Israel: The Meaning of Home

Absolute Carmel‘s Carmel Vaisman contemplates notions of home. “I fear that the concept of home, like love or identity, is a complex chaotic fractal, a secret formula, that if I change one component I’ll lose it entirely.”


  • Mira

    maybe because the notion of home and “national” identity was very much a forced on Israelis !

  • Mira

    well its clear .. Israel was basically started from the scratch and its citizens were brought from everywhere, creating a common identity for all these people with all their differences is certainly a hard task especially when this state does not treat all its citizens equally and furthermore feeds the unity of this society by always maintaining an enemy ..

    an identity and a home cannot be forced on the citizens , the belonging you feel to your homeland is not something you’re taught, its something you feel especially when you suffer to keep living on it !

  • MERC

    Israel was started from scratch? With all that Palestinian land and all those Palestinian homes belonging to Palestinian refugees forced out in 1948 and kept out ever since, I hardly think Israel “started from scratch.” But I would agree that “an identity and home cannot be forced on citizens.” It can, however, be taken from them, which brings us back to all that Palestinian land and all those Palestinian homes.

    • Dear Mira and MERC,

      Have you gotten a chance to read Carmel’s piece in full? It’s quite nuanced. She considers many angles and perspectives that you may find interesting. Definitely recommended reading.

      I encourage you to post your thoughts on the original blog entry as well to engage the blogger (also one of our Global Voices Israel writers) in your discussion. I know she will have much to say.

      ~ Maya

    • Mira

      don’t get me wrong MERC .. Iam a Palestinian myself and I know what it means to strive just to survive on your homeland .. what i meant by started from scratch is that by modern measures Israel did not have any of the nation states components and thats why it had to come up with those components by any means, maybe I have not put my thoughts properly but for example the identity; in my understanding even though I am sure any Zionist Jew would disagree it was invented and forced on those people that are very different and have no common history or culture .. can you say that a Yemeni Jew has lots in common with a Ukrainian Jew ? or an Ethiopian with a French? even in what is supposed to be their only thing in common, which is why I said I believe this common identity was practically forced ..

      as for the initial blog post I read lots of selfishness there and I don’t think I can organize my thoughts to express properly what I feel when reading this, but I will just say to the author: don’t you worry about Palestinian refugees accommodating in Safad or Tel aviv, they managed to survive the sewage water and tin ceilings of refugee camps so I am sure they will surprise you if they ever managed to return .. just like you believe Palestine is a “myth” to those refugees, I ask you wasn’t Palestine once a myth to first Zionists?

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