The Israeli flag waving on a small island outside the harbor in Jaffa.
I’m not particularly nationalist, or rather – not at all. I am Israeli, even though originally from Denmark, and though I like, yes, even love, many aspects of my country, there are also many I strongly dislike. I feel loyal to my country as well, but I’m opposed to the nationalist insistence on identifying myself with my country and her destiny. For me, my country is a community of all her citizens, bound together by a set of laws and acceptance of these laws as governing. At the point where I can’t accept the laws anymore – in their entirety – I’m not sure that I can stay a part of this community.
The way I feel about nations and nationalism, is as Benedict Anderson described it: being part of an “imagined community”. Zionism is no different in this respect. I understand where it comes from, I even acknowledge the need for it at a certain point, but today I view Zionism, as I do all forms of nationalism, as part of a general problem, more than as a solution. The problem is not only limited to nationalisms however, it appears wherever and whenever we, humans, decide to let out differences be greater than our similarities, and define these differences as the premise for how we relate to each other. When the nation is more important than the whole global society, then it’s a problem.
That said, if we forget about the context of the nationalist narrative, which surrounds this flag, the flag consisting of a white background, with two blue lines and a blue six-pointed star in the middle, I kind of like the flag. Blue has always been a color I really loved, and white, well, who doesn’t like white. Blue and white definitely go better together than blue and black. And the colors are well represented in this shot, not only in the flag, but also in the sea and the sky. Maybe that is why I like the colors and the combination of the two.
The sky and the sea have always been two elements, which has caused me to dream – no, urge for adventure. To see the great beyond the horizon, always escaping me, no matter how far I traveled. It is still out there, calling for me to explore, to expand the limits of the reaches of my eyes.
At the same time, the rock, being solid and stable. It is too easy to just disappear into the adventure of exploring the unknown. We need something to keep our feet on, something which can be a foundation for us. The rock symbolizes this. And in all this we return to the flag, because even if it is a symbol of a nationalist narrative, it is also a symbol of home, a point of fixation, where we can return. The known, where we have our friends, family, and known surroundings.
One flag, one setting, and yet so many thoughts of things which opposes me and attracts me at the same time.