Cognitive Dissonance

May 6, 2007, in Israel:
“We have experienced failure, social inequality, growing poverty in wide class circles, and lack of faith in all institutions the public is in need of. Today one needs to be optimistic in order to believe that we can strengthen and improve Israeli society.”
–Israeli Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch
May 6, 2007, in New York:

Celebrate! Celebrate! Woohoo, Israel! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!

Hey Nero, play me another tune!
(Photo via)

14 thoughts on “Cognitive Dissonance

  1. You probably missed it because it’s a small group, but just like every year, Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim Dror marched in the parade and tried to bring a different voice to the event. They were carrying signs for peace and co-existence and loving critique of Israel (and perhaps a couple of red flags, because labor zionism is bad ass).
    I completely agree that most of the parade is mindless and counter-productive, but I also think it’s important for subversive and alternative voices to insert themselves into unexpected places- and for other people who share those views to recognize those displays.

  2. …there’s something tasteless about damning people when they celebrate.
    I understand the parade’s jingoistic, superficial, and adds a carnival atmosphere in an era of perpetual crisis, but what…
    …they should dress in black and trudge through the streets in mourning?

  3. If people never celebrated just because the work’s not finished, there’d never be a single celebration.
    Being happy about how far we’ve come is a great motivator to go even farther.

  4. monk… how’d you feel about that video a couple weeks back of bush doing that little african dance? or during katrina when he was off playing guitar with that country singer?
    it’s infinitely more tasteless to celebrate when that which you’re celebrating is falling to pieces…

  5. Right, well… falling to pieces?
    Based on a bunch of conversations at with kids at the parades, I don’t think most of these people are identifying “Israel” with the State per se, feeling as if the state is merely a function of the collective will, easy to dismiss as mismanaged and all different kinds of evil, without losing love or identification with the National entity, something they seem to assosiate with themselves, personally, and their friends and families. So as long as their friends and families aren’t falling apart…
    How different is it from something like the puerto rican day parade? Puerto Rico keeps getting more and more fucked, but the national identity trip seems to be less about the actual success of your team, at anything, really, and just about being able to celebrate one of the levels of “who we are” and “where we’re from,” as if.
    as if.

  6. Mobius
    It’s a specious comparison.
    Olmert wasn’t shucking and jiving in front of a televised audience.
    It was largely American Zionists and Jewish-American politicos celebrating their right to a nation-state, for better or worse.
    It wasn’t a meeting of the Workman’s Circle – it was a parade: jingoistic and simple-minded.
    From over here, your post reads as bitterness because the Jewish masses either aren’t as informed or aren’t as outraged by Israeli politics as you are.
    Alan’s right: if we stomped through life incapable of celebration just because we haven’t reached paradise yet, we’d be dour and listless.
    Give people twn minutes to breath without crisis.

  7. Let me get this straight: An Israeli supreme court justice identifies a number of problems currently afflicting Israel and therefore…. we shouldn’t celebrate Israel’s existence? Huh?!
    Well then I guess everyone could do the Neturei Karta thing and lie down in 5th Avenue with sackcloth and ashes. That’s the my-way-or-the-highway version: “nothing to celebrate unless I’m 100% happy”. Is it healthy for reasonable people to take such an extremist attitude?
    I’d suggest that the Torah demands no less from us than the dichotomy that you, Mobius, touch on above: We have to cry over the problems while celebrating and thanking God for what we have now. We have quite alot, even with all the sundry obstacles and imperfections.

  8. On a pragmatic level, the parade is really for the kids anyway… they’ve got to learn to care about Israel before they can realize the importance of constructive criticism of its policies.

  9. My little cousins, (5 and 9) went to this Parade. I was a bit shocked when my aunt told me this- they’ve never even been to Israel! What can they really understand?
    And why the hell is there a parade?! – Is this an american mentality thing? Celebrating should be, I dunno partying in your backyard. Why does Manhatten need to know that Jews are “flag-happy”.
    Ok ok…there is yom ha’atzmaout. Which at the same time needs a bit of a “hey we’re here to celebrate its existence at all but don’t forget…”
    So ye I agree, it is just damn futile and superficial. Why not use the energy to protest for Darfur?

  10. I agree with Y. Leib, how different is this from the PR parade, or the India day parade? India is dealing with a lot of issues relating to poverty and inequality just like Israel. The differences between rich and poor are even more extreme in India. But if Indian folks, Israelis, Puerto Ricans, Kenyans, or any other group wants to celebrate their nationality and cultural identity by walking down 5th Avenue, I don’t see any problem with that.
    Dara, at the last parade I attended there was a group of kids carrying oversized heads of various Jewish historical figures, Zionist and non-Zionist, even Emma Goldman was represented. That was pretty cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.