These three U’s are coming to Jerusalem: the Eurovision Song Festival, the US Embassy and You as tourists. What can you expect?
It’s all about so many groups living alongside and together with each other. Some differences have never been clearer. Take Jerusalem this week for its main four faiths.
Secular- Jewish — First there were Sunday at midnight the celebrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem of mostly secular young Israel of after 20 years it again winning the Eurovision Song Festival 2018 – with a chicken song. According to the lead-chicken – sorry: singer – during jury results proclamations, this is a vote for diversity – because she’s not the stupid slim body ideal. The song’s most catching part of the lyrics was the high-level poetic “I’m not your toy / You stupid boy,” which leads me to think that winning through the popular European vote was a #metoo result: a vote against sexual harassment.
Though Israel’s law are the height of protection against sexual harassment, the looks of the performance were … Japanese, which immediately gave critiques a way to call it racist appropriation. (Even Israelis’ lack of national pride elevates the Japanese to a race.)
At receiving the coveted Prize though, the looping artist proclaimed love for her country and was looking forward to the next competition being held in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, in 2019 – miraculously on Lag baOmer. So much for the secular and racist labels as Netta is beloved especially by her large traditional Oriental fan base.
Religious-Jewish – Then Sunday, mostly at daybreak, the more religious part of Israel was honoring postponed Jerusalem Day celebrations, giving thanks to the Creator for the 51-years unification of Jerusalem as the the Capital of the Jewish State, and especially including all of the Old City and the Kotel (Western Wall) of the Temple Mount. As can be seen earlier and later at the Kotel and later downtown and also in Tel Aviv. (Though on top of the Mount the law of the Muslim Waqf reigns, when they want to remove a Jew, they still need to call Israeli police to make the arrest. It is really in our hands.)
For religious Jews this day is even more significant than Independence Day. A record number of Jews went up the Mount today, as also recorded in dismay by the anti-Zionist Haaretz. However, Jerusalem Day is really from all Jews and not against anyone, as some realize in tolerant Jerusalem.
(Mei 14 is also the civil date of Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence – not celebrated in Israel, but nevertheless mentioned by the American Delegation for tomorrow’s event.)
Catholic – Tomorrow, Monday, the call for removing Israeli control over its Capital will receive a serious blow with the US embassy being opened in Jerusalem. (Still, it’s kind of acknowledging that I have a head or my shoulders. Do we really need the stating of the obvious?)
While the main anti-Jewish slogan since the Jews’ intention to work for an independent Jewish state was for driving the Jews from Jerusalem, the more subtle anti-Zionists promote: dividing Jerusalem, or even finer: putting it under international control – as if there could be any group more international than Israel’s Jews.
Though the Church has been one of the main players against Israeli’s sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, almost the whole of post-Holocaust Europe does not lag far behind, with some recent notable exceptions.
In keeping with the Jewish concept of not mixing celebrations (we don’t marry on a Festival), the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be on the day-after, unbeknownst that it is Hebron Day, commemorating 51 year that the Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren took a Torah scroll and walked into Hebron, liberating it without a blow. Just as it says in the Bible, Deuteronomy 28:7 and Joshua 23:10. When the hostile soldiers and population saw the self-confident Chief Rabbi enter alone, on foot and unarmed, they assumed that he must be followed by an enormous military might – and fled.
Muslim – The day after, Tuesday, Arab Palestinian activist will commemorate and persist in their historic mistake not to settle for half of the country and instead choose all-or-nothing, victim hood, injury and death in the ever-fresh pipe dream of anti-Semites to succeed in exterminating the Jews.
Muslims loyal to the State of Israel will keep their mouth shut, because they don’t have the means yet to safely be more nuanced about this.
The day this year coincides not just with Rosh Chodesh but also with the start of the Ramadan. Let’s pray that the holiness of this month, of the tradition to repent for a month will help these “demonstrations” to pass without violence and may we hear a beginning of a public choice for hope for building a better future for all – not just for the Palestinian autocrats. To all Muslim readers: Ramadan Kareem!رمضان كريم