The secular aura of "sanctity" that in the past has been
foisted upon the Israeli public on Independence Day, is
beginning to show signs of waning. In recent years,
increasing numbers of secular writers and spokesmen are
publicly declaring that they are not willing to accept this
For the most part, the writers are concerned with the attempt
to force Israel's Arabs to participate in the celebrations.
But the chareidi sector, lehavdil, has benefited
indirectly from this newfound cynicisim as well.
On the eve of Independence day, an article entitled "Another
Weekday" appeared in Ha'aretz:
The writer reminds its readers of the "raging hostility
during the 1950s and 1960s displayed toward all those who did
not identity with the symbols of independence. In those days,
thugs beat the residents of Meah Shearim on Independence
But since then, many Israeli citizens have learned to
reconcile with the fact that a large sector refuses to
celebrate that day and defer to the national symbols that are
alien to its belief and lifestyle.
As we said, this apparently liberal and forgiving approach
toward the chareidi camp stems, among other things, from the
readiness of the Israeli left to recognize the right of the
Arab citizens of the state not to note the day which in their
eyes has negative and tragic implications.
This year, Israeli Arab leaders openly declared that they
regard the establishment of the State as a catastrophe and
their reasoning lies in the fact that Jews now have political
and military control of the state. They blame Israel for the
"expulsion and the separation from their families," that
accompanied the War of Independence.
But what are we to make of 52 years of active attack on the
foundations of Jewish religion and emunah? What of the
tens of thousands of immigrant Torah-observant children who
were torn away by the state from the traditions and legacies
in the name of Zionism?
Ha'aretz notes that the only group that still ardently
adheres to the anachronistic Independence Day symbols are the
settlers, who have taken up the mantle of the former
socialist leaning original pioneers. In both cases, the
article notes, "these are the chalutizm lifnei
ha'machaneh, who don't take heed that there is no one
following them. These are the only two groups who relate with
seriousness to the old symbols of Independence Day."