it, at least, like thousands of other typical
Jewish kids of my generation, I was reared as
a Jewish nationalist, even a quasi-separatist.
Every summer for two months for 10 formative
years during my childhood and adolescence I
attended Jewish summer camp. There, each
morning, I saluted a foreign flag, dressed in
a uniform reflecting its colors, sang a
foreign national anthem, learned a foreign
language, learned foreign folk songs and
dances, and was taught that Israel was the
true homeland. Emigration to Israel was
considered the highest virtue, and, like many
other Jewish teens of my generation, I spent
two summers working in Israel on a collective
farm while I contemplated that possibility.
More tacitly and subconsciously, I was taught
the superiority of my people to the gentiles
who had oppressed us. We were taught to view
non-Jews as untrustworthy outsiders, people
from whom sudden gusts of hatred might be
anticipated, people less sensitive,
intelligent, and moral than ourselves. We were
also taught that the lesson of our dark
history is that we could rely on no one."
Steinlight, Stephen. (2001). Backgrounder.
Center for Immigration Studies. October.