Alternative to recognizing Israel as a "Jewish State" - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Barry Berger
    • 31.03.14 | 10:24 (IDT)

    It is speculated that the reason that the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish State is the fear that it removes or restricts the rights of non-Jewish Israelis to the benefit of Jewish Israelis. Why not replace the demand for recognition of Israel as a "Jewish State" but instead openly state and legalize all the policies of supposed concern such as the "right of return", right of Jews to live on land purchased by the JNF, Jewish holidays as official celebrations, Shabbat as the official day of rest, Hebrew as the official language, National flag and anthem with Jewish themes, and others. At the same time, reaffirm the equality of rights and responsibility for all citizens. Once publically stated and ratified, these points serve as operational definitions of what Israel wants in a Jewish state, without forcing the term in its current ambiguous and amorphous form down the throats of potential partners for peace. These partners for peace can then decide if they want peace with Israel as it defines itself by policy rather than simply by name. Such an approach would also clarify to Jewish Israelis like myself what a Jewish State really means. Currently, the term "Jewish State" can mean many things - some of which I can accept, and others not. Like any other term in a contract, "Jewish State" needs to be spelled out or left as an open term to be interpreted (and applied or enforced) by whoever is in power. This approach would also challenge all the parties to be serious about peace arrangements and not use the "Jewish State" terminology as a poor and camouflaged excuse for the real reasons for lack of progress.

    from the article: What Israeli Palestinian mutual recognition really means
    First published 19:53 30.03.14 | Last updated 19:53 30.03.14
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