A Celebration of Loss: Israeli Palestinians on Israel's Independence Day
I want to try to explain how this day feels for me as an Israeli-Palestinian. Israel’s independence day is a hard day because on that day, 67 years ago, my people lost their state. As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, I am part of the Palestinian people by heritage, and part of the Israeli people by citizenship. On the day my country celebrates its birth, I grieve the loss of my nation. On days like these, the contradiction between my country and my people is highlighted.
A friend of mine shares her mixed emotions to this story. It might not be a perfect allegory, but it is close.
I have been invited for a love of my life's anniversary. His wife is the jealous type and she claims she doesn't mind me there, but I have the feeling she doesn't like me to be there because I remind her of what his life could have been like. She took him in a way where everyone in my community has been hurt. I am happy for him, but deep inside, I do wish he was mine.
I had to stand in silence for two minutes to commemorate what has been done in his name today. I couldn't stop thinking what has been done to my community as a result of their marriage. It felt like forever, and I couldn't bear the memories. Images of men and women being displaced, and generations starting over...
In her story, the love of my life is the land, the wife is Israel or the Jewish people, and “I” (the speaker) is the Palestinian people. This doesn’t have to be hopeless, though. We all have a first love, but then we fall in love again. Our heart can bear to love two peoples, and this is my case. I hope the same can happen to others and we can learn to live with our past for the sake of the future and its children.