A New Law Shifts Israel Away From Democracy

Source: Time

Prusher is a journalist, author and lecturer. She was a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor from 1996-2010, where she covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as the newspaper’s bureau chief in Jerusalem, Istanbul and Tokyo. Most recently she served as Jerusalem correspondent for TIME Magazine, a columnist for Haaretz, and a program host on TLV1 Radio.

For 70 years, Israel has been sitting on a contradiction.

ISRAEL-DEMONSTRATION-NATION-STATE-LAW

Demonstrators attend a rally to protest against the ‘Jewish Nation-State Bill’ in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on July 14, 2018. – The Jewish Nation-State Bill is a draft Basic Law with constitutional weight that declares that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

From the time its founders inked their Declaration of Independence in the shadow of war against Arab neighbors, Israel defined itself as a Jewish state—one that gave Jews a safe haven after the horrors of the Second World War. But the country’s foundational document signed in May 1948 also promised that Israel would “ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” It guaranteed “freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.”

Seven decades later, it has become harder than ever for Israel to strike a balance between being a Jewish state and promising equal rights to all. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just tipped the scales—or rather, yanked them—in the direction of promoting the state’s Jewish character. It’s not clear that the equality outlined in the founders’ vision statement remains a goal. It’s certainly far from reality.

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2 replies

  1. From my view— there are Israel Arab more than 1 Million who live in Israel . Israel treat Isreal Arab equally but because of conflict with Hamas years till to day, it is hard to trust 100 percent on Israel Arab—so as long as there still conflict with Hamas—Jews Government has to be careful with Israel Arab. Anyway Israel Arab Musljm still enjoy to live in Israel than in Palestine, Jordan or Saudi Arabia

    Also Ahmadiyyah enjoy living in Israel compare to Arab coubtries. Right Rafiq?

    All love ❤️

    • Wrong. Although Israel treats the Israeli Arabs better than it treats the Arabs / Palestinians of the occupied territories it still does not treat them equally. Look at the education budget for Arab Schools versus Israeli / Jewish schools. Look at the water supply to Arab homes and to Jewish homes. But yes, the Israeli Arabs are treated better than the ones in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Or should we put this into past tense? As with the latest law just passed on the ‘Jewish State’ thing the Arab language has been downgraded and the right of Arab Israelis has been downgraded.

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