Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Post-Zionist Yom Ha'Atzmaut

One might think that at least one day a year, on Yom Ha'atzmaut - Israel's Independence Day, that the right and the left, the religious and the secular could unite in expressing their appreciation for the existence of the Jewish State of Israel.

That being said, I was very troubled by Ha'aretz's special coverage of Yom Ha’Atzmaut. One would expect that even the ultra secular, leftist Ha'aretz, would one day of the year put aside their post-Zionist agenda and devote themselves to expressing pride and thanks for the (Jewish) State of Israel.

Quite to the contrary, Ha'aretz seemed to use the occasion to achieve the exact opposite agenda, publishing one article after another which sought to demoralize any spirit of hope and pride that anyone in Israel might feel towards the Jewish State.

Here are the top (bottom?) 10 articles that Ha'aretz published in their Independence Day Supplement and Magazine sections (along with the brief description provided by Ha'aretz):

1) The country that wouldn't grow up - Tony Judt

At 58, Israel has no friends aside from the U.S. and its claims of victimhood and anti-Semitism are falling on increasingly deaf ears. The time has come to mature.

Like a middle-aged man, Israel has lost its youth and ideals, and is focused now on covering up the bald spots.

3) Impressed, their press - Danny Rubinstein

Why are Arab newspapers flooded with translations of Hebrew articles on a daily basis, and yet Israeli publications run nothing from Arab journalists?

An internal army study has come up with an unavoidable conclusion: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is irresolvable. The challenge is how to live with this persistent confrontation without going mad.

5) Reexamining an old ethos - Uri Dromi

Perhaps myths concerning Israel's 'few' against the enemies' 'many' continue to exist no matter what, and are even beneficial. This anthology proposes that they be approached with caution.

6) A garden of unearthly delights - Esther Zandberg

Today's generation of Israeli gardens are free of ideology and seasonal change - sometimes even of soil - and have been neutralized of any sign of identity.

Jerusalem's Arab houses inspire Israeli architects, but to Palestinians, they represent a catastrophic memory and the erasure of their national identity.

What if the cleaning lady-spy had not found the torn-up papers that whipped up the Dreyfus affair? And Theodor Herzl had not been stirred to write 'The Jewish Nation'?

Two imaginary scenarios about the very real threat of the Iranian bomb.

10) My good God, let me be free - Yochi Brandes

For as long as I remember myself, I was attracted to that other world, the free one. The very desire of an ultra-Orthodox girl to belong to the other camp shows the special relationship that existed between the religious and the secular in 1970s Israel.

On the bright side, there's always Barbara Sofer of the Jerusalem Post, who shares with us what has now become a Yom Ha'atzmaut staple, with her column, 58 reasons why I love Israel.

It's nice to see that within the mainstream Israeli media, there are still a few Barbara Sofer's out there who are thankful for the privilege of living as a proud Jew in the Jewish State of Israel, and who try to instill those sentiments through her writing within the hearts of the the People of Israel.



I would disagree with you about your claim that these articles show an attempt to go against the national, Zionist spirit.

Most of them are completely unrelated to the Zionist/Post-Zionist debate, but one is actually a very Zionist article which I enjoyed immensely. Yochi Brandes' article was about her yearning to be free - chofshi (a term used to describe hilonim before the term hiloni was thought up.) This is in fact exactly in the spirit of the National Anthem and her personal longing corresponds to our national longing to be Am Chofshi b'artzeinu. Her longing was to be free of the clutches of stifling Hareidut. And she succeeded, just as Zionism has partially succeeded in freeing the Jewish people from the prison of rabbinic control. May the Zionist revolution continue and may all Jews be free from the religious oppression of the rabbis!

Back from Oz,


By Anonymous H, at Thu May 04, 01:35:00 PM GMT+3  

Right then. So you'd have really enjoyed the alternative torchlighting ceremony I went to...

BTW I replied to your comment on my blog.

By Blogger tafka PP, at Thu May 04, 01:36:00 PM GMT+3  

Baruch HaBa, H. Have I missed you...

By Blogger tafka PP, at Thu May 04, 01:37:00 PM GMT+3  

H, welcome back. We've missed you.

How was Peasach in the Exile of Oz?

I never said that Ha'aretz was going against the Zionist spirit, I said that they were rejecting the spirit of pride and thanks for there being a Jewish State.

Furthermore, even if you want ot argue that tese articles are not post-Zionist, of the 17 articles, the vast majority are completely negative towards the Jewish State.

Can't there be one day of the year where ha'aretz can hold back on their negativity of everything that they beleive is wrong with this country and just reflect on how great it is that there is a Jewish State?

is that really asking so much?

And, PP, I replied to your reply to your post. And now, with H back, you dont have to feel so lonely here anymore.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Thu May 04, 02:31:00 PM GMT+3  

spots can't change their color.They only get dirtier.

By Anonymous daat y, at Fri May 05, 02:06:00 AM GMT+3  

In their mindset, these are Israel-oriented, therefore very suitable.

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