A Second Chance to Make Palestine Green

by Art Serotoff

I feel a special connection with Israel, it and I are exactly the same age. I was born in 1948. My household, composed of parents, grandparents and my family was committed to “turning the desert into a lush paradise”. I remember the blue and white “pushke” box. It seemed ubiquitous, every place I looked there was one. My grandma solicited funds for trees in Israel. At funerals, family members and friends wanted a donation of trees rather than money or anything else in memory of our departed relative. Kibbutzim were described in idyllic phrases with images of young strong kibbutzniks tilling the land. We, as Jews were bound to support this. In fact, we felt honored to support this. Another tenet of “faith” was that the Arabs hated us and they were always ready to “push us into the sea”. We needed to be strong and defend our “Jewish Homeland”. The Six-Day War proved how strong we were.
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