I recently read a very important column in the Jerusalem Post written by Evelyn Gordon titled “When Violence Replaces Democracy”. It is a very sad yet critical analysis that should definately be read by anyone interested in better understanding Israeli society today and the deep feelings of mistrust, held by many, in the Israeli political system.
Evelyn does a very important job of outlining the actual cases where the democratic practices and norms were trampled upon by Israeli governments over the years, leaving a large percentage of the Israeli public feeling hopeless with regards to bringing about any change to Israeli policy via democratic elections. The feeling is that the democratic system just doesn’t work.
Menora Chazani has recently made a movie that also touches upon this important topic. Her movie is called Hitnaari and it documents her personal thought journey from an obedient citizen to one that has a very hard time respecting the authorities and the laws that they enact.
Menora’s narrative in the movie is less based upon the Israeli government’s trampling of democratic norms and more based on the policies and atmesphere that the Israeli government created that made her and her fellow friends and neighbors feel like an enemy of the state, while they lived in the community of Chomesh before it was uprooted in the summer of 2005.
To begin to understand the importance of this topic I also highly recommend clicking here to see a video interview with Menora about the movie (the interview is in Hebrew without English subtitles)
Menora’s narrative in Hitnaari is also a sad yet extremely important process to hear and witness in order to better understand Israeli society today. Many would rather cover their heads in the sand and pretend as if all these feelings of mistrust in the Israeli government don’t exist at all. But that is not the case.
Unfortunately, ignoring the situation does nothing to help solve today’s situation. In order to truly make a difference these feelings of mistrust must be heard and understood and only then can they be dealt with properly to make a difference.
Currently Menora Chazani’s movie Hitnaari is being promoted by 12 Tribe Films Foundation for screenings in Israel.