Israelis have a very special attachment to the State of Israel, an attachment formed by Jewish history and reinforced by war. Like all other attachments, it may become burdensome and oppressive, and in Israeli society, it is one of the unutterable subjects. In the group, with masks down, as we uncover more and more of our basic dilemmas, this subject is also examined. In the deepest sense, people are asking: Is life in Israel a moral commitment for me? Does it dictate a certain style of life? "On Freedom and Country" is a set of cases that centers around these issues.
Israel is a very small country, and its society is a tightly knit one. You grow up in a neighborhood and attend nursery school with the children who will be your permanent company through school and army service. There are no great distances within the country nor friendly neighboring states in which to attend college, so the "group" continues together. Very few emigrate -- this is still considered an act of treason. Some get killed in this war or the other, and those remaining mourn for them together. Norms are very strong, and deviation from them is frowned upon and sometimes severely criticized.
Amit, Shlomit, and Reeny explore this feeling of siege, in which no easy ways out exist, heavy demands for conformity are made, and being closed in with the same group of people is a fact of life. The tight group provides security; yet, at the same time, it isolates one from the world outside and may even result in the feeling of suffocation.