Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Jerusalem Day

There is no holiday with a greater disparity between the way the government celebrates it and the way the general population does not. Cabinet ministers, Knesset members and the mayor of the so-called United, Undivided Eternal City love participating in events commemorating the conquest of East Jerusalem, especially the Western (Wailing) Wall. Public schools also hold ceremonies. However, the average Israeli does not celebrate Jerusalem Day in any way, shape or form - accept for some religious people.

That most Israelis don't celebrate the holiday is an interesting fact. It isn't being boycotted. People just aren't that aware of it. I remember that in school, I'd always be surprised when teachers took us to the ceremony. "Oh, Jerusalem Day is today?" my friends and I would wonder. We also didn't understand why, if it is a holiday, we didn't get the day off from school.

So why hasn't Jerusalem Day taken root with the Israeli public? Maybe there's an Israeli sociologist or political scientist out there who knows the answer.

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