Independence Day: free at last? - www.jewishaz.com: Opinion

Independence Day: free at last?

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Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 8:03 am

Israel’s 69th year of independence as a modern state by Jews and for Jews causes us to reflect on the words from “Hatikvah”: “LeHiyot Am Chofshi b’Artzeinu,” “to be a free people in our land.” Though penned in 1878 by Naftali Herz Imber, these words ring truer today than ever. With blood and bravery, Israel became physically independent again as a sovereign nation in 1948, but the question is, are we Jews free in our homeland Israel today in 2017?

As defined, freedom means the absence of coercion or constraint and liberation from the power of another. The true fulfillment of Zionism besides fostering the unity of the Jewish people and centrality of Israel to it, is the strengthening of the State, the preservation of the identity of the Jewish people and its connection to the Land, and protection of the rights of Jews. Despite its burgeoning economy, its highly-developed sectors of military, tech, agriculture, education and arts, Israel is not free.

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