Grappling with a far-right government and growing awareness of the Nakba, American Jews revealed mixed feelings marking Israel’s independence.

by Emily Tamkin, +972 Magazine

American-Jewish groups, institutions, outlets, and individuals have, with varying degrees of fanfare, marked 75 years since the establishment of the State of Israel over the last month. There have been numerous concerts and movie screenings. There have been podcast episodes and op-eds. And there have been public meetings, convenings, and panel discussions.

This year, though, the events have commenced at a tumultuous time in Israel, when citizens have been protesting en masse against their government’s proposed plans to gut judicial independence and push through a series of religious and nationalist policies. As hundreds of thousands of Israelis mobilized into a self-described “democracy” movement, American-Jewish groups tried to thread the needle between commemoration, festivity, and sober observation of Israel’s reality today.

Pro-Palestinian and Zionists protesters demonstrate in downtown Washington against a visit to the U.S. by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

“There’s definitely been a shift in tone … because of the judicial overhaul protests,” Eva Borgwardt, political director of IfNotNow, a group whose mission is “to end U.S. support for Israel’s apartheid system and demand equality, justice, and a thriving future for all.”

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