The state of Israel will be marking its 60th independence day on May 8th.
A week later groups of Israeli citizens, with Israeli passports, who are Arabs will mark their 60th grief day, for the same event: the birthday of the state of Israel.
~~to clarify: I am not talking about the Palestinians, who reside in Gaza or the west bank and are not Israeli citizens. I am talking about Israelis, who belong to the Arab nationality, and live among us, in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Ramla, Lod, Beer-Sheba, Nazareth, Tiberius and more. Israelis who hold the same ID card and Passport I do.
There are Arab schools throughout the country. These are schools run by and for the Israeli Arabs. They are funded by the Israeli government like any other school in Israel. They are supervised by official Israeli government clerks, among them, of course Israeli Arabs. The main language in these schools is Arab, and not Hebrew and the school program is slightly different, accenting the Arab heritage, naturally.
According to the article I read, they do not want to celebrate Israel's 60th Independence day on May 8th, together with all other schools in Israel. They cling to the 60th grief anniversary they want to mark a week later.
Ever since I read it I can't stop thinking about the meaning of it. We generally live in peace with this population. We go shopping there, they come to work here. It's a normal life.
Or is it?
Israel is a fact of life. It exists. There is only one state for Jews in the world - and that's it. There are 7.2 million Israeli citizens. But for 1.4 million of the Israeli citizens, Israel getting to 60 is no reason to celebrate. And it makes me sad.
I am asking myself what, if at all, can the state do to change this situation? I don't mean political agenda (I honestly dislike politics). I am talking, of course, about education. What can educators do to close the gaps and make all citizens become patriots? Or at least feel they belong?
And for the Hebrew and Arab speakers here - http://www.keshet-tv.com/Program.aspx?ProgID=4554
Perhaps the best comic-drama series that tackles exactly these questions.