After a brief rest due to the May 21 cease fire, we’re back at it again, not to the extent of what we saw last month, but it’s yet another example of how this will continue under any Israeli administration.
This Time Around
You may recall that during the recent strikes between Israel and Hamas, Israelis were celebrating “Jerusalem Day,” on May 10, commemorating their capture of East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War (June 1967). Netanyahu’s administration did not approve the annual Flag March that some right-wing groups organize on that day. Instead, he later said it could go forth on June 15, but Netanyahu was replaced before June 15. The new administration led by Zionist, settler-supporting Naftali Bennett, approved the plans. The march went forward as planned.
The march included chats of “death to Arabs” and provocation of Arab journalists documented by Arab journalist, Yanal Jbareen, who was victim to their verbal attacks. Foreign minister and alternate prime minister Yair Lapid, of the secular-leaning, centrist party Yesh Atid, denounced the actions and words of the marchers, saying:
“The fact that there are extremist elements for whom the flag of Israel represents hate and racism is revolting and unforgivable,” Lapid tweeted. “It is incomprehensible that people can hold the Israeli flag in one hand and shout ‘Death to Arabs’ at the same time. This isn’t Judaism or Israeliness, and it is definitely not what our flag symbolizes. These people are a disgrace to the nation of Israel.”
Perhaps Lapid’s words come from a place of sincerity, but what is truly unsettling is the marchers’ understanding of what their flag represents is not a foreign concept to Judaism. These are not simply the personal opinions of this author. Israel is a nation founded for one people, the Jewish people, the Chosen people. This is even written into Israeli Basic Law, under the Nation-State Law. These have been discussed at length by scholars like Israel Shahak, an Israeli Jew, and they have been codified into Israeli law.
Here’s another marcher’s words, quoted and described by Reuter’s:
“‘Take a good look at our flag. Live and suffer,’ one marcher, a megaphone in one hand and a cigar in the other, shouted in Hebrew at Palestinian merchants on the other side of police barriers erected on an East Jerusalem street.”
Clashes also broke out between Palestinian protestors and the police. Reuter’s also reported that according to the Palestinian Red Crescent, at least 27 Palestinians were injured in the clashes.
Balloons of Fire
In response to the Flag March—some hours after the event began—Gazans sent incendiary balloons into Israel, causing 20 fires in fields. No property was damaged, no humans were harmed.
By nightfall, Israel was launching rockets into Gaza, targeting military sites used by Hamas. More incendiary balloons followed the next day, and then more rockets form Israel were fired after that.
What’s funny about this: It was clear that things were particularly on edge. A cease-fire had only been brokered a month ago. But they let the march go ahead, and then warned that if Hamas did anything, there would be consequences.
Waving Israeli flags in Palestinians‘ faces, shouting death to them, then telling them, don’t do anything or else. Perfectly reasonable, right?