Israel, Democracy or Theocracy? Time to choose! - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • David Turner
    • 12.07.10 | 16:25 (IDT)

    The Knesset Constitution and Law Committee seems hell-bent to turn Israel into a 21st century shtetl. Several years ago, under leadership of an orthodox MK, it attempted to put in place a constitution, a *present* to the Jewish state on its 60th birthday, with a dramatically watered-down Law of Return/Grandparent Clause. Two weeks ago a liberal Hebrew University law professor proposed on an on-line Israeli publication that automatic citizenship for Jewish olim be eliminated. Another proposal to eliminate the Law and its Clause. And now the same Constitution and Law Committee, this time under secular party leadership would provide the Chief Rabbinate veto over Who is a Jew. Because this is precisely the issue behind the conversion bill, whether or not all Jews, regardless of denomination or belief, are fit to live in Israel. Israel is at a crossroads: we of the Diaspora created a state for the Jews, all Jews, even Jews who don’t accept all Jews. Even Jews who oppose a state for the Jews. Israel can build on the universal and secular foundation we built into its creation, or can turn her back on the Diaspora. This bill is not just a matter of political expediency, but of national identity.

    from the article: Conversions bill sets Netanyahu on collision course with U.S. Jews
    First published 02:38 12.07.10 | Last updated 02:38 12.07.10
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