Where in the world...
Ultra-Orthodox children's paper excludes Israeli flag
An ultra-Orthodox paper in Israel, written in Hebrew, features a story on the history of flags from across the globe. But where is the Israeli flag, where all of these children live?
Can you find the Israeli flag? A children's magazine covers the flags of the world, but excludes Israel's
An ultra-Orthodox children's magazine in Israel featured a history of flag usage across the globe. The feature discussed the background of America's 13 stripes representing the 13 original colonies, the Soviet Union's flag usage of the hammer and sickle to represent the working class, and the green background of the Brazillian flag represents the country's forests. The flags of Arab countries were also described.
But this Israeli publication which was written in Hebrew, made absolutely no mention of the Israeli flag. Released in the same week as Israel's Memorial and Independence days, this stood in stark contrast to the Israeli cities covered in flags proudly flown to honor the country.
The newspaper, Kehila, in which the magazine came, is one of the most popular ultra-Orthodox media outlets. The newspaper, like many other ultra-Orthodox outlets, has a spiritual committee which oversees its content.
President of Hiddush, Rabbi Uri Regev, responded "The exclusion of the Israeli flag in a supposedly moderate ultra-Orthodox newspaper is shameful. It reminds of the practice of some ultra-Orthodox people to ignore the siren on Memorial Day commemorating those Israelis lost in battle. The editors chose to review in detail the meaning of every flag possible, including the lifeguarding flag, but ignored the one in blue and white."
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Education must face this question--how long will you continue to spend taxpayers' money supporting an anti-Zionist educational system
According to Regev, "This is another vital reminder of the importance of implementing core curriculum in ultra-Orthodox schools, including social studies and the history of the State of Israel. We must ensure that ultra-Orthodox children know the real story behind the founding of the State and its symbols. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Education must face this question--how long will you continue to spend taxpayers' money supporting an anti-Zionist educational system?"
The article's subtitle actually opens like a Memorial Day piece: "War, a noisy and stormy battleground. Soldiers are exhausted, crying for rest, wishing for home and family." But these sentences do not lead to a mention of Memorial Day, Independence Day, or the Israeli flag. In fact, they are followed by the most prominent flag description, that of the white flag: "The white flag is an international sign symbolizing surrender or truce. A messanger arrying a white flag is announcing 'I am not armed, I have surrendered my weapon, and I would like to conduct negotiations to stop the war. The article continues and reviews the history of flags: United States, USSR, Brazil, Japan, Cyprus and Libya. Even the UN flag receives special consideration.
In addition, the article explores flag ritual: "[Flags] are waved on state institutions like courthouses, meeting houses, and police stations...sometimes we hear of a flag lowered to half mast." Even here, even given the symbolism and context of Memorial Day, the Israeli flag remained absent.
See Ynet's coverage of Hiddush here