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The Furor and Fallout From Flags

Nationalism is one of the most powerful political and ideological forces that exists, so it is no surprise that flags are potent symbols.
Shachar Agus/Creative Commons
Shachar Agus/Creative Commons
Michael Koplow is a Senior Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and the Chief Policy Officer of the Israel Policy Forum. Before coming to Israel Policy Forum, he was the founding Program Director of the Israel Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, where he specialized in political development and ideology, and the politics of Middle Eastern states. He writes Israel Policy Forum’s weekly

“On Wednesday, the Knesset passed the first reading of a bill introduced by Likud MK Eli Cohen that would bar displays of enemy flags—including the Palestinian flag—at any institution that accepts state funding, including universities. This comes on the heels of Jerusalem police confiscating Palestinian flags during Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral in May, videos of IDF soldiers taking down flags in Palestinian towns in the West Bank, and the Jerusalem Day flag march on Sunday that involved tens of thousands of Israeli Jews waving flags on a route through Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall. The tension and symbolism around flags is at a boiling point, and it points to the continuing difficulty of Israeli strength to overcome Israeli insecurity.”

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