Monday, April 30, 2007

Avineri Attacks Moonbats for Proposing to do away with Hatikva to Appease the Arabs

1. I am thinking of getting one of these:

2. Neuwirth gets some justice at last:

3. Haaretz helps the Iranians build nukes:

4. Nancy the Ninny:

5. After the Haaretz Canaanites came out in favor of dumping Hatikva as
the national anthem, they were answered by Prof. Shlomo Avineri. Avineri is
hardly a hardcore rightwinger. He was a cheerleader for Oslo, even
endorsing the leftwing campaign of McCarthyism against free speech for the
Right (enodrsing the false claim that rightwing rhetoric caused the Rabin

In the past he was quite close to Peres' positions, but recently has
shifted a bit toward center. Here is his piece:

Don't sing, but show respect

By Shlomo Avineri

It is not every day that a publisher decides to print his positions in his
newspaper, and therefore great importance should be attached to what Amos
Schocken wrote in his article, "Toward the next 60 years" (April 19). Many
of the points he raises are correct and logical, especially regarding the
imperviousness of the government and Israeli society to many material and
social aspects of the Arab public's life in Israel.

It is difficult, however, to agree with him on one point - the issue of
the national anthem. It is certainly possible to understand the feelings
of Israel's Arab citizens who find it difficult to identify with "the
Jewish soul's yearning," but making this the starting point for a proposal
to replace "Hatikva" with what Schocken calls a democratic and egalitarian
anthem is a far cry. If the anthem is nothing but the lowest common
denominator acceptable to all groups in Israel, then one must take into
account the ultra-Orthodox Jewish public, for whom "Hatikva" is not
acceptable due to its Zionist nature. Furthermore, for the Jewish
national-religious public, "Hatikva" is defective because it does not
mention the Lord.

A serious look at national anthems around the world - and I am sure Mr.
Schocken will not object to going beyond the provincial Israeli confines -
finds the large majority to be problematic. It is enough to cite as
examples two strictly democratic countries - Britain and France. The
British national anthem entreats the Lord to watch over the country's
monarch, who is also the head of the Anglican Church. Millions of
Catholics, non-Anglican Protestants, Muslims and Jews, among others, live
in Britain today. There is also no small number of republicans there who
would like to do away with the institution of the monarchy completely. Did
Jews or Muslims ever suggest changing the British national anthem? Did any
British liberal ever claim that the anthem's words affect his rights or

The French national anthem, "La Marseillaise," is a revolutionary song
full of violence and threats against those who oppose the Republic. It is
no secret that to this day, there are many millions in France who consider
the execution of Louis XVI a historic crime, and one could imagine that
they disagree with the words of the anthem. However, they do not propose
changing it.

For better or for worse, a national anthem symbolizes the dominant
historical trend - which sometimes (as in France) was born of blood and
fire. I understand the difficulty of Israeli Arabs, just like that of Jews
or Muslims in Britain, or royalists or Muslims in France - but the latter
are not suggesting their national anthems be changed. Citizens may decline
to sing the anthem, but they should be expected to respect the symbols of
the majority.

In neither Britain nor France does the minority question the legitimacy of
the body politic that represents the beliefs, the symbols and the
narrative of the majority. In Israel, the Arab proposal to change
"Hatikva" stems not from the difficulty of singing the words of the
anthem, but rather from the desire to question the State of Israel as the
national state of the Jews. It is preferable to say these things openly.

The Schocken family, like tens of thousands of other Jewish families in
Germany, enjoyed equal rights and unprecedented economic prosperity during
the period of the German emperors, Kaiser Wilhelm I and Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Did any one of them consider demanding that the German national anthem be
changed because it was an anthem of emperors and Christians?

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?