13 December 2018   It's time for Congresswomen to take the lead - By: Alon Ben-Meir

6 December 2018   A Two-Pronged Policy Needed To Stem The Flow Of Migrants - By: Alon Ben-Meir




29 November 2018   Bridging the gap between decentralisation and media - By: Daoud Kuttab

27 November 2018   Netanyahu's Predicament: The Era of Easy Wars is over - By: Ramzy Baroud

26 November 2018   Why I Choose To Stay In Palestine - By: Sam Bahour

22 November 2018   Palestinians and Saudi Arabia - By: Daoud Kuttab

18 November 2018   Netanyahu’s ceasefire is meant to keep Gaza imprisoned - By: Jonathan Cook

15 November 2018   Gaza's balance of terror - By: Daoud Kuttab

15 November 2018   The Democrats’ Victory Can Save The Republican Party - By: Alon Ben-Meir














5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)

26 July 2018

The Law Of Shame That Defies Jewish Values

By: Alon Ben-Meir
print     send by email

Last week, the Israeli Knesset passed a new basic law which in the main enshrines “Israel [as] the historical homeland of the Jewish people in which the State of Israel was established… The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people…  Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.”

On the surface, there is not much new in this law. Israel has been practicing its provisions for many years. Nevertheless, the law betrays Israel’s foundational document, its declaration of independence. It will severely cripple Israel’s democracy, and the argument that the new law does not tamper with Israel’s democracy and equality among all of its citizens regardless of their cultural, racial, or religious orientation is fake, misleading, and ultimately self-defeating.

The new law further limits immigration to Israel to Jews only, indirectly relegates the Israeli Arabs to second class citizens, and allows discrimination against non-Jews in allocating resources for housing and segregated communities.

The law will serve as a recipe for the continuing conflict with the Palestinians at large while further diminishing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and will have an adverse effect on future relations between Israel and the Western democracies.

Furthermore, this law officially embraces revisionist Zionism that focuses exclusively on the right of the Jews to the land of Palestine with a Jewish state, and discards the mainstream of Israeli Jews who are appalled by the scene of Palestinian oppression in the territories and gross human rights violation.

Finally, the law will alarmingly increase the alienation of world Jewry (largely reform Jews) from Israel and may well unravel the historic bond between all Jews, regardless of their places of residence. To be sure, it is a sad day for Israel and it will be remembered in infamy.

Although the intention of the law is to perpetuate the Jewish national identity of the state, such a law will bring Israel ever closer to becoming a pariah if not an apartheid state, even though the law itself does not separate legal norms applying to Jews and non-Jews.

The Netanyahu government’s concerns over the faster growing population of Israeli Arabs and the call for a one-state solution which is gaining traction, especially because Israel does not want to relinquish the West Bank, precipitated the push for such a law, however incongruous and counterproductive it may be.

That said, Israel has every right to maintain the Jewish national identity of the state as it was envisioned by its founders and recognized as such by the partition plan of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 in 1947. But then, the only way Israel can legitimately maintain its Jewish identity is through a sustainable Jewish majority—not through discriminatory laws and racist policies.

To sustain such a majority, Israel relies on a growing birth rate and increasing immigration of Jews, especially from the US. The drawback, however is that the Palestinians’ birth rate is equal within Israel and higher in the territories, and a substantial number of Israelis are emigrating from Israel (largely because of the continuing conflict with the Palestinians), which offsets the number of immigrants to Israel as the pool of potential new immigrants from the West is drying out.

The last category is of special concern. Young American Jews have already been disillusioned with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; this law adds another layer of disgust as they view it as even more discriminatory and racist. I was told by many young American Jews that they were seriously considering immigrating to Israel, but have decided not to because the appeal of relocating to a country that they once viewed as progressive, innovative, and challenging no longer resonates.

They lament the immoral and continuing occupation and do not want to be inducted to the army simply to be trained to kill and enforce brutal occupation. “I want to be a proud citizen of Israel,” one young graduate student told me, “willing and able to defend the country when legitimately threatened, but not to fight wars and quell violent confrontation against the Palestinians when in the end nothing changes other than more death and suffering.”

Immigration to Israel is central to sustaining the Jewish majority and thereby the identity of the state. To encourage Jews to flock to Israel’s shores, the government must reach an agreement with the Palestinians and end the occupation. There is no law or program that will entice young Jews to immigrate to Israel and encourage Israelis who left the country to return, other than ending the bloodshed and normalizing relations with the Palestinians.

This repugnant new law will not only discriminate against non-Jews, but further deepen the divide between the liberally enlightened Jew who believes in equality and human rights to all citizens of the state, and those who want to preserve the Jewish exclusiveness of the country. They ignore the fact that such division will be at the expense of destroying the Jews’ bond with one another, both among Israelis and between Israelis and their counterparts in the Jewish diaspora.

One would think that the torturous history of the Jews that culminated in the Holocaust would have taught every Israeli the importance of treating others humanely. Instead, it appears that those who endorse this despicable law, Netanyahu and company, care less about the rights of anyone else that does not belong to their ilk and cover that by falsely invoking national security.

Netanyahu, Lieberman, Bennett, Shaked, and many others should ask themselves the simple question: what kind of a nation should Israel be in 10, 15, or 20 years from now? Do they want to continue to build on Israel’s remarkable achievements in science, technology, medicine, and just about every field of human endeavor, and make Israel a formidable and respected power embraced by its friends and envied by its enemies?

Or do they want a state marred in ruthless occupation, hated and violently resisted by its nemeses, resented by its friends, and scorned by fellow Jews who no longer see it as representative of their values? A country that has lost its pioneering spirit, with a demoralized citizenry, increasingly isolated, surrounded by walls and fences, constantly threatened, never realizing a day of real peace, and living by the gun?

This deplorable new law forfeits the Jews’ dream of having a real democratic state in which they take pride; a just and benevolent state at peace with itself and its neighbors, a state the world would admire for its magnificent achievements and contribution to the betterment of human kind.

This is not a pipedream; Israel could have become such a state. It has all the human and material resources and the power to travel the path of peace with confidence, had it not been for its corrupt leaders who have long since lost the vision of Israel’s founders, who dreamed about such a home with pride.

* Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies. - alon@alonben-meir.com



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code

13 كانون أول 2018   من يخاف انتفاضة الضفة؟ - بقلم: معتصم حمادة

13 كانون أول 2018   عيب عليكم..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

13 كانون أول 2018   دروس وعبر من استشهاد نعالوة والبرغوثي - بقلم: خالد معالي


13 كانون أول 2018   هناك حاجة إلى سياسة ذات شقين لكبح تدفق المهاجرين - بقلم: د. ألون بن مئيــر

12 كانون أول 2018   لماذا حل المجلس التشريعي؟ - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب


12 كانون أول 2018   تداعيات الإقتحام والتهديد..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

12 كانون أول 2018   ماذا بعد هزيمة الجماعات الإرهابية؟! - بقلم: صبحي غندور

12 كانون أول 2018   أما آن لمسلسل العنف أن ينتهي؟! - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن

12 كانون أول 2018   الصراع الطبقي في فرنسا..! - بقلم: ناجح شاهين

11 كانون أول 2018   حل المجلس التشريعي قفزة إلى الجحيم - بقلم: هاني المصري


10 كانون أول 2018   حروب نتنياهو الانتخابية..! - بقلم: محمد السهلي

10 كانون أول 2018   أزمة العقل الصهيوني.. حرب في كل الاتجاهات..! - بقلم: محمد أبو شريفة






8 حزيران 2018   ..هكذا خسر قطاع غزة أكثر من 40% من مساحته..! - بقلم: وسام زغبر







27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي


10 كانون أول 2018   العولمة القاتلة وسؤال الهوية الثقافية..! - بقلم: حسن العاصي


10 تشرين ثاني 2018   لا تفتح البابَ للذئب..! - بقلم: د. المتوكل طه

5 تشرين ثاني 2018   في انفلات الاستبداد على رقاب العباد..! - بقلم: حسن العاصي

19 تشرين أول 2018   كريستينا ياسر كريستينا..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم


8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2018- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية