MK Yair Golan clarifies: 'Nothing wrong with being a Jew'

After removing reference to his Jewishness from Twitter account out of fear it would 'hurt minorities', MK says he's OK with being Jewish.

Tags: Yair Golan
Eitan Divinsky ,

Yair Golan
Yair Golan
צילום: קובי ריכטר/TPS

MK Yair Golan (Democratic Union) has gone back and forth on the wording in his Twitter account over the past few weeks. First, Golan's image featured "Left, Jewish, proud", but following a torrent of negative feedback from fellow left-wingers accusing him of using "publicity" against minority populations, he changed it to "Together Build Hope". Now Golan feels being Jewish isn't so bad after all and changed his profile again. He now says, "I was born a Jew, I'm proud to be a Jew – why be embarrassed of it?"

"I was recently criticized for using the slogan, "Proud Jewish left." People told me they were against the use of "Jew" in my profile. [Radical left journalist] Yigal Serena, for example, was so resentful that he wrote to me (mockingly) hat, "If the Arabs agree, we will compromise and accept IDF refugees." "What's everyone so angry about?," Golan began.

Golan said he had decided not to be ashamed of his identity: "It is clear to me that anyone who is ashamed of their self-identity…will never [be able to] accept the other and so it is [very] important for me to highlight [my identity]. I am a leftist and not ashamed of this. [This] is expressed simply by opposing the annexation of millions of Palestinians into Israeli territory. I am a Zionist like Ben-Gurion and [Yitzhak] Rabin who envisioned a Jewish and democratic state. A state that is equal in the civil, private and communal spheres. From my distinct identity, I can accept others...From my distinct and self-assured [position], I do not [have to] feel threatened by…others…I [believe in loving and accepting] partnerships with others and I am proud - not ashamed of my heritage, I'm not ashamed of my past, I'm grateful for the both the good and the bad [of it]."

The leftist MK explained why he went back to the original slogan: "I was born a Jew, I'm proud to be a Jew – why be ashamed of that? Will my friends on the left demand that Israeli Arabs be embarrassed of their [being Arab]? Or should the Druze be ashamed of themselves? I do not understand the diasporic approach of [being forced to] do away with our Jewish identity. I'm proud of what I am, precisely the self-confidence I have in who I am and what I am, allows me to easily and lovingly accept the other. Anyone who wants a true partnership between all parts of a nation must be confident in their own identity."