It is a valid question and yet I expect to get some very nasty messages because of this post! Why is it okay to attack the flag of Israel?
This year, we have seen a massive rise in hatred and attacks upon anyone who shows the slightest bit of support for Israel, and that includes attacks on anyone who is Jewish.
As someone who is not Jewish but is now attending Shabbat services and would hopefully like to convert, I have been asked if I understand that by doing this, I am joining a group of people who receive abuse and I will likely also receive abuse.
Why is that okay?
But let us get back to the flag, the flag of Israel and the fact that not only is it regularly attacked but the fact that it is accepted.
Take the image below, it is taken from a video where a schoolgirl chose to stand on a chair in order to cut down the Israeli flag from some bunting that featured the flags of the world.
This was done to the sound of applause and cheers!
My neighbours are currently flying the Union Jack outside their house and I expect this is for the Olympic Games, before that they had the English flag flying for what I assume was the Euros (football).
And it is nice to see this show of pride.
When I saw it, I said to my wife, “What do you think would happen if I placed my Israel flag outside?” but I know that if I did, that I would be inviting trouble to my door!
Would it be fair if the Union Jack next door was burnt or torn down, would it be fair if my neighbour’s house was daubed with graffiti or if they were verbally or physically attacked for this show of pride?
Attacked because of the actions of the government and not of the people!
And this is what is happening, the Jewish people have a connection to Israel, it does not matter if they do not live there or have never even visited. The Jewish faith is tied to Israel, and the daily prayers include prayers and blessings for Israel.
There are many Jewish people who do not agree with the military actions of the Israeli government and yet when the conflict between Israel and Gaza ignites again, all Jewish people are then seen as fair game for abuse.
They should be allowed to show their pride in the Israeli flag without fear.
It is my opinion that it is never right to burn any flag, a flag for many people is something in which they have pride and something that they want to publicly show. Just head to the coast of Spain in the summer and you will see countless Brits wearing various pieces of clothing that is Union Jack themed.
There are many countries in this world where the government is guilty of human rights breaches, some of them are on a massive scale and yet we never see people in the streets burning their flags!
Check out the Human Rights Watch website and search by country to see the human rights being violated.
Despite the fact that there are so many countries guilty of human rights offences, Israel seems to remain the most hated country, and that is fuelled by social media. The majority of posts on social media that mention Israel are subject to some awful comments and those comments do not just focus on the country of Israel, it spreads out to attacks on Jews and threats of death.
We all have a right to protest and I respect the people who voice their opinions, but not when it resorts to personal attacks on people who are not responsible but are just of that nationality or show an affiliation to that country. I also do not support the burning of any nation’s flag, not matter what the circumstances.
It is my opinion that this year we have seen protesting on behalf of Gaza/Palestine become ‘the thing to do’ or at least ‘the thing to be seen doing’. I believe that whilst there were many genuine protesters, many people on social media did so because they either felt they should be seen to be doing it or because it almost became trendy amongst certain groups!
It needs to be written into law that burning the flag of any nation is a criminal offence, as they have in Germany!
It seems that the lessens of the last century have not been learnt. Free speech is important, but we now see that being abused and the rise of hatred is once again spreading like a disease amongst our younger generation!
Stop seeing the flag of Israel as a banner of hatred and see it as it should be seen, a symbol of pride of a people whose story started where Israel is now.