Israel’s 60th Birthday


Israel at 60: Its my Party and I’ll Cry if I Want to by Dave
May 4, 2008, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Israel's 60th Anniversary, Ron Prosor | Tags:

Celebrations of Israel’s Birthday are not going well in the UK or Israel.  Here Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador, got more than a little upset when his Birthday PR plans took a knock as over 100 prominent Jewish Anti-Zionists published an article in the Guardian.  He responded “a group such as this …with hate slogans like these – they deserve to be denounced and even ostracized.”  He labelled them – including Harold Pinter, Stephen Fry and Mike Marquesee, a “harebrained group trying to spoil our celebration.”

In Israel people are upset with ‘birthday bashers‘ such as myself, angry that Arab Israeli’s refuse to celebrate (threatening them with ethnic cleansing) and dismayed by the ongoing conflict (who wouldn’t be).

The following is a great post on how badly the celebrations are going – stolen from the excellent desertpeace blog:

Methinks Israel is in for a big surprise on it’s 60th birthday….. no one is in ‘ celebration mode’… or mood. The war, the economic situation, the recent scandals among high government officials could be part of the reason. The ongoing crisis between Israel and Palestine is probably the main factor, people on both sides of the wall are sick and tired of the needless killing.

In years gone by blue and white flags were visible everywhere…. on private cars, on windows and terraces….everywhere. I always thought of it as an ‘in your face’ demonstration against the people of Palestine that did NOT have a national day (or nation) to fly their flag. This year, a special one on the Israeli calendar, hardly a flag is flying. Yesterday, while strolling through my neighbourhood, I counted three cars that had flags attached to their windows. Everyone that purchased an Israeli newspaper yesterday received a large Israeli flag as a gift, compliments of one of the major banks here….. but those flags are NOT being displayed.

THIS article from the New York Times articulates a bit on the mood in Israel and the possible reasons for it. The attitude of many Jews living outside of Israel is “We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East.” That quote is taken from a letter that appeared in The Guardian earlier this week.

Man y notables were invited to attend the various celebrations that will take place…. many did not respond or declined or canceled. Barbara Streisand was among those that canceled. As a known supporter of Israeli causes in previous years, her cancellation was the most notable.
Jews of Conscience are called upon to sign the petition in THIS link. Many actions are planned throughout the world to memorialise the Nakba, rather than celebrate the creation of Israel. One of the most impressive is the one to take place in Chicago later t his month.

An action is planned right here in Jerusalem. On May 15, we will launch 21,915 (365 days x 60 years) black balloons over the skies of Jerusalem. We aim to turn the skies over Israel’s celebrations black to let people know that there is another side of the story, a side of heartache, suffering and dispossession. At the same time, each balloon will carry a letter from a Palestinian child expressing his/her hope for the future, to let the world know that we believe in and dream of justice. You can read about that HERE.

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