Why do Israelis get so hung up about their Independence Day?

Israelis are often seen as emotional humans. Like the indigenous fruit to the country, sabra, they may be soft and sweet inside, but outwardly they can be very prickly.

Just look at events in Israel during the Spring. Today, Thursday, the nation is celebrating 64 years of its independence. Only yesterday, it was Memorial Day to commercorate those that had fallen in the wars since 1948. And last week the country honoured Holocaust Day in the name of the six million who perished during World War Two.

There are many ways to connect all the events. For example, as one local rabbi observed, the numbers killed in the wars is now close to 24,000, which is approximately how many were gassed each day in Auschwitz. With all those mixed and raw emotions running lose and in such a tight period of time, who would not become a tough overwrought?

Even so, the problem remains how to explain the importance of Independence to non-Israelis. Naturally, you can recall stories of wars and of persecutions from the past. You can point out the existential threats, like Iran, of the present. However, these are negative in context.

You can refer to the spin of Israel being the only country in the Middle East, where the Christian community is growing in size. Where else can a woman become a Prime Minister or head of the Supreme Court? And how many other countries that have gained independence since 1948 have then remained so pluralistic and democratic, and that is despite the on-going geopolitical issues?

But again, while these make for great explanations, there is something more basic in the works. It is the rare, fundamental and engaging beauty of the country, a transformation that is unique to Israel and makes the country a pleasure to live in. 

How to describe it? Let’s start with 21C, a great website, which shows Israel “beyond the conflicts”. Be it hightech or swimwear or special integration techniques, Israel seems to offer it. But still, I am looking for something more.

I somewhat found the answer in a small but growing blog called “the Real Jerusalem Streets“. In many ways, the blog is describing ordinary life in yet another city in the world. However, it is not just the site’s great photography that brings matters home to you through your screen. The reader is offered an opportunity to reach out at the buzz going in the country, the very hype which makes this such a wonderfully varied and dynamic place for all to live in.

It’s the noise, the creativity, the dynamism, the building of the proverbial next step. That is why Israelis love their Independence Day and also want the rest of the world to have a little share in their moment of joy.

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One Comment on “Why do Israelis get so hung up about their Independence Day?”


  1. […] Why do Israelis get so hung up about their Independence Day? […]


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