Torches are lit to celebrate and decry Israel

Eli Amir, 79, a Baghdad-born writer and civil servant
who immigrated to Israel in 1950 was chosen to light a torch at the Independence Day celebrations in Jerusalem.

Eli Amir being interviewed at the Babylonian Heritage Center in April 2017 


Rising from being a messenger to the Prime Minister’s office, Amir became director of the Absorption ministry.
His semi-autobiographical novel
“Scapegoat” (1983), about a 13-year-old Iraqi boy who immigrates to
kibbutz in Israel, is part of the Israeli school syllabus. He is also
the author of “Farewell, Baghdad” (1992), “Saul’s Love” (1998) and
“Jasmine” (2005).

 “Did I miss Baghdad?” Amir answered Tsionit Fattal Kuperwasser, who interviewed him at the Babylonian Heritage Center near Tel Aviv.” My Baghdad doesn’t exist anymore. It lives only in ‘Farewell Baghdad’. ”

Who am I? I’m a bird wandering between two worlds, sometimes I’m in the West, and sometimes in the East. I’m a man whose dual roots allow me to stand strong. My legs still get confused between two worlds, but I’m a Jewish Zionist Israeli.”

By contrast, here is how some Moroccans in Rabat were marking Israel Independence Day – by burning the Israeli flag and shouting ‘Death to Israel’.

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