Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blue and white axes and black balloons

Israeli Independence Day. Sixty-three years passed since the solemn ceremony in which a leader called David Ben-Gurion read out at the old Tel Aviv Museum a Declaration of Independence setting out an attractive set of enlightened democratic principles, which were immediately violated.

Sixty-three years have passed since six hundred thousand Jews went into the streets in an enormous outburst of joy and nightlong dancing at the news that a part of the country hitherto called Mandatory Palestine would be granted to them, to establish their independent state and be free in their own country. Nowadays, a futile effort is made to recreate that enormous outburst of joy by a night of wandering crowded streets and listening to the magnified voices of mediocre singers and waving of Blue-and-White national flags (to which some add the Stars-and-Stripes of the United States of America) and youngsters hitting each other with plastic hammers. This year was added a new hit, the plastic ax as tall as an average person, and of course the ax's blade also carries the national Blue-and-White.

It is also sixty-three years since the time when the Arab residents in this same country rose in protest and outrage at the news that the UN General Assembly decided by majority vote to grant to a Zionist Jewish state a big part of what they regarded as an Arab country, their own country inherited from their ancestors. Sixty-three years after the time when they tried hard to prevent the implementation of that resolution and failed utterly and suffered a most severe blow and were to pay a painful price (which they go on paying to this very day). And by the law which the Knesset enacted a short time ago, anyone who dares mention after sixty-three years the painful price paid by the Palestinians for the creation of Israel may be punished severe cutting of funds, as determined by the well-known philosopher Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Finance of the State of Israel. (The Coalition of Women for Peace today released hundreds of black balloons with the word Nakba into the air, inviting Knesset Members who object to this word to fly up and catch them.)

Today is also forty-four years less one month after the war in which the military forces of this country swept into the West Bank and Gaza Strip and created the Occupying Settling Greater Israel. The Greater Israel whose Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar appeared today at the opening ceremony of the International Youth Bible Contest and promised to send more and more Israeli pupils to visit the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron in order to strengthen them in them consciousness of our Bible-based exclusive Jewish right to the entire country from the sea to the Jordan.

May, 2011, four months to go in the countdown to September 2011, when the UN General Assembly is to convene and grant to the Palestinians to establish their independent state and be free in their own country and dance with joy in the streets and in later Independence Days make futile attempts to recreate this outburst of joy.

May 9, 2011. The day when Ninyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, proudly informed his fellow Israelis that Israel is a Beacon of Democracy Lighting the Skies of the Middle East, and President Shimon Peres explained that Israel never initiated a war and wars had always been imposed on us and our hand is of course always extended in peace, and Yoel Shalit was expelled by security guards from the official torch-lighting ceremony at Mount Herzl after demanding that the government bring back his brother Gilad, held five years by Hamas.

May 9, 2011, the Independence Day which Idan Landau, professor of linguistics at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and a political activist, spent behind bars in the Military Prison 6 at Atlit. Idan Landau was born in July 1967, a month after the birth of the occupation, and he informed the military authorities of his refusal to perform reserve service in an army whose main task and mission is to maintain the occupation. At the alternative torch-lighting ceremony, organized by the Yesh Gvul Movement for those who don't feel at home in the official Independence Day ceremonies, Idan Landau was honored in his absence with lighting one of the twelve torches.