28 April '17..
Or: How did nationalism get such a bad rap? And: What’s a proud Israeli to do?
People on the left side of the political spectrum talk about nationalism as if it is a dirty word, something to be discarded for global(homogen)ization.
During the election campaign in the USA, many Americans expressed the sense that they care more for the greater common good of humanity than they do to “Make America Great Again”. Europeans fear a Le Pen win, in part because she may try to take France out of the European Union and revert to putting national interests above those of the European continent as a whole.
Israelis who support the two-state solution (TSS) argue that possession of rocks and buildings, central as they may be to Jewish history and our identity formation as a people, do not over-ride concern for the well-being of another group of people who claim ownership over this same land and these same buildings. TSS’ers say that Israeli national interests cannot be ethical if they are achieved and maintained at the expense of the national interests of the Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians.
Some TSS’ers may even deplore celebrations of our national pride, such as Jerusalem Day, arguing that marching through the Old City of Jerusalem holding flags and singing — “as if” we own the place — is insulting and humiliating to the Arabs who feel oppressed by us. Out of compassion, we are supposed to accept Naqba demonstrations at our universities as legitimate protests facing off against our own Israel Independence Day celebrations, and perhaps even to feel a little bit guilty about having won wars waged against us and not having agreed to lie down and die.
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