Just One of 8,680,000 Israelis to Celebrate this Yom Ha’atzmaut

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George Deek, a diplomat working at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As Israel turns 69 on Monday evening and celebrates Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day), her population will stand at 8,680,000 people. Among these millions of people, residing in the city of Jaffe lives George Deek, a young Israeli diplomat working at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. George is also an Arab and a Christian. And he’s chosen to build a life in Israel. Days before we celebrate another milestone in the life of the Jewish State, it’s fitting that Deek has been featured on the cover of the Jewish Journal – the first Arab-Israeli to be given this honor.  Along with the cover photo is an article detailing Deek’s journey. It’s a journey that is complicated, inspiring and filled with hope – a lot like the country he proudly calls home. While the article is long, I encourage you to read it. Make sure to wish Israel a “Happy Birthday” Monday night. Take some time to give thanks for the soldiers who fought for and continue to defend Israel and appreciate that there are many incredible individuals like Deek who are working tirelessly to strengthen the Jewish State.

You can read the article on JewishJournal.com by clicking on the image below:

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Take The Kugel Exit – Happy Birthday Israel!

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“I love that this (Israeli) exit shares the name with an Ashkenazi egg noodle dish” writes Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt in his list of things he loves about Israel, published in the Times of Israel this week.

On Thursday, Israel celebrated her 67th birthday! Too often, when we hear or read about the Jewish State, the information we receive is political, divisive and/or depressing. It leads many to envision the Jewish State as a hotbed of controversy, hate and war. Sure, Israel has her problems, but we should never allow these problems, while serious, to be what defines her. Israeli technology, medical advancements and scholarship have made the world a better place. The landscape of Israel – from the Dead Sea to the mountains to the blossoming desert are breathtaking. Israeli music, art, and literature are as diverse as her people. Her food is delicious and her history is amazing. And, as Benji Lovitt points out by sharing the photo below in his list of things that he loves about Israel, how great is it that in Israel, you can can visit the Western Wall, our holiest site, in jeans – even if you are not Justin Timberlake!

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And really, where else can you take the Kugel exit?

So, the next time you hear or read things about Israel that are unsettling, remember the Kugel exit – remember that as Israel begins her 68th year, she gives us much to smile about and be proud of.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Happy 62nd Birthday Israel – Antithesis MC

Can’t think of a better way to celebrate it!  Turn it up and sing along (lyrics below video).  This is fantastic!

Proud To Be A Zionist

Yo, it’s time to set the record straight
Fed up with all the man proclaimin all this hate
No room for debate, well hold up wait
Cos Antithesis comin to step up and state
Yo the movement of my people been getting this stick
Equated with racism and other bullish
And if you can’t see it – that’s just foolish
So shut up and listen, to my hip hop schooling
We talking freedom, emancipation
A home, a land for a persecuted nation
Liberation, democratisation
A dream fulfilled, a Jewish safe haven
2000 years this desire had lied
Dormant but restive – it never died
In the 1800s, it was brought to life with this
Movement of my people, proud to be Zionists

Hook
I’m a Zionist – and yes I’m proud
I’m a Zionist – so shout it loud
I’m a Zionist – that’s my vocation
I’m a Zionist – self-determination for the Jewish nation
I’m a Zionist – and I’ll never cease
I’m a Zionist – who just wants peace
I’m a Zionist – and I say it with poise
I’m a Zionist – if you are too, then make some noise!

Antithesis gotta give my props, respect
To the man who got this all going and rocked the set
To be honest though, there’s no way this verse’ll
Come close to doing justice to Theodore Herzl
Ben-Yehuda, course rocked the language tip
And I already showed him love on Ivrit Daber Ivrit
Ahad Ha’am represented for the people
A cultural centre was his ideal
A man of steel was my boy Jabotinsky
I wish I had time to stand and list the
Endless achievements of AD Gordon
Love the land was his plan, and it was awesome
The Lord was put forward by the man Rav Kook
His intellect and stature never done shook
That’s the look, so take pride in it
Pay respect with me, cos I’m proud to be a Zionist

Hook

I’m a Zionist, so give me my word back
There’s too many man, trying to turn that
Into something negative, something bad
I’m a Zionist who ain’t ashamed, I’m glad
That I support universal suffrage, free press
Only place in the Middle East to pass that test
Nothing less, cos we strivin for perfection
It’s a work in progress, like all other Western
Nations, but to be Zionist don’t equal extreme
Don’t make you obscene, unkind or unclean
What it means, is that you believe that the Jewish state
Has a right to exist, secure and safe
People livin without fear, living in peace
That’s the essence of a Zionist belief
No more beef, I’m done defining it
Join with me and shout that we proud to be Zionists

Hook