Avi Shamir

Israel’s National Pride Week off to a Great Start

What a better way to launch Israel’s National Pride Week than to put our reviving nation in a glittery spotlight on a world stage and win the Eurovision song contest! A hearty mazal tov to Neta Barzilai, whose catchy song “Toy” struck the right chords to win over a mass audience and whose sense of timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Just as Israel is about to soar to new heights of international status, Neta Barzilai kicks off a week of festivities and bags the Eurovision! Kol Hakavod!

But of course, Miss Barzilai can’t take all the credit for her remarkable achievement. Part of the spotlight is already being diverted to those high ranking Israeli officials who were first to congratulate her.

Such as Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev. Never mind that “Toy” isn’t exactly in the Hallelujah spirit of things as far as Israeli culture is concerned. Never mind that the tune doesn’t resonate with Regev’s nationalistic outlook, or that its sexual harassment theme (I’m not your toy, you stupid boy!) is more suited to Meretz than to Miri. It’s limelight time, Ms. Culture Minister. Step right into it and shine!

But apart from Neta Barzilai, no one deserves more credit than Mr. “Neta”-nyahu, whose bold fighting spirit made the Eurovision victory possible. No doubt about it. Just look at the countries who gave us twelve points: The anti-Semitic French, Spanish and Ukrainians! They must all feel humbled by Israel’s strong leader, who probably convinced them in perfect English who the real bad guys are. Yes, our threatened little country is hot on the comeback trail, and it’s all thanks to Bibi!

Imagine, before Bibi, no one even knew that the Iranians wanted to build nuclear weapons. Never mind that the International Atomic Energy Agency reported the threat back in the nineties. Who listens to them? Bibi went to the UN, dazzled everyone with his clever drawing of a fuse bomb, told them that Israel isn’t the only target and woke up the whole world. Just look at the results: Now the Americans understand, the Russians understand, and even the Saudis understand! Bibi looks like a prophet as Donald Trump backs out of the nuclear deal with Iran and on the very same night the IDF starts kicking Iranian butt – and all this just in time for National Pride Week!

Of course Bibi himself was behind the main event that calls for this outburst of national pride. The long awaited recognition of our eternal capital city, Jerusalem.

Before Bibi, the only thing “eternal” about our capital was that no one, not even our best friends, the Americans, would recognize it. But now dandy Donald has acknowledged our claim, and tomorrow, May 14th, 2018, he will follow up on this epiphany by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Other countries are sure to follow in his footsteps. And none of this would have even been possible if Bibi hadn’t used his best oratory skills to educate the goyim!

So, as Neta Barzilai returns to Israel with her feel-good prize for all Israelis, let’s not forget that National Pride Week, which would have taken place without the Eurovision victory, has more to do with the Bibi-vison that made recognition of Jerusalem possible. And just before the festivities start, let’s be on our guard: We mustn’t let those negative people ruin it for everyone.

For at least the next few days, let’s all refrain from using those bothersome buzz words that upset so many Israelis. This is a positive blog, so I’ll try too. I’ll shorten them by calling them the O and P words. Let’s just say that P stands for a group of people who happen to live here and wish we didn’t, while O is what the P people believe we’re doing to them. For those of you who don’t get it, it kind of occupies their thoughts. But as the negative people would say, the real slow folks are those who deny the O under their noses and don’t understand that Israel will never have peace without the Ps.

None of that talk during National Pride Week!

And while our soldiers are scoring points in Damascus, let’s forget all that annoying talk that we know how wars start but can never tell how they’ll end. Let’s just go on pretending this really isn’t a war and enjoy it for its one-sidedness. Not a word about an Iranian counterattack that can wipe the smiles off our faces with one single missile strike. And please, no reminders about what the P people can do on the home front to really mess things up.

Finally, let’s just pretend that the unpredictable POTUS didn’t say last week that the very same Jerusalem he is recognizing as ours should be re-divided, so that the P population will get their own East Jerusalem neighborhoods under a future US-brokered settlement. That, more than anything, would ruin the festivities. Leave it to Bibi to come up with a spin that his good American friend was only kidding.

About the Author
Avi Shamir is a freelance writer, editor, translator and the author of "Saving the Game," a novel about baseball. A Brooklyn College graduate with a BA in English, Avi has contributed to the Jerusalem Post, The Nation, Israel Scene, In English and The World Zionist Press Service.
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