Why I Didn’t Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut by Rabbi Brant Rosen
Rabbi Brant Rosen of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston IL blogs. His 29 April posting was about the Nakba:
“I didn’t celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut today. I don’t think I can celebrate this holiday any more.
That doesn’t mean I’m not acknowledging the anniversary of Israel’s independence – only that I can no longer view this milestone as a day for celebration. I’ve come to believe that for Jews, Yom Ha’atzmaut is more appropriately observed as an occasion for reckoning and honest soul searching.
As a Jew, as someone who has identified with Israel for his entire life, it is profoundly painful to me to admit the honest truth of this day: that Israel’s founding is inextricably bound up with its dispossession of the indigenous inhabitants of the land. In the end, Yom Ha’atzmaut and what the Palestinian people refer to as the Nakhba are two inseparable sides of the same coin. And I simply cannot separate these two realities any more…”
The article contains a link to a piece by Amaya Galili of Zochrot that appeared in Hebrew in Yediot Aharonot :
“The Israeli collective memory emphasizes the Jewish-national history of the country, and mostly denies its Palestinian past. We, as a society and as individuals, are unwilling to accept responsibility for the injustice done to the Palestinians, which allows us to continue living here. But who decided that’s the only way we can live here? The society we’re creating is saturated with violence and racism. Is this the society in which we want to live? What good does it do to avoid responsibility? What does that prevent us from doing?
Here is the full Galili article in translation.