As Israeli citizens, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman want us to prove our loyalty to the flag by supporting a policy of oppression and humiliation. We must champion the separation barrier in Bi’lin and in other places throughout the West Bank. We have to defend the brutal destruction of unrecognized Bedouin villages, and the ongoing land grab both inside Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We must support the checkpoints and the silent transfer in East Jerusalem. We are also expected to bow our heads and remain silent every time government ministers, Knesset members and public officials make racist statements against Arab citizens. We are obliged to give our blessing to the imprisonment of Gaza Strip’s 1.5 million residents.
Hearing the chants at the recent demonstration, I understood that I will never be able to accept this disastrously myopic form of loyalty. I refuse to be loyal to a policy of humiliation, racism, and discrimination. And, yet, loyalty is an important issue that urgently needs to be discussed because ultimately there is a firm link between the state and loyalty. The pressing questions that need to be addressed are: What is the meaning of loyalty? And who is supposed to be loyal to whom?