Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in West Jerusalem, this thesis explores the lives of Israeli men trying to make meaningful lives in a country both struggling for the status as a Western democracy and at the same time using its own past to justify its very existence. Just as the country is inherently dependent on a past without Palestinians, its people imagine their past and tell stories about their past in order to create this imagined community. These stories are a main focal point in this thesis, both how they are created, how they are used and why they are such big parts of people’s lives. Family, war and representations of community are also themes that inform, structure and give meaning to these narratives. As everything seems contested, everything must also be defended, and the family is no exception. Discourses of progress, how democratic countries are imagined, and the changing ideology of the Israeli state are big parts of everyday representations of the Jewish Israeli community. What are the options for creating a meaningful life under these conditions and how does the attempt to achieve a stable state shape its citizens? The core of much of this is how misrecognition works on a community and how this fuel a particularly fervent sort of nationalism.