The mandatory remembrance #Nakba64

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Identity is a matter of memory

Both collective & individual.

Attending commemoration ceremonies is a fundamental experience for any person who was educated as a Zionist. We commemorate the holocaust, the destruction of the first, second temples,  the exodus. And we commemorate the soldiers that were killed in Israel's wars. That is how we learn that we Jews are  among the endangered species, that our existence is always threatened,  that we are in constant struggle to survive, and because of that we must preserve the Jewish territorial sovereignty. However, some of us, including myself, take off the beaten track, and become aware of the other narratives: . Jews might not be the "chosen" people,  we might  be no superior than any other people,  confusion  wither or not Judaism is a race, religion, or nationality.

The foundation of Israel didn't resolve the problem of Anti-semitism & in fact, it might have  made it worse The foundation of Israel, might have not been a messianic miracle, but a catastrophe, a tragedy for other people.

Such awareness made me feel alienated from my Israeli identity, from the society I was born & raised in, my own past thoughts & believes.  I think this sense of alienation made me feel that I have to attend Nakba commemoration events. I think I  was not the only Israeli who felt that. My friends, other Israelis attended Nakba commemoration events held in Tel Aviv & Har Hazofim universities. Those joint gatherings, drew a lot of criticism & fire from right wing Zionists, who usually refer to pro-Palestinian Israeli activists as "people who forgot what it's like to be Jews" or "self hating Jews" thus referring to the hole that  is torn  in our sense of  Zionist once we give up on the remembrance of our history that is based on Zionist narratives.

My friend, who has been an activist slammed me & other people who felt  "compelled" to attend Nakba ceremonies. "You just replace one  thing with an other, attending commemoration gatherings is such a Zionist behavior, that is by no way "mandatory", the Nakba is continuous, on going, Israelis who are truely activists are aware of it every day".

Yes, perhaps she is right, but she already established her identity by long years of protests, activism, doing things that help her define herself as who she is: a conscious objector. But that doesn't apply to me. I need to hear, learn, memorize, absorb what it is that happened to the other people, to the Palestinian people who lived here, live here & will return. I need to do that so I can fill the void I have inside of me,  knowing that the past as I knew it does not exist.

 

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