Photo: Yoav Galai
Frivolous vanities. Avraham
Photo: Yoav Galai

What are we celebrating?

As concept of independence becomes ambiguous, Assaf Wohl suggests politicians trade military parade for their own march – straight home

Dear Ruhama Avraham-Balila,


I, as the rest of the people in Israel, was exulted to hear you were chosen to head the committee planning Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations.


Tears of joy filled my eyes as I learned of the possibility to hold a military parade as part of the celebrations. I must confess I got a little choked up when I saw the mega-patriotic logo designed for us by Eyal Arad's PR firm. This feat by Arad Communications will most certainly be remembered in the history of Israel, spoken of in the same breath as the bravery of the Armor Corp's 7th Brigade in the Yom Kippur War and the paratroopers' liberation of Jerusalem.


There is only one problem, madam minister. You see, along with the legitimate complaints about the outrageous spending, someone should have told you – we are no longer independent.


In case you haven't noticed, we have become enslaved to international public opinion. Our politicians, Ruhama, would rather cry over the finest of our sons and citizens rather that stand for a UN censure. You, Ruhama, have made us the measly vassals of pompous admen and PR firms, which set our national agenda. You have created a new Israel, enslaved to greedy, favor-chasing – and lately skirt-chasing – politicians; just so we won't get bored.


Just what independence are we celebrating? Israel is no longer a sovereign state. Entire sectors treat it as their own, giving no consideration to any governing rule and lifting themselves above the law. They do not comply with the mandatory drat law; their villages and neighborhoods are closed off to the police and the military, and they wave the flags of out worst enemies under every hill and green tree – even in the greater Tel Aviv area.


Islands in which independent hostile entities exist are growing wider. We have scarce control over Wadi Ara and the Galilee area; and the same goes for most of the Negev. Israel's state symbols are no where to be found in these areas. On the contrary – they are burned and disgraced.


Parading in vain

Even when it comes to education, many have excluded themselves form the general obligations which apply to the Israeli citizens. They do not teach core studies, they preach against the State and against democracy – all sanctioned by the ruling party you're a member of.


What use are military parades to us? Just a few days ago we learned that the resourcefulness of a kindergarten teacher saved dozens of babies from being massacred. Why then, isn't she marching instead of the military? It is most likely to cost considerably less. Well, Ruhama, this is not what independence is.


No, Ruhama, I don't feel like coming to your party. I don't feel like taking part in your dandification, in tooting horns which are not yours to toot. Israel is forging on despite your kind of politicians, not because of them. And yes, Israel can look back with pride; but what about looking ahead?


Then again, since I don't want to be a spoilsport, allow me to offer an alternative parade to your one of vanities: You can lead this parade, alongside your friends from the ruling party. The forwards in this march will be the prime minister, who will be marching directly to his home (any of them will do). He shall be accompanied by failing ministers and shrieking MKs; and proudly trailing after them will be all the lobbyists, the spokespeople, the admen, the spin-doctors and all rest of the good-for-nothings who have led our county to the brink of abyss.


Go home, all of you. Make way for some new hope. I promise to be the first one to cheer that kind of a parade on. No, Ruhama, it is not too late. You can still give us something to celebrate.


Happy Independence Day.


פרסום ראשון: 03.31.08, 23:11
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