Most of us are proud to be part of this state. Most of us think that life here is good. Most of us indeed like to whine, like any good Israeli does, yet at the same time we like to embrace and belong.
Most of us are patriots, and not as the last refuge of the scoundrel.
We created a state here from scratch, without economic potential, without natural energy resources, without broad international support, yet inexplicably it works. This is the world’s only Jewish state, and the only democratic state in the Middle East.
There is no shortage of problems, mishaps and complaints. The list is lengthy and real, yet once a year we are allowed to look at the glass three-quarters-full and celebrate.
We have a state that keeps on achieving new records in the fields of science and technology, despite the difficulties in our education system. A state that zealously safeguards its democracy and legal system, human rights and freedom of the press, despite the security dangers and the limits created as result of the war on terror.
We have a state where most citizens feel secure even when all hell breaks loose around us.
Mostly, we have a state where many of our young people still believe and want to change, even if some of our politicians seem more hollow and cynical than ever.
No place for cynicismIt is precisely today, when our flags are waving, that we should hold no cynicism, as our national heart sees the memories of the dead intermixing with the celebration of life. When political obstacles are removed, we can fantasize for a few hours about what we share and about that which is optimistic.
Israel is home to experts on separation and fear-mongering from the Left and Right. Some warn us about the fascists who wish to put an end to our democracy, while others warn us about the liberals who wish to terminate the Jewish state.
In reality, the fascists and Israel haters are insignificant margins. The rest want what’s best for the state and are merely arguing about the way to achieve it.
Nobody in Israel has a monopoly on Zionism. Those who refer to themselves as Zionists and are proud of it - are Zionists. Nobody in Israel has a prerogative on our achievements and success stories. Nobody has a textbook solution for this region, which we inherited from the days of the Bible.
And after the flags are taken down and the smoke of the barbecues dissipates, keep in mind that overall things are quite good here. Most importantly, there is no other choice, as we have no other state.