I spent this past Shabbat (April 14-15) in Tel Aviv with my family. I could write a few articles about what I saw there. I will focus on the most important part.
There are banners in Tel Aviv that attest to the ‘loyalty’ and ‘faithfulness’ of that city. The banners read: ‘Faithful to the Declaration of Independence (in Hebrew, 'נאמנים למגילת העצמאות').
I saw those banners hanging from peoples’ balconies. I saw one tied down to a protest stage being erected on Shabbat in the middle of a major street. I saw those words spray painted on a wall. I saw people carrying Israeli flags and wearing t-shirts bearing those words as well.
The ‘faithful’ people of Tel Aviv
Apparently, people in Tel Aviv consider themselves to be very faithful. A few of them almost hit my kids in the head with the bulky poles of their Israeli flags. They were headed to protest the Israeli government and block the streets below our hotel. We were headed up to the hotel to rest on the Sabbath.
Now I’ve heard of many types of faithful people, but this is the first time I’ve come across folks who are faithful to a declaration of independencem wave Israeli flags and block Israeli streets, disrupt the lives of Israelis and wreak havoc upon the Israeli economy, as a show of loyalty to the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Rather odd, don’t you think?
In fact, the first thought that crossed my mind when I saw their banner, was: ‘What must God think of these people and their rebelliousness?’
What is the Israeli Declaration of Independence?
Judging by the words of their banner, you might presume that these people highly value Israel’s independence and want us to remain an independent nation, but you’d be wrong. Ironically, these ‘faithful’ people of Tel Aviv want us to be like other nations and serve foreign powers.
Prior to declaring independence from the British occupation in 1948, Israel’s Zionist leaders lobbied many nations for the creation of a Jewish state in Israel. That request was finally put up to a vote at the United Nations in 1947, which resulted in an international decision to partition the Land of Israel.
In addition to territory, that partition plan also aimed at mapping out the nature of the future Jewish state, designating chapters and clauses to be added to an Israeli constitution. The Israeli Declaration of Independence basically went along with these demands, saying Israel will do what the nations require of us:
“It will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” (Quoted from the Israeli Declaration of Independence).
Israel neglected to draft a constitution but its supreme court has adopted this declaration as a de facto constitution. A constitution that was never voted upon by the people, forced upon us by foreigners.
Our leaders were faithful enough to the nations to play by their rules, but those rules were broken and ignored. The partition plan unraveled in chaos and war. Israel was left to fend for itself and fight for its very survival.
Who are the ‘faithful’ of Tel Aviv?
The ‘faithful’ of Tel Aviv are our people. They are the soldiers, the workers, and the builders of Israel, but they could also be its destroyers. They are the arms and the legs of Israel, but they have lost their heads. They could be the arms and legs of our enemies and they might not know it.
The ‘faithful’ of Tel Aviv march through the streets to defend ‘democracy,’ so that they can bring down a democratically elected government. They wave Israeli flags made to look like a tallit with a star of David, to demand that we be like the nations. They claim that the nature of the regime is under threat, when it has not yet been agreed upon and set with a constitution.
The ‘faithful’ of Tel Aviv are ‘faithful’ to a lie, to an Israel that never really was and was never meant to be. We were never meant to be like the nations, or have our constitution drafted by them. Israel is an ancient nation with a character and nature that precedes all nations alive today. Our Constitution was set in stone millennia ago. The nations know that better than us. They call us the people of the Book.
The ‘faithful’ of Tel Aviv are a large part of the resurrected body of Israel, but they are not its soul. They are a duplicitous and foreign spirit at best, and their best attempts will be to their own detriment. They can riot and scream all they want, but Israel will remain what it was, and become what it was always meant to be.
Yshai Amichai is a father of six and an author with a legal education, whose books advocate upholding the Five Books of Moses as a national Constitution. He may be contacted at: [email protected]