Photo: Ido Erez
In the moments between Memorial Day and Independence Day I ask myself: Are we really celebrating our independence, or merely the fact we live in Israel?
There is a great difference between living here, without letting go of our wandering Jew mentality, and independence. For me, independence means letting go of Diasporic Jewish patterns that accompanied us for 2,000 years.
However, to my regret, we are still captive to these Jewish, Shylock-style, cowardly patterns. We are still merchants who are led by money, instead of the values imparted by the real Zionists, who moved to Israel in order to build it and hold on to it.
Two-minute siren sounds across Israel in memory of 22,684 fallen soldiers, terror attack victims, followed by state ceremonies in 43 military cemeteries. 'Our loss is unbearable,' Prime Minister Netanyahu says on Mount Herzl, calls on Gilad Shalit's captors to release him
These people attempted to create a different kind of Israeli. A proud Israeli who would never again be willing to hear the word Zhid, or any other derogatory term for Jews. An Israeli who wants what’s best for the country, based on the realization that without our state there is no existence. An Israeli that understands the importance of a moral society.
One for all and all for one; and not necessarily at times of distress, but rather, every single day. An Israeli who is not ruled by the hunger for power and wealth, but rather, a desire for quality of life and a moral life. An Israeli who would not sell off his state to domestic enemies in exchange for some votes. An Israeli who would pick up an Israeli flag that was dropped on the road as not to dishonor it.
The Zionists who embarked on the mission of building this state did not dream that we will reach a time where some jobs are no longer respectable, but rather, everyone has to become a lawyer. The Zionists who embarked on building this country dreamt that everyone will work, and that there will be no sectors that feel they deserve something from the state, or free-riders who use the excuse of studying the Torah.
The people who gave us this country held a dagger in one hand and a book in the other. They did not grant gifts in exchange for votes. They also did not hand out presents to the enemies from within, who are taking over shamelessly and with no regard to the laws, duties, and rights of the state they live in.
The real Zionists did not imagine that a time will come when the Israeli government will become corrupt and so huge, at the public’s expense; they did not imagine that the corruption of our leaders, industrialists, and religious clerics will rule the country with such great might and chutzpa.
These real Zionists were naïve enough to start building a wonderful state for us; their sons died on behalf of this state and our sons continue to die for it.
So precisely during the moments between Memorial Day and Independence Day, I ask: Where are we heading to from here?
Miki Goldwasser, Udi's mother
Miki Goldwasser is the mother of fallen IDF soldier Ehud Goldwasser