Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Yom Haatzmaut 2014

I'm a grateful American citizen, who has always been lukewarm about public celebrations. I don't always do something special on the fourth. I dislike parades. As a result I can relate to Haredi Israelis who prefer to sit out Yom Haatzmaut. Why are they required to show their gratitude or patriotism according to someone else's formula? There is more than one way to show gratitude. Moreover, it can be argued that its inappropriate and unnecessary to purposely and publicly demonstrate or show gratitude to an entity like a state (Personally, I think its somewhat creepy, and vaguely North Korean.)

I also don't see how its hypocritical to take services from a state without also participating in the state's rituals and celebrations. One can take services from a secular state without also being required to accept some set of beliefs about the state, its origins or its purpose. I don't need to believe in Manifest Destiny before I can take a welfare check, so why should any Israeli be asked to co-sign the Zionist founding stories? Am I hypocrite if I take services from the USA without also believing the various American founding myths? Uber patriotic American Christians probably think so, but I don't.

Someone could, for example, say that the state isn't from God because its the result of an unsanctioned ingathering of the exiles that violated one of the Three Oaths. As a result, this state of Israel is just like any other secular state -- not more or less significant. Just as I can take welfare money without beleiving in Manifest Destiny or subscribing to founding myths about how America is a shining city on a hill, or whatever, I can be an Israeli citizen with all the rights thereof without also subscribing to any of the Zionist narratives. That's a perfectly valid, logical and consistent position.

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