The optimism (and lack of knowledge beyond Ashkenazi Jews) in this journal entry for my AP Poli Sci class just kills me. This is probably the issue in which my views have most evolved over the last 18 years: March 2, 1994

I am so disappointed and hurt by the psychotic actions of the crazed Dr. Goldstein* in Israel. How can we ever expect to be taken seriously when we complain about terrorism and then we commit the same heinous crimes that we condemn? It is because of people like Dr. Goldstein, extremists, that other people hate Jews. OK, well, maybe not, but we'll never solve anything by acting the same way as our enemies. It is for that reason that I am glad that Rabbi Kahane** is dead.

It crushes me when a Jewish person commits an act of violence like that. I realize that no race is perfect, but it still makes me embarrassed to be Jewish. It's really weird because I usually consider myself proud to be Jewish. Over the last few years. I've become very aware of my Jewish heritage. In the past, when people would ask me what nationality I am, I'd say Russian and Polish. But recently I'd begun to rethink my position. True, my family came from these countries, but we don't have any of their customs. In fact, Jews were never considered to be Russian or Polish or whatever nationality, but Jews. They lived in separate towns (willingly or forced), spoke a different language, and had their own culture. They were a nation of people without a nation, scattered around the globe, connected by religion, culture, persecution, and language. Now when I'm asked what my background is, I say Jewish.

The point of all this is that every nationality needs a nation, and that's why Israel is so important. I don't want it to lose respect in the eyes of other nations because of some crazy. We have too much to lose. It just really upsets me that we've come this close to peace, and now it may be lost.

*This evil person killed 29 Muslim worshippers in Hebron: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Goldstein **I spit on his grave: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meir_Kahane

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