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We do have a wonderful country after all
Photo: EPA
Raanan Shaked

In Israel we feel at home

Op-ed: After 65 years, Israel is a real safe haven and safety net. It's here for us, all the time

It's been 65 years and we haven't gotten used to it yet, huh?

 

Sixty-five years, and it still seems like a big deal to us, that there is an entire country here that is totally ours, in our hands, under our control, without a responsible adult to actually tell us what to do.

 

We are independent. With an entire country to run. It's been 65 years and we still haven't gotten used to it. That must be the reason why for 65 years we are stunned, every year, by the fact that there is a "state budget" to approve. And for 65 years we are amazed that our roads are flooded with rain every winter and that the drainage system collapses. And for 65 years we are shocked by the way we litter nature on holidays. And for 65 years we don't believe – excluding short breaks perhaps – that there will be real peace here, but we definitely believe – excluding short breaks perhaps – that things will be better here. For us. For our children. Somehow. At some point.

 

And here and there we say to ourselves: Perhaps this whole independence thing is a bit too much for us. Was it so bad with the British here? After all, those guys know how to make a reasonable cup of tea, they have a queen – and not, like us, a king of Israel – and with all their rain, Lake Kinneret's water level would never go below their underground, which is marvelous in itself.

 

But for 65 years now, we know that this is our independent place – mainly because we fought for it for too long with too many people to give in to them, or to ourselves, right now. And besides, look at this place! The weather is magnificent almost all year round, the scenery includes everything – from snow to a desert, the food is the best in the world, the coffee is like in Italy. We do have a wonderful country! Well, maybe besides that thing with, you know, the people. We still have to work with them a bit, but we're optimistic that eventually we'll turn them into human beings.

 

Sixty-five years, and we've reached the place we didn't want to get to – children in distress selling Israeli flags made in China at intersections – and the place we wanted to get to: We buy the flags from them in order to wave them on our Japanese, European and BMW cars on our way to our private, mortgaged homes.

 

Sixty-five years, and the State of Israel is our fourth biggest achievement after three Eurovision wins. Sixty-five years, and Israel is a real safe haven and safety net, and so well-established that we hardly think of it that way on a daily basis. There is no need. It's here for us, all the time. Sixty-five years, and Israel is all we have. That's quite a lot. We don't always know what to do with all that, but we do know for sure that we wouldn't have accepted any other arrangement.

 

Sixty-five years of independence. We haven't quite gotten used to it yet, but we're already used to the one thing there's no chance we'll give up on: Feeling at home.

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 04.16.13, 15:22
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