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The Only Democracy? » Discrimination » Mandatory Patriotism?

Mandatory Patriotism?

I am amazed at how the Israeli National Anthem only references the experiences of the Jewish citizens of Israel. Given that its lyrics are in Hebrew, and reference Jews and Zion, it seems unlikely to me that it would have much positive meaning for Palestinian citizens of Israel, among others.

Not to the Israeli Education Ministry, however. They relieved “Mouad Biadasi of his position as Arab sector youth representative at the National Youth Council Conference because he refused to stand for the national anthem.

Biadasi’s statement shows a deeper commitment to democracy and history then his own government’s actions.

“I and the students I represent, members of the Arab sector, are all equal citizens and the state must treat us as such. No one can make us stand for an anthem that doesn’t represent us, nor to accept symbols that are not ours. The solution to this should come from education, and I call on the education minister to take this seriously.”

Elie Sulieman’s Chronicle of a Disappearance caused a similar stir when he depicted his elderly parents falling asleep in front of a television playing “Hatikvah” Seems a reasonable response on their part. Clip is about 5 minutes in.

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JESSE BACON (Philadelphia) is a freelance activist and father. He has a Masters in teaching from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is an observant progressive Jew, and is trying to be a good ally for Palestinians and all dispossessed peoples, while staying true to the best traditions in Judaism. He visited Israel and Palestine in 1996, 2001, and 2002. He served for three years on the local steering committee of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, and one year on the board of Pursue the Peace in Seattle. Read his posts here.

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