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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, why can't we say so?

Silly me.

I always thought we were a Jewish state. We have a Jewish calendar. Our holidays are the Jewish holidays that have been existent for three thousand years (with one addition). Our day of rest is Saturday. So what's wrong with saying that we're a Jewish state? Why does the world go into such a rage over that simple declaration, while it doesn't care that there are Islamic states (which have made themselves free of Jews) and Christian states? This is the New York Times.
A nationalities bill has long been sought by Israel’s right wing, and the initial draft they produced downgraded Arabic from an official language to one with “special status.” That and other antagonistic elements are likely to be dropped from the version that reaches Parliament.
But in this time of high tensions and violence between Jews and Arabs, incited by competing claims to the sacred site in the heart of Jerusalem — called the Temple Mount by Jews and Noble Sanctuary by Muslims — any measure that claims a pre-eminent status for Jews can only add fuel to the fire.
Mr. Netanyahu says that the nationality bill is necessary because there were so many challenges to Israel’s existence. But it is hard to see how a law would put a stop to that. There is also speculation in the Israeli press that the prime minister has been pushing the bill as a political sop to right-wing members of his fractious coalition — indeed, the cabinet vote was split 14 to 6 along ideological lines, with two centrist parties opposing it.
The political battle could yet bring the government down. Neither argument justifies a fundamental change to Israeli law and guiding principles.
Having experienced the grievous legacies created when a government diminishes the rights of its people, we know this not the path that Israel should take.
Diminishes the rights of its people? How so? No one is going to be forced to be Jewish, to keep the Sabbath, or to keep the Jewish holidays any more so than they are today. What the law does is to instruct the 'supreme court' to stop intruding into areas where it doesn't belong by claiming to protect democracy at the expense of Jewish observance.

Who opposes this bill? Mostly people outside Israel (isn't it funny that the Times thinks that we're the only democracy in the world that isn't capable of deciding things for itself?). Jeff Dunetz got it right.
The critics of the “Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People,” bills coming from two places, liberal in observance and secular Jews who believe it is possible to separate Jewishness from the religion, and media sources that will criticize Israel for anything she does.

Truth be told, Israel cannot demand that the Palestinians recognize her as the “Jewish State,” if Israel herself doesn’t recognize it as a Jewish State.

As long as the bill recognizes individual rights and freedom and continues to allow everyone equal voting rights, Israel will remain what it always has been a Democratic and Jewish State.

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At 7:42 PM, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

There is opposing the bill, Carl, and there is wondering why the heck do we need this bill at all, and why right now. Doesn't Bibi have one (or even two) other burning issues to resolve? Doesn't our Declaration of Independence state clearly enough what kind of state we are? There are several other question to wonder about, so if it is all the same to you I will categorize self in the wondering category, instead of the objecting one.

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Since I'm out at the end of the diaspora, as well as being in a repeatedly disdained branch of the Ruth wing, I am in favor of Israel reasserting Jewishness every year, every month, every week, every day. In as many ways as possible. Even while maintaining equality before the law and equality of opportunity for all of your citizens. If Israel slides over into Euro or Soviet socialism, we are so screwed out here. I have fantasies that Israel will find a way to link all of the remote branches of the Jewish enterprise together, but most important is that Israel assert a Jewish backbone... for all of us. Be strong! Be Jewish!


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