Saturday, July 17, 2010

Israel set to force all citizens to swear oath to Jewish state.

Israel is set to pass a new law which would require new citizens to swear an oath of allegiance to a "Jewish and democratic" state.

By ensuring the mention of Israel as "a Jewish" state, this is an oath which Arab Israelis would be loathe to take.

Israeli Arabs, who comprise 20 percent of the population and live in some of the country's most under-privileged communities, have resisted such a loyalty oath on the grounds that only a state defined by all its different ethnic groups would make them feel equal.

Adalah, a prominent Israeli Arab advocacy group, said the new policy "requires all non-Jews to identify with Zionism and imposes a political ideology and loyalty to the principles of Judaism and Zionism".

The wording of the oath, which would apply to new applicants for citizenship, was slammed by Arab advocacy groups, who accused Israel of "racist" policies that attempt to link citizenship to ideology.

"It's another step in the direction of getting the Arabs out of Israel," said Uri Avnery, a former MP and founder of the Israeli Gush Shalom peace movement. "Parliament has become a lynching mob."

The Israeli parliament under Netanyahu and Lieberman's ultra-nationalist party has, indeed, become akin to a lynching mob. They have recently sought to ban boycotts against Israel.

The third bill, submitted to the Knesset Law Committee for approval on 15 June by 24 Members of Knesset from both the coalition and the opposition, is more comprehensive, and seeks to outlaw any activities promoting any kind of boycott against Israeli organisations, individuals or products, whether in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) or in Israel proper.

The bill targets Israelis, the Palestinian Authority, Palestinians and foreign governments and individuals, and, if passed into law, will impose fines, economic sanctions and entry bans against initiators or supporters of boycott activities.

This is one of the most extreme governments Israel has ever had and yet the rest of the planet, possibly fearing accusations of anti-Semitism, continue to act as if this is just another Israeli government, whilst they pass laws which are truly shocking.
"There's a steady deterioration of Israeli democracy and a steady rise of right-wing ideologies in the Knesset," said Avnery. "Parliament is turning into a danger for Israeli democracy."
This was the inevitable result of Olmert's decision to allow Lieberman into the Israeli cabinet.

Raleb Majadele, one of nine Labor MKs opposed to the inclusion of the right-wing Yisrael Beteinu party in the government, said at the time that this would prove to be a "black day for the Knesset of Israel, a black day for democracy." Mariappan Jawaharlal once stated that Lieberman was "a ticking time bomb in the heart of Israel."

When one hears of Israel seriously proposing these new laws, one can't help but think that they both had a point.
The status quo in Israeli society is not represented by the extreme right-ring coalition government cobbled together by Netanyahu, but the longer such policies are allowed to be expressed without any serious dissent in the country the more that Israeli society will begin to accept them as the norm and the march even further to the political right will continue.
These are dangerous waters.

Click here for full article.


Anonymous said...

The Nuremberg Race Laws

The Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935 deprived German Jews of their rights of citizenship, giving them the status of "subjects" in Hitler's Reich. The laws also made it forbidden for Jews to marry or have sexual relations with Aryans or to employ young Aryan women as household help. (An Aryan being a person with blond hair and blue eyes of Germanic heritage.)

The first two laws comprising the Nuremberg Race Laws were: "The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor" (regarding Jewish marriage) and "The Reich Citizenship Law" (designating Jews as subjects).

Kel said...

It's tragic that Israel should find herself here.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that this is the same Israel that I grew up admiring.
As a child of German heritage in the forties, my parents taught me that the racism of the Nazis was evil and the democracy of Israel was admirable. My parents, obviously, could not see into the future.