Tel Aviv wants to set its own policies, regardless of what the rest of the nation desires. It will go it alone, but will still take funds from the national government.
After developing an independent policy on a number of issues such as businesses opening on Shabbat and asylum seekers, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai announced this week that the city would recognize same-sex marriage. Tel Aviv is demanding autonomy, and we are here to do it right and declare the first extra-territory in Israel -- the State of Tel Aviv.
We, the residents of Tel Aviv, are tired of the state of Israel. From Rothschild Blvd. to Rabin Square, from Metzitzim Beach to Ganei Yeshoshua, from the Gay Pride Parade to Sukkot dancing with a Torah scroll, from the Imperial Bar to the café, it is here in Tel Aviv that our identity has been shaped: wild, freedom-seeking, anarchist but just, white, pink, and full of pride.
We are fed up with the State of Israel, which rather than being cool like Tel Aviv, has become conservative, traditional, overbearing, right-wing, and annoying. In the political upset of over 40 years ago, we lost our secular hegemony. Rabin’s murder, which took place over 20 years ago, stole our dream of peace. Netanyahu’s eternal government has made us realize that even after an endless election cycle, we have no chance of returning to power.
The changes the nation has gone through drove those who are willing to suffer living in a dreary room or who have wealthy parents, to move to Tel Aviv. The original Tel Avivians, and the ones who support our vision from the outside looking in, have fortified the Tel Aviv spirit. While the rest of Israel’s citizens have been left behind, stumbling down the dark path of religion and the rule of the establishment, we are lighting up the way and fortifying progress. In light of all these events, and with the establishment of a new government that has shelved any hope of change, we hereby state that we do not care what the nation wants or does, and from now on we will make our own laws.
Accordingly, we, the members of the Tel Aviv City Council, under the leadership of a mayor who has governed the city for longer than Bibi has ruled the country, have assembled here, and against the backdrop of the 'anti-Tel Aviv' winds blowing towards us from Jerusalem, we hereby declare the establishment of a free and autonomous entity in the heart of Israel, the State of Tel Aviv.
The State of Tel Aviv will be tied to the State of Israel only when this suits it, and will continue to receive funding from it. The rest of the time, it will make its own laws, and will define its values and aspirations in the free spirit of its residents.
The State of Tel Aviv will throw off the restrictions of the oppressive status quo and will decide for itself on a Jewish-democratic-liberal identity. It will work to institute public transportation and business activity on Shabbat. It will even set up a marriage registry and determine who can love whom, and how much. The State of Tel Aviv extends out its hand to the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area, but also to Jerusalem and to those in Israel’s peripheral areas who have not yet seen the light, and calls on them to adopt its ways, or at least pop in occasionally. With faith in humanity, we thank the State of Israel that has brought us thus far, and from now on- we'll go it alone.
The article was published in Israel Hayom.