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Israel sinking
into religious-fundamentalist swamp
The intention of the proposed new Basic Law that would define Israel as 'the national home for the Jewish people' is to deny the natural rights of Israel's Arab citizens....


Salman Masalha

The demographic problem

MK Avi Dichter (Kadima) sponsored, along with 40 other MKs from various parties, a mew Basic Law that defines Israel as "the national home for the Jewish people." The proposed law includes a number of sections that, in the vernacular, piss me off.

It is becoming clearer and clearer that this Knesset, all of it, is the most populist in nationalistic terms, and the least fundamentalist in religious terms. Now they want to exchange the impossible mantra "Jewish-democratic" with something new.

It is clear that the intention of Dichter's proposed law is to deny the natural rights of Arab citizens in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did well to explain the matter in a speech he gave in December 2003 at the Herzliya Conference: "We have a demographic problem. But it is not centered on the Palestinian Arabs in the territories, but on Israeli Arabs."

Even blunter words came from former Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra (Kadima ): "We have Arab citizens in the State of Israel. This is our greatest problem. Finish with Gaza, finish with Judea and Samaria, and the biggest problem remains."

Support for this approach comes in the section of the new bill that revokes the official status of the Arabic language, the language of 20% of Israeli citizens.

It is well known that Israeli politicians very much love to take after Europe. So it would be appropriate to let you know how Europe behaves. Finland is a European country and quite advanced by all opinions. There is a Swedish minority in Finland which is 5% of the population. In this Finland, which was once part of the Kingdom of Sweden, no one can be a public servant if they don't speak Swedish.

Similarly, it seems the "greatest danger" has pushed the legislators to introduce another racist section into their proposed law, which allows religious and national separation to enable the existence of "separate community settlement," and it also has pushed lawmakers to sink further and further into the religious-fundamentalist swamp.

Israel is fitting into the region more and more. The proposed law adds us to the club of enlightened nations such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The law intends to make Knesset legislation and civil judges subject to Jewish jurisprudence and "Jewish tradition," in an attempt to establish Israel as a state based on unenlightened Jewish law - based on a Basic Law. In the term "Jewish tradition" is hiding a religious tradition of Jewish law.

Jewish tradition, like all other monotheistic traditions, includes a number of laws that can be described as moral abominations that completely oppose the universal declaration on human rights.

The frequent treatment of such questions does not testify to strength, but the opposite. The source of this weakness is the occupation of 1967. On one hand, this occupation has deepened via the "Zionist theft enterprise" called the settlements. On the other hand, the demographics between the sea and the Jordan River have not remained frozen.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the law was formulated in cooperation and at the initiative of the Institute for Zionist Strategies. This is to teach us that the Zionist mind continues to invent new ideas.

With a lack of foreseeable prospects for a national solution in Israel, the situation will reverse itself. The day is not far away that we will begin using the infamous Zionist language, but this time in reverse. This time we will start to speak of the "Jewish camp" or the minorities - the Jews of course. I will even go so far and introduce the phrase "honorable Jews." You have been warned.
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Published: Op-Ed, Haaretz, 10 August 2011
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For Hebrew, press here
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