web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Why I Boycotted The Israel Day Parade

For the first time in 16 years, I did not attend the Israel Day Parade. This was not due to a conflicting schedule that prevented me from going, albeit with misgivings and guilt-feelings.
 
I did not go because I chose not to go; because I could not bring myself to cheer on a country represented by a government with policies colored by corrupt and self-destructive tendencies.
 
I did not go because, though the absence of one individual could in no way even begin to make a dent in the multitudes that attended, it was my personal way of protesting a government that destroyed the lives of nine thousand people in Gaza and jeopardizes the lives of thousands more in Judea and Samaria. I did not go because I no longer have the same pride in the State of Israel that I once did.

Following last summer’s disengagement from Gush Katif – the culmination of the retreatist and pacifist moves by the Israeli government since Oslo – I suffered a long bout of depression. I do not think I am alone in stating that the very core of my belief in the verity of the State of Israel was challenged. If this is how a government representing the Jewish people could behave – if the lives of its citizens could be jeopardized to suit the personal gains of its politicians, as many have suggested – then maybe I’d been duped.

Maybe those individuals with whom I’ve had intense debates over the validity and role of the State of Israel were right after all. Maybe we should wait until Moshiach comes to welcome a sovereign Jewish presence in the Holy Land.

For a long time I was unable to shake this inner turmoil. I played out both sides of the debate in my mind, trying to find a resolution within myself. I felt bitterness and estrangement from a country I had held up as an ideal for so many years. A new wave of depression would come over me whenever Hatikvah was sung at public gatherings – Hatikvah, the national anthem of Israel, which once filled me with such tremendous pride and longing.

How regretful I am that my children are now used to hearing me rant on the subject of Israel – me, who’d grown up only singing Israel’s praises.

I finally found solace in something that, while it may not seem novel or brilliant to anyone else, served as a satisfying explanation for me and a conclusive refutation of my nagging doubts. Quite simply, I hit upon the commonly used clich? “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.”

Yes, Israel’s government is more often than not corrupt and dissolute. Yes, a majority of its citizens are profoundly misdirected and indifferent. Yes, the country that once symbolized strength and perseverance in the face of immeasurable odds is now dominated by pacifism and strife.

But is the actual country of Israel to blame? Is the concept of a Jewish state any less valid just because many of its people are not meritorious? Are the accomplishments of its increasingly isolated settlers, or the Torah learning of its sincerely devout, any less meaningful because they come not from the secular mainstream but from the ideologically driven?

Just as the Torah is not in any way diminished in its ultimate value because the Jewish people do not live up to its teachings, so too, I feel, should the concept of a Jewish national renaissance in the land of Israel not be disparaged. The holiness of the land is not devalued because of the lack of holiness among its inhabitants.

I am still a believer in the ideals of Zion. I love the land of Israel as much now as ever before. I think the inner struggle I went through strengthened my appreciation for the land and ingrained in me an even more fierce desire to try, in any way an individual can, to speak out against the self-destructive policies of Israel’s current leaders.

The miracles that Hashem performed for the Jewish people in Israel in the wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973; in the Entebbe rescue of 1976; in the Iraqi reactor strike in 1981 – all should be testament to Hashem’s validation of the existence of the State of Israel and His wish for the Jewish people to safeguard the Holy Land.

A single individual may question the course of history, criticize leaders whose actions or inaction has affected that history, and quake at the prospect of history repeating itself. But in the end, I have learned that we should not discard the ideals we have held dear simply because the implementers of those ideals have failed us.

If we can let go of our dreams so quickly after a struggle, than we have failed ourselves. Hopefully things will change for the better, and next year I will be proud to attend the parade.

Sara Lehmann, formerly an editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, is currently a mother and freelance editor residing in Brooklyn.

About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why I Boycotted The Israel Day Parade”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yamam Hebron Shootout
Israel SWAT Team Exchanging Fire with Hamas Kidnappers in Hebron [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
William Safire

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”

Whatever one has to say about Iran, it does have clout in the Middle East and the Gulf region and could play a key role in addressing the ISIS threat.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe states that every member of Klal Yisrael is dependent on the entire nation just as a leaf depends on the tree from which it grows.

“Israel must prepare for waves of immigrants from Arab countries, which may endanger its existence”

“I pray that fellow Jews open their eyes & connect themselves to the national side of being a Jew”

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

Research shows that high doses of marijuana can produce acute psychotic reactions, lower IQ in teens

The current missionary problem in Samaria is still relatively unknown throughout Israel&to most Jews

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

More Articles from Sara Lehmann
Charles Krauthammer

You’re not going to change public opinion. The media are so biased you can’t get your story through. But what counts is America.

John Bolton

I understand how two governments can negotiate a ceasefire, but terrorists by definition are not playing by the same rules as you are.

Like all patriotic Americans, I cheered implementation of the Bush Doctrine to preemptively protect American lives from the perceived threat of WMD.

Though the school district eventually pulled the assignment after coming under pressure, the fact that an American school would ask its students to debate whether the Holocaust was “merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain” is both astounding and frightening.

It is not the role of schools or government to make people feel good about themselves. Self-esteem comes with productivity, not in the absence of it.

Despite the exodus thousands of years ago and our break from the ghettos hundreds of years ago, the slave mentality follows us like a long shadow.

While Brooklyn College is famed for its plethora of Jewish professors and students, it is not a Jewish institution. The 92nd Street Y is. According to its own mission and history statement, it’s “a proudly Jewish institution since its inception.”

In a recent tirade on a public radio station in Albany, Governor Cuomo lambasted New York conservatives in one broad stroke. While lashing out against New Yorkers who oppose his SAFE Act, a draconian gun-control bill rammed through the New York legislature soon after the Newtown massacre, Cuomo targeted all Republicans and conservatives as the enemy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/why-i-boycotted-the-israel-day-parade/2006/06/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: