For the first time since I moved to Israel, I will not be hanging a flag for Independence Day. It makes me very sad, but my husband feels very strongly about it, and his happiness is more important to me than a piece of cloth, no matter what it symbolizes to me.
He didn't, however, mention anything about blogging about it. (ah the beauty of loopholes).
Y's claim against Zionism is that the country of Israel was created for a specific kind of Jew. I'll buy that. There are a lot of dirty little secrets in the history of the country. There are stories of stolen Yemenite children, systematic removal of religion from newcomers, and more.
It's true that religious Jews were placed in non-religious kibbutzim to help them "get over all that backwards religion stuff." Last year, after our seder, one of our guests, an older man, said that he hadn't been at such a nice seder since he left Europe. He meant that he hadn't been at a religious seder since then, since he'd been placed on a kibbutz here in Israel.
So why am I still a Zionist? It's complicated. First, I have difficulty separating between the land and the country, because I know that the land I live on was fought for by secular Zionists and religious Jews alike. I know that the Zionists formed this country for some of the wrong reasons, but also for a lot of the right reasons. Since the country of Israel came into existence, any Jew can live in the land of Israel, for the first time in 2000 years.
Yesterday, I was at my niece's school for a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony. My niece was one of the soloist singers, and she was excellent, but what really bowled me over was hearing a hundred or more children singing "Hatikva" - the hope.
"Hatikva bat shnot alpayim" - The hope is two thousand years old
"L'hiyot am hofshi b'artzenu" - to be a free nation in our land
"Eretz Zion V'Yerushalayim" - the land of Zion and Jerusalem.
These children are growing up in the land of Israel, they have never experienced this hope, yet they are learning about it. They are learning that we waited two thousand years to live here.
And they live here.
If that's not a miracle, I can't imagine what would be.
*This post was sponsored by DrSavta.com, who provided the ride to the ceremony, as well as some of the raw material which created the aforementioned niece.