I started this post every May during my stay in Palestine, but I never published it because I know israel to be a trifle touchy, especially on topics of national pride. Like the israeli flag. In Jerusalem, in May, israeli flags blossom like daisies at springtime. You see them everywhere, and I am not joking. They are on balconies, buildings, cars, shops, on people, stalls, suitcases, leaflets, prams, just name a common object: in May it will be covered by the white and blue Israeli flag.
For instance, look at this lovely and highly practical object:
It’s an israeli flag that wraps the back of the car’s rear mirror. Since there were not enough flying flags around, they had to find a specific place that had not been exploited yet.
I was surprised not to see any dress made out of the israeli flag, but one British friend, who has been living there for a very long time, reassured me: in schools students must wear either white or blue clothes, to remind the flag, or black, to remind the fallen soldiers. And then I saw this:
And of course, if you cannot waste time to have a dress tailor-made, you can always wrap yourself in huge flags and be happy, like this boy:
I have never seen a country which displays its flags with such arrogance, insistence and complacency. I understand that national identity must be fed and reinforced, especially in such a country as young as israel, where the majority of people come from all over the world with their specific languages, cultures, traditions – and where they need a strong use of symbolism to keep them together. Of course not even for a second do they stop and wonder how people from other horizons – let alone the Palestinian – feel when seeing such an arrogant display of power and desperate affirmation of a national identity.
Ps: by the way, in case you don’t know, there is a law in Israel that prohibits people to show the Palestinian flag. This happened on Tuesday.