a part to play if Israel is to continue to exist and while many of us may not be happy about what is now going on in Israel, we need to really look into our minds and reach a conclusion on what we can each do the make sure that our nation continues does not disappear.