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Fathom 20 | Israel70 ‘Young Voices’: Reading Herzl’s Altneuland in 2018

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Asaf Yusufov is one of seven new generation voices featured in Fathom Journal this week. Asaf is a former counsellor and manager at Tel Aviv’s Barnoar (an LGBTQ Youth Club) and is currently media coordinator and video editor for Darkenu, a non-parliamentary political movement of ‘the moderate majority’.

I grew up in a patriotic Israeli family. My mother is a teacher and my father was seriously injured while serving in the Israeli Paratroopers. He is immensely proud of the country he loves, even though that love came at a cost.

I served as a commander in a special combat unit. My service took me to the northern parts of the country, to the desert in the south and to the West Bank. After that chapter of my life ended I went to college so study politics, my passion, and that meant that I was confronted with new and critical perspectives on Zionism, politics, and gender — basically of just about every aspect of my life. I found my old self was on a collision course with the reality of Israel; a reality I had not properly confronted, at least not with adequate knowledge and conceptual framework.

There are more than a few reasons to lose hope in Israel. Our politics have become more divisive and our politicians more corrupt. The hate that exists between segments of our population — especially between Jews and Arabs — is so tragic because it is so unnecessary. Most alarming of all is the effort underway by a small group of politicians who wish to undermine Israel’s liberal democracy and replace it with a conservative oligarchy that maintains its control over the Palestinians. And yet, as this storm rages in my mind, and as my heart shrinks in fear of where we are heading, I know that I must pick myself back up, and focus on breathing new life into my visions and my dreams for my homeland. READ MORE.