Leah Shakdiel

Updated: Apr 25, 2018

The Reason You are Here is Because You are a Jew! (2004)

Zionism was a big bet! It’s not as if anything was secured in advance, it was a very important bet to make that there’s going to be a future—if we cast all our weight in one direction, it’s going to happen. . . .

We have a state . . . a successful state . . . that’s a major thing. . . . We all complain about it, it has many problems. . . . But . . . we have it. It’s a fact.

On the one hand, there is my people, the Jews, who are very ancient, have a very distinct identity. . . with its religion, language, ancient culture, rich literature, traditions, history. We can take pride in a lot of moral and ethical achievements, and this is our land. On the other hand, you have an entity [the Palestinians] that has been created on the same land . . . as a result of recent events in the history of this region—the European powers meddling with it and dividing it up. . . .

If you are religious you are supposed to be right-wing. If you are left-wing, you’re supposed to be secular. Now, it’s not just the fault of the religious that have moved so dramatically to the right, I think it’s also the fault of the secular Israelis who have gotten it into their heads that they can do away with their Jewish identity, with their Jewish culture. This is ridiculous. I annoy my secular Israeli friends by telling them from every podium that if they do not see themselves as Jews that means that they are imperialists, colonialists, who have no business being here. They should leave the land to its native people. The indigenous people are Palestinians.

The reason you are here is because you are a Jew!