It won't happen. But if it does happen, it will probably happen like this.
One day, after many years of arguments and discussions, the Knesset, out of consideration for Israel's Arab citizens and a desire to promote full and equal citizenship, decided to omit any reference to Israel's Jewish identity. "We're all Israelis, equal citizens in our common homeland," declared the Knesset speaker. "Just as in France there are only Frenchmen, from now on in Israel there are only Israelis. Each community will of course be able to develop a separate identity for itself, but that will be a private matter without public standing." It was decided that the listing for "nationality" on our ID cards would be "Israeli" only.
At the first Knesset session after the festive decision was made, an Arab MK demanded that Theodor Herzl's picture be taken down from the wall of the chamber. He announced that if his proposal were not accepted he would turn to the High Court of Justice, "because the picture of the founder of Zionism in the legislature shared by us all hurts the feelings of the Arab citizens and perpetuates the discrimination against them. There is no place in the Knesset for this Austro-Hungarian journalist who never lived in the country."
At the same time, another Arab MK proposed a bill to change the state's symbol, flag and anthem. "These are outright Jewish and Zionist symbols, and they no longer have a place in the country. The seven-branched candelabra, which did or did not stand in the Jewish Temple that did or did not exist, cannot express the equal citizenship of us all." There was also a proposal to change the name of the Knesset, because of its origin in the term beit knesset (synagogue ) and Knesset Hagdola (the Great Assembly ), but it was rejected for the time being.
In advance of the Hebrew month of Tishri, the Israel Broadcasting Authority aired several reports about preparations for the holidays, and as usual pointed out that "the multitudes of Am Yisrael [the People of Israel] are preparing for the holiday" and that "masses of Beit Yisrael [the House of Israel] will flood the beaches of Turkey on the Sukkot holiday." An Arab human rights organization petitioned the High Court demanding that it order the IBA not to use the expression Am Yisrael in this connection. "The expression Am Yisrael may not refer in a public broadcast to the holidays of one religious group or another. There is only one Am Yisrael and it includes us all - Jews, Muslims, Christians and people of no religion. Any other use of the term is racist and discriminatory." A panel of seven justices was appointed to hear the case.
A group from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement petitioned the High Court demanding that it abolish the name of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. "It may be the chief rabbinate of the Jews, but not of Israel." There was also talk of abolishing the Keren Kayameth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund and transferring it to the Finance Ministry.
Arab spokesmen proposed in the media, and were joined by several Jews from the radical left as well as a veteran of the Canaanite Movement, that to avoid hurting the feelings of Arab citizens, the concept "the God of Israel" (Elohei Yisrael ) should no longer be mentioned in Jewish prayers. "In no way do we intend to limit the freedom of worship of the members of the Jewish religious community, but it's clear that the use of 'the God of Israel' in connection with a specific Jewish prayer contravenes the spirit of the laws passed recently." Use of the concept "the Land of Israel" (Eretz Yisrael ) referring to the Jewish history of the country was also criticized.
A radical Jewish leftist who supported the steps that led to the legislation turned to a head of an Arab organization and asked: "We did what you wanted, and you still aren't satisfied. What should we call the country so you'll really feel equal?" With a broad smile the head of the Arab association replied: "What's the problem? The real name was and always will be: Falastin."
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