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29th of November, the UN resolution on the partition as a story of love and darkness

"My father told me when we wandered there, on the night of the twenty-ninth of November 1947, I was riding on his shoulders, among the circle of dancing and rejoicing, he told me not as he asked me to, but as he knew and determined his knowledge with rivets. My father said, you just look carefully son, with seven eyes please look In all of this, because this night, child, you will not forget until the end of your days, and about this night you will still tell the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren long after we are no longer here."

This is how Amos Oz describes in his book "Story of Love and Darkness", the moment of the announcement of UN Resolution 181 on November 29, 1947, from his perspective as a nine-year-old boy.

Those of us older than forty remember the celebrations at school on this occasion, with almost the same excitement described in the story of Oz. I remember that in the third grade we presented a reconstruction of the moment of the announcement. Great excitement enveloped me from what I received from the environment. From the teacher in the class, the organizer of the ceremony and especially from home. From a grandfather who came from Romania on a long path of immigration and pioneer settlement after surviving the Holocaust. From a father who fought in the great wars, and from a mother who from a young age loved humming the songs of the military bands. I didn't know how to define myself ideologically. A secular Zionist Jew. But that's what I was. Maybe most of us were like that?

What does this date tell us today? Is he still treated with such excitement in the public schools? Guess the answer will be maybe, depending on where and something is swinging one way or another.

This is a historic event like no other - the Jewish people received recognition from the nations of the world to establish their own independent state.

Celebrations of the 29th of November 1947 Jerusalem. Photo: Moshe Marlin Levin / Mitar Collection / The National Library / The National Collection of Photographs on behalf of the Pritzker family

Fulfillment of the last line of the Hymn of Hope: To be a free people in our land Eretz Zion.

The day after the decision, the War of Independence broke out. At first as a civil war, because the British still ruled here. The Arab side launched a combined attack on kibbutzim, settlements and mixed cities. They blocked roads and attacked supply convoys of the Israeli army that were established from the underground during the war.

Thus, in fact, the day of the international recognition celebration became a battle day of the war for the house.

Today, we are in a war that has lasted over forty days and its end is not in sight.

A war that began with a brutal attack on October 7. A date that will be etched for many years today but burned in Simchat Torah, one of the happiest holidays of the year cycle. A national trauma the likes of which the State of Israel has not known since the day it was founded.

Once again we are at war over a home that was attacked in its soft underbelly, which led to a response of mass military and civilian mobilization to restore security, and bring the kidnapped home.

What can we take from November to our current reality?

I suggest at least two things that are important to note:

1 - Struggle for international recognition - Herzl was the first to influence and mobilize global consciousness for the right of the Jewish people to establish a state. He led the first Zionist Congress: a well-publicized event in Central Europe at the end of the nineteenth century, and worked to obtain a "Charter", the same document that gives the Jewish people the right to establish their own state. Herzl was the father of political Zionism and believed that for a state to seek and receive international recognition. To be in communication with the world and especially with leaders of influential powers in the Middle East.

The decision at the UN was made late, unfortunately after a holocaust that led to the destruction of more than half of European Jewry.

Today, the propaganda front is one of the most difficult fronts that the State of Israel is struggling with in order to gain international recognition of our right to defend the country. It is difficult to accept the fact that many citizens, in most countries of the world, including the Western democracies, are loyal to the Palestinian side in the conflict and find it difficult to accept Israel's right to defend itself.

From this it is important at this time to really deal with the advocacy, that is, to understand the importance of obtaining international support for recruiting and locating partners in the fight for the security of the state and the return of the abducted.

2 - Examining the liberal democratic path - the decision made on the partition plan paved the way for the Declaration of Independence in which a founding document was signed that to this day hangs in every school classroom, is taught in citizenship classes, and was until recently at the center of the Israeli discourse in protest demonstrations to preserve Israeli democracy.

Not for nothing did it happen. The Declaration of Independence contains within it basic principles that outline Israel's path as a Jewish and democratic state, a challenging combination that is important to deal with in the education systems, in advocacy, and in policy for the rest of the way:

"The State of Israel shall be open to Jewish immigration and the gathering of refugees; shall strive to open the land for the benefit of all its inhabitants; shall be founded on the principles of freedom, Justice and peace in the light of the vision of the prophets of Israel; there will be complete equality of social and political rights for all its citizens without distinction of religion, race or sex; Religious freedom insurance , a compass, language, education and culture; preserve the holy places of all religions; and be faithful to the principles of the United Nations Declaration."

We are now fighting for this statement to protect our democratic Jewish state. There is a challenging and binding combination here between recognition of the historical right of the Jewish people to a state that will be a safe place for every Jew regardless of who he is, and universal fundamental values that are twinned with the UN requirement in the decision to recognize a Jewish state as a liberal democratic state.

We need to fight for this combination in all possible frameworks. In our mental reckoning with ourselves as citizens of the country, as parents of children who will grow up to be the future generation, as educators, community leaders, and road mappers in every field of Israeli society.

If we stick to it, maybe we will reach the correction required by finding the right partners on the other side to start paving together the road to peace in the format of two states for two peoples.

Today the road seems longer than ever, but if we decide to accept the deviation from it, the war of independence will not come to an end.

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