Israel at a Crossroads - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Strictly Frank
    • 10.10.10 | 18:06 (IST)

    It seems the State of Israel is facing a very defining moment (perhaps the most defining since its formation in 1948). The fact is: you cannot be both a Jewish state and a democratic state. Israelis have to decide what they mean by a Jewish state: majority ethnic Jews, or a religious state dictated by Halakha. Meanwhile, what is the definition of democratic state in this context? Will it be democratic to its Jewish citizens only (given the definition of Jewish)? Any which way you look at it, it is paradoxical. A better declaration or oath could for example insist on pledging that "the Jewish people are entitled to live in this land in peace and security and that their rights should not be violated in any way, in much the same way as any other citizen of the State of Israel". This affirms the Jewish people's rights in Israel whilst not discriminating against non-Jews because it doesn't open the whole Pandora's box of "Jewish state". Before any oaths are legalized, Israel must seriously define itself and then proceed accordingly. This oath can be seen as either racist, undemocratic, or both- it simply doesn't reflect well on Israel's image.

    from the article: Cabinet approves loyalty oath, but only for non-Jewish new citizens
    First published 14:54 10.10.10 | Last updated 14:54 10.10.10
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