There’s a joke in Hebrew that says you can sum up all Jewish holidays with one sentence: “They tried to kill us and failed, let’s eat.”
When you look at tradition, tradition is something that comes from your religious holidays and you don’t doubt them because they’re old. Of course, for any country, there is also a civil tradition, so for instance, when you look at Israel, you find days like Independence Day or the Holocaust Memorial Day (They tried to kill us…).
In recent years we’re witnessing the birth of a made up tradition, a “delegitimizer’s calendar”. Totally civil and not a religious (yet), it’s being invented and celebrated sporadically by pro- Palestinian organizations and individuals who use social media to communicate and create viral effects. But these sporadic events are starting to grow roots and these roots mean there’s a new calendar being invented today, a calendar that is very dangerous for Israel.
Even though this calendar is not institutionalized (yet #2), it influences Israel and the Jewish world tremendously and in the midst of the Arab Spring we are witnessing a “Delegitimization of Israel Spring”. Quick view of this new calendar: May 14th is “Nakba Day” , invented by Arafat in 1998. June 5th is Naksa Day, invented in 2011 and was led by the Syrian dictator, Assad. Flotilla day, which started 2010 by Muslim Brotherhood’s Turkish IHH is somewhere around May 31st and lately we may have witnessed the birth of “The Week of Solidarity“, July 8th-16th with the failing “Flytilla”. September is already “occupied” with the “Durban Celebration” and if the Palestinians succeed in their UDI we’ll have two annual events there too. Getting the picture?
What does it mean for us?
Delegitimization events carry the nature of resistance to Israel, so every time a “delegitimization holyday” is created we respond, which is the opposite of being creative or pro active. It’s being responsive, defensive, and it makes us use the word “Hasbara” we all hate. We hate it so much we started calling it “Public Diplomacy” to feel better, but the truth is that as long as we keep responding to the delegitimizer’s calendar we’ll keep being led by them when what we need is to lead.
We need to create a Pro Israel calendar, a new civil calendar of worldwide events, independently carried out by pro Israel organizations cooperating with each other. With each other. There’s enough room in the “pro Israel calendar” for everyone to take part in its creation. The calendar will celebrate Israel as an agenda rather than as a response and it will be as international and decentralized as possible. Creating this calendar will enable us to create a tradition of pro Israel. As we can see, new traditions are not less important or less effective as old traditions.
Let’s, just for once, eat because we decided to eat and not because they tried to kill us and failed.