My Photo

Upcoming Events

  • Esther Kustanowitz - Consulting & Freelancing
    Whether you need a content plan, communications strategies, or a social media orientation, I can help you. Reasonable rates available - contact me at esther.kustanowitz at

@EstherK on Twitter

Become a Fan

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« From the Israel Notebooks: On Hebrew | Main | Because Nothing Says Zionism Like Junk Food »


Doctor Bean

Yes, the people are much more important than the land. But the people whom you love who will serve in war are making their sacrifices not for the land, but for the people at home so that they may know a time without rocket attacks and without suicide bombers. It's people sacrificing to protect people. The people back at home who are being protected also probably include lots of people you love -- the soldiers' families, neighbors, etc. Your wish that they didn't have to make the sacrifice isn't a failure of your Zionism; you're just scared for them. But they're much more scared of the consequences of not fighting -- war without end, emboldened enemies on multiple fronts, no Israeli safe. Fighting means terrible sacrifice for the soldiers; not fighting means worse for everyone. They're going willingly. Honor that. Zionism isn't about the land. It's simply asserting (unfortunately every generation) that young Jews will fight if necessary so that other Jews will have a safe homeland.

Pray for victory. Peace will follow.

Shabbat shalom.


wow, thanks Esther for this uber honest post, it was touching!

I don't know what else to say other than thanks for sharing this part of yourself with me/us.

take care.

Some Loser

If you can find it Esther I suggest you read the historical novel Stalingrad by Theoder Pleiver.


For me, Israel is Home; perhaps it is those who have felt displaced in their lives who feel it the most.

I admire your honesty.


This isn't a Zionist failure, but a success in compassion

Some Loser

It's a shame military service isnt spread more across the socio-economic spectrum Esther. If guys like Ron served they might not be such blood thirsty advocates of America making war. And this would be to their own benefit and also the rest of us.

I'll tell you sometimes War is necessary, my own Glorious Ancestors served and fought to free the slaves and perserve the Union back in the 1860's.

I cant say Israel isnt justified in battling Hezbollah, Hezbollah did start it. But along the lines of your concern for friends/relatives being called up for military service in Israel. Remember what Sun Zhu said in "The Art of War".

"Anger can return to joy.

"Estrangement can return to intimacy.

"But the dead stay dead".

So I hope a more peaceful path was not missed, for the sake of all those killed in the last few weeks and those destined to be killed in the coming days.



Hey Loser,

What? Did your ancestors serve in the military? Gee, I don't think I read that before! What say that again! Did your ancestors serve in the military? Gee, that's SO NEW to us! What? Did John Kerry spend time in Vietnam? Gee, never heard THAT before either. This whole act of yours is getting whiny because since you are WRONG on every issue on which you choose to argue, you have to do your broken record act about military service.

And besides your faux friendly attitude to Esther, you are also a Jew-hater, and I'm not going to let you forget the ugly things you wrote. I still have a copy.

Let's face it, crocodile tears, you'll still vote for Hillary Clinton over John McCain. I'm also guessing you did NOT vote for George Bush and Bob Dole in 1988, 1992, and 1996.

Esther, I am sincerely glad you are safe. Thanks for all the hard work you do, and for your beautiful writing. Here's an idea just for yucks -- write something in support of the liberation of Iraq just to see Loser try to censor you as well. See how much of a friend he really is!

Some Loser

Yes Ron, I and those who preceeded my directly by blood over the past 300 years did serve when military service was necessary and the fruit or our service is a civil peaceful society where all can safely live and prosper regardless of race, creed and national origin. Rather than call names and tell lies about me you should show me some appreciation.

I'll admit I did tell you off via email pretty good but they have a saying in the American South. "Never say a thing about a man unless you know it's true". When you posted insulting lies concerning my sympathy for the unneeded slaughter of Iraqi civilians plus some other BS I cant remember about me, I reacted strongly to say the least.


OK, Ron and Some Loser...this is the Hall Monitor speaking: you guys are done. Wanna argue over this and slander each other? Do it offline or somewhere else. Any further such comments will be deleted. Ya feel me?

ccs178 (Chris)

You think the Union fought to free the slaves, well you....

Just kidding, Esther. It is a great post and from where I stand, I'd say that you don't have any reason to be ashamed.


Scary stuff. I'm happy to report that most of my family who reside in Israel made it here safely fo their usual August visit. Not so happy about the fact that it's almost army time for the two oldest boys.
I commend those brave enough to take on all that comes with living there and knowing that your time to serve will come eventually.


Great post.



OK, point well taken. But I have a warning for you: Be careful of any "unquestion [sic] support for Israel." After all, it "causes you to believe lies and encourage unnecessary war."

Just trying to keep you out of trouble with a certain


You put people ahead of ideas and that's as it should be.

What is Zionism, or any nationalism for that matter, but an idea? Where ideas help, nurture and protect people they are to be cherished and supported. Where ideas harm people they are to be questioned and discarded. The question of course is just how inclusive is your definition of people? Nationalism of all stripes is inherently divisive. Mind you, I haven't got a better idea than nations to organize the world.

Some Loser

OK Esther your wish is my command :-)


Well-said. Glad you made it back safely.


Good post, Esther. I think there are plenty of Israelis, particularly parents of those who are serving in the IDF right now who agree with you. Nobody wants to sacrifice their loved ones or themselves and it is natural optimism as well as a sense of confidence in their leadership that help support them in these difficult times. There is the knowing sense, also, that there is no other choice - their backs are to the sea.

Nah, Esther, the only place where your Zionism fails is that you live in New York instead of Israel. On that front, we all are mere armchair Zionists. ;)

Ariel Beery

Absolutely beautiful post. The land is just Canaan without the people--it is the people who make up Israel. On the other hand, the people will have no home without sacrifice--and no one to protect them from the forces of hatred without the State. Thus, fighting for our People is a sacrifice that many of us are willing to make when the time comes--that is Zionism: the understanding that Jews need to take our collective destiny in our own hands; that we will no longer be powerless individuals at the whim of other nations.

The comments to this entry are closed.