Scene from reenactment of November 29 celebrations 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
A 1934 Citroen drove into the Jewish Agency compound and drew up alongside the doors leading into the central building.
Golda Meir stepped out and found her passage blocked by excited photographers.
Behind her, people were waving blue and white flags, while elsewhere in the compound three generations of people were dancing and singing.
At the entrance to the compound stood a 1942 British army jeep, a reminder of bygone battles and a symbol of those to come.
Standing on the balcony looking out at the crowd were Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Meir Hai Uziel. Herzog recited the Shehechiyanu prayer, which ends with the words “that we reached this day.” Uziel spoke of the sacrifices that had been made along the way.
Golda, with just the hint of an American twang in her Hebrew, spoke of how long the Jewish people had waited for statehood and the price exacted for the realization of the dream.
High on the wall, alongside the balcony, was a banner featuring Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl and his famous slogan that became the Zionist mantra: If you will it, it is no dream.
November 29, 1947? No. It was November 29, 2011, 64 years after the United Nations resolution on the partition of Palestine.
“Golda,” of course, was not Golda, and the “rabbis” were not rabbis. They were actors, as were the newspaper vendor who doubled as a photographer from another era and several other people mingling with the crowd.
This was the World Zionist Organization’s reenactment of the events of two generations ago.
Some of the older people in the crowd joined the various clusters of dancing youngsters.
They may have remembered a time when there was no State of Israel and were visibly moved, perhaps recalling how they themselves had danced in the streets 64 years ago.
Reconstructing history is never easy. It always looks and sounds so artificial. Even singer Einat Saruf, who wore her hair in braids as was the fashion at the time, and came attired in khaki blouse and pants, and brown boots, lost the authenticity of it all when she moved on from the patriotic songs of the day to more modern and perhaps better- known melodies that did not exist in 1947.
But reconstructing history and rewriting history are two different things.
Since the signature of Menachem Begin does not appear on the Declaration
of Independence, it is doubtful that he would have been invited to
celebrate with members of the Jewish Agency, which was headed by David
Ben-Gurion, who was at loggerheads with Begin even after the
establishment of the state, when both served in the Knesset.
But Likud MK Danny Danon was up there on the balcony, looking as if he
had engineered the whole thing, and his very presence constituted a
rewriting of history.
Current Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, presumably in the role
of Ben- Gurion, declared that the state had already been created before
the UN resolution and that it would go on to be a light unto the
Given recent developments in Israel, that light is not burning too
brightly at the moment, but perhaps by November 29, 2012, it will cast a