unitedwithisrael.org/watch-the-video-the-world-ignores-the-ethical-idf/When I was 21 years old, I went to the Italian Consular Service in Brazil under the harsh summer in Rio in order to finally receive my so desired Italian passport. My main aim by going through the difficult bureaucratic process was to more easily being able to cut off the lines when I entered in Europe-fact that for the first time in my life would happen in one month. When the passport was in my hands, I found weird to have my face stamped in that dark-red passport, all my data written in a language which until now I do not speak one word. Five years after this, I have not been to Italy yet, even though technically I stepped at my great-grandparents land one or two times during fly connections at the Rome airport. Anyhow, in real and day-by-day life, I barely use my Italian document and I doubt it will ever be really helpful for me in the future.

However, this whole story of citizenship gained a new and unknown meaning for me in the past months. In August of 2014, I arrived in Israel and got my Israeli ID document, together with other papers which apparently classify me as a legitimate Israeli citizen, like any other person who was born in the country. Obviously this was a process in which I put a lot of food for thought and took a considerable period of time to happen. Nevertheless, it was equally awkward- as it has been with my Italian passport-to again stare at my face and see my personal information written at a language which by the time I barely could understand the alphabet.

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But I must say that 7 months after officially becoming Israeli, it is not so weird to be dealing with my new ID number, my recent open bank account and other formalities which made me more and more aware that-differently from my experience with my Italian passport-maybe now for real I have another citizenship, besides my original Brazilian one. However, I have in mind that no matter how I try (and I can put a lot of effort, decorating the Egged buses lines or speaking Hebrew without accent), I will never be a truly Israeli, since I did not grow up here, I did not go to IDF, or witnessed in real time the many Israel-Palestine conflicts. Besides, and this is my most important point- I do not feel proud of my Israeli identity nor have a national feeling towards the country. I hardly feel that for Brazil-since, as my rationally points me out, all those social problems non-solved by the government are able to block any kind of proud feeling towards my country- but I do not believe I will ever feel that for Israel either.

Last week, I voted for the first time in Israel and this simple act made me acknowledge what is like to actually be a citizen of this country, in the sense of having the opportunity to participate in its decisions. If by one side of me I felt flattered and happy, because it made me belong more here, by the other I just could not connect to the process at all. Physically I was there depositing my vote in the urn, but deep inside I knew I did not actually care so much about the future of the country. The rationality was there present with me- I researched about the best candidate and so on- but the emotion and the passion were definitely absent, a very different feeling for me, who used to mind a lot about the elections in Brazil. If it is true that I do not feel very much proud or happy about my home country, it is also right to state that the elections represented a moment where I actually used to be excited about- in my mind, it was the only chance of changing things anyway.

The fact is that I want to belong and feel that I am part of Israel, but the reasons are much more built on the rationality rather than in emotion. I know that the more I fit in here and connect with the country, happier I will be and less I am going to miss Brazil. This time, I want my citizenship to count for something, not as my Italian passport which eventually is already forgotten inside my drawer. Not because of ideology- I do not love Israel, I never dreamed about being here- but simply because in my mind that is the best decision I can make, even though my passion is not there speaking out for myself. Life took me to Israel and made me owning an ID card and I cannot complain much since it was my choice and I am fine here at the bottom line. But the nationality fever, this one I left in Brazil, my country, probably in the last election where I faced the urn and actually believed in the future of my homeland.

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