Only “our” dates matter

Gideon Levy, Haaretz, May 4:

In a short period of seven days the State of Israel dictates three times what its citizens should feel: They should grieve twice – on Holocaust Remembrance Day and on Memorial Day, and to be happy once – on Independence Day. These three days are commemorated in Israel with near zealous totality, a sort of missionary sanctity that appears to be intensifying over the years, including the issuing of fines to anyone violating the holiday’s laws.

The inspectors who check up on feelings fined thousands of people who opened their coffee shops and restaurants on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, including in Arab Jaffa. There is no democracy that mobilizes its forces to such an extent as to dictate to its citizens what they should feel and how they should behave on Memorial Day. Similarly, no other media like the Israeli media, rallies with such absolute commitment to the task, dedicating most of its print pages and hours of broadcasting to these three customs.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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