Whatever our opinions about Israel's claim on the territories, its attitude to Palestinian nationalism or its rights to self-defense, no one was asking us to risk our lives for Israel's sake.
I had neither the right nor privilege to challenge the government of Israel's decisions on how to protect its citizens. If I did so, I was in some way undermining that government and endangering Israel's existence in a hostile world.
In a cynical age such as ours, this parochial attitude might seem charmingly out of date. And yet, this central tenet of a Zionist education remained embedded in my consciousness throughout high school, through my student leadership days and even into my 30s, when I had to make strenuous efforts to channel my bitter opposition to the Oslo process into nonpublic activism.