Yair Lapid, Attend the Independence Day Ceremony!

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A perceived public insult to a national symbol will not serve you well in the next election

Dear MK Lapid,

As a new member of the Yesh Atid party and a long-time supporter, I urge you to change your mind about boycotting the official Independence Day celebration.

I agree 100% with your assessment of the damage the current government is doing to the country. Under Benjamin Netanyahu’s amateurish leadership, this group of self-interested draft-dodgers, racists, misogynists, homophobes and sycophants are systemically trampling our national unity, degrading our security, undermining our economy, harming our international standing, and attempting to dismantle the very foundations of our democracy.

It’s beyond disgraceful. And we haven’t even begun to experience the true fallout yet.

And with all that – you are the leader of the Opposition. You need to attend the official government-sponsored Independence Day celebration on Mount Herzl. You need to stand next to Miri Regev – not to assert pointless moral superiority (we’re way beyond that). You need to be seen at this moment of national celebration because the next round of elections are around the corner.

Ronen Tzur is correct in his assessment today – the Israeli body politic (like many, many others) has a notoriously short memory. Between today and the elections, the feeling of outrage will not fade among those of us actively opposing Netanyahu’s “judicial reform”. Our votes will reflect this outrage – and that may be sufficient to put you or MK Gantz in the PM’s office. Yet you certainly understand the significance of swing voters better than I. Their memory may be less resilient, and a perceived public insult to a national symbol will not resonate well with them. This move is a gift to Netanyahu, and he will squeeze it for all it’s worth on the campaign trail.

Your position is crystal clear. Attending the ceremony will not somehow convey support for the Netanyahu junta’s pathetic putsch attempt. Nor will it undo the progress we all have made in thwarting his coup. It will not harm your standing or lower the flames of our resistance in any way.

What it will do is send the message to the undecided public – and to your own supporters – that you unquestionably put the nation and its symbols first. I urge you to reverse your position and defuse this potential electoral landmine before we all drive over it come election time.


Steven Greenberg

About the Author
Steven Greenberg is an award-winning novelist (see , a professional writer (see, and a full-time cook, cleaner, chauffeur and single dad for three young adults (see his dishpan hands). Born in Texas, Steven grew up in Indiana and emigrated to Israel just months before the first Gulf War in 1990. He's a former combat medic in the Israel Defense Forces, who never learned to properly salute despite his rank of Sergeant. And he's a career marketer, who's run a home-grown marketing boutique since 2002.
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