How can I hang at my home the same flag that flies over the homes of the Jewish settlement in the heart of Hebron, which has expelled nearly 20,000 residents from their homes? How can I hang the flag that flies on the homes of Yitzhar and Itamar, and at dozens of checkpoints designed to choke the lives of our neighbors? How can I hang the flag that flies on the jeeps that burst forth in the dead of night and spread terror in the hearts of little children? The flag became increasingly distant from me; the national flag became the flag of extreme nationalism.
It is not easy to become alienated from a flag that once was yours. It is much easier to love it, to curl up in it, to be proud of it. The U.S. is drowning in a sea of flags; every far-flung car lot is adorned with flags of stars and stripes. Canadian, Swiss and Japanese backpackers tend to attach their national flags to their backpacks - these flags look so innocent. This is not the case with my flag, which has long ceased to denote innocence. Since it has become the flag of the occupation, I have remained without a flag.
The extreme nationalistic right stole the flag from me and with it the pride in being Israeli. This act of theft is unforgivable.
Could you even imagine an op-ed of this ilk running in the Washington Post?