Uri Avnery – “Rest has come to the Weary…”
It is also a feast of homeland songs. On television one sees groups of white-haired oldsters surrounded by their children and grandchildren fervently singing the songs of their youth, the words of which they know by heart.
“Rest has come to the weary / And repose to the toiler / A pale night spreads / Over the fields of the Valley of Jezreel / Dew below and the moon above / From Beit-Alfa to Nahalal…” The camera focuses on the furrowed face of a grandmother with wet eyes, and it is not hard to imagine her as the beautiful girl she once was. It is easy to see her in a Jezreel kibbutz, with short pants and a long braid swinging behind her, smiling, bowed over tomato plants in the communal vegetable garden.
Nostalgia is having a field-day.
I ADMIT that I am not free from this nostalgia. Something happens to me, too, when I hear the songs, and I join in them involuntarily.
Like many others, I am suffering from “cognitive dissonance”. The heart and the head are not coordinated. They operate on different wavelengths. In other words: my head knows that the Zionist enterprise has imposed a historic injustice on the people who lived in this land. But my heart remembers what we felt in those days…