In fulfilling my duties as tour guide for visiting family we went to the Knesset. It was fun to sit in the plenary hall where the speech making, the heckling and in the end the voting takes place. The Knesset was not in session so the room was quiet. Hard to imagine. Whenever talk of our parliamentary system comes up I am not sure if I should be cursing the British or our leaders who thought it best to follow in their footsteps. I dream of a day when we can have a representative government so that politicians who so love their seats might actually do something to earn them. I believe the Messiah will arrive before that happens.
The tour of the Knesset is short and most of it devoted to the artwork. I'm not a big fan of Chagall so most of the tour guides explanations were like so much background noise as my mind began to wander. Then we came to a wonderful exhibit, our declaration of independence. On May 14, 1948 the eve of the end of the British Mandate over Palestine, we declared our independence. We did so knowing that seven countries had their guns pointed at us and were getting ready for the kill. This is somehow forgotten in the Arab narrative. They wanted our death and complete destruction. I believe they are fond of the term ethnic cleansing. It fits here perfectly.
Our declaration of independence could be divided into three topics. The first talks about our rights to establish a state on this land. Next it talks about what kind of a state it will be. We will be a Jewish state open to Jewish immigration, an in gathering of exiles. It will be a democracy for all its inhabitants. Not the picture painted by the Palestinian propaganda machine. We offered equal rights to all who live here and those that do live here enjoy these rights. Lastly we extend our hands in peace to our neighbors. This fell on deaf ears. I wonder how different it could have been had hatred not blocked the ability of the Arab world to hear us.