Monday, July 24, 2006

A Slumbering Zionist Awakened

Tel Aviv – Following a week of active reserve army duty in light of the ongoing conflict in Lebanon, I enjoyed my first moment of peace on the balcony of my Tel Aviv apartment. The air was typically damp but the streets of the city were conspicuously silent. The current war engulfing our small country has even managed to alter the ambience of the increasingly detached and apathetic generation of 20 somethings residing in the safe havens of Tel Aviv. This simple silence speaks volumes of Israeli perception of the conflict.
Tel Aviv is a refuge for waves of young adults recently discharged from the military seeking a certain normalcy to their lives that only the city can offer. A place where the complicated reality of Israel does not confront you at each corner, a place where you have the freedom to occupy yourself with petty personal matters and shut your eyes to everything else. For their “selfish” ambitions the young residents of Tel Aviv are often the target of criticism for being indifferent of national affairs and isolated on their island of sanity. However, the silence I noticed below my apartment epitomized the old Israeli credo that when push comes to shove, even the most alienated and frustrated Israeli willingly demonstrates his allegiance.
My generation was born into an Israel still trying to make sense of the infamous 1982 war in Lebanon; we grew up in the shadows of the first popular Palestinian intifada in the late eighties and were directly enlisted into an unprepared IDF trying to contain a fiercer and deadlier intifada, which erupted in 2000. My generation has grown wary of the politicians and has become dangerously ignorant of the ideology, which our parents’ generation embraced. The constant grief broadcast on the hourly news reports have become a mere nuisance drowned in the parade of sounds and colors that Tel Aviv offers. We have all served proudly in the military but then just as quickly as we entered, we abandon the uniform to fulfill our personal aspirations of living for ourselves. The individualism that my generation exudes has often made it the target of resentment. This is the burden of living in such a complex society.
In my opinion, the recent conflict and my generation’s instinctive response to the national call to arms nullifies the perception of us as a lackadaisical band of wanderers but rather reassures the public that when the cause is just and the threat imminent, the 20 something civilian backbone of the reserve units are ready to step up.
It is ironically sad that Israel has had to endure the most aggressive attacks on its home front since the war of independence in order for my generation to realize the instability of the country. But the resilience of my generation demonstrates that it is no longer necessary to live in a constant state of fear or dwell on the news reports each hour brings because Israel’s existence is a well established reality and our deeply embedded Zionist ethos will prevail once called into question.

by A. Werner


Anonymous Dego said...

My name is Diego, im from Argentina and i really consider this blog an oportunity to listen voices from the people that are living in Israel land

Go on with this proyect!!!

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was truly moved by this article.

1:05 AM  

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