The meaning of "Jewish state" in Israel's Declaration of Independence - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • 19.10.10 | 14:23 (IST)

    Let us look at a few key provisions of the Declaration (the numbering is mine): "1. This right ('to establish their State') is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.. 2. The state of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles.. 3. it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex..."// The Declaration itself does not mention Democracy, but it ensures equality to all citizens (3). On the other hand, the Declaration talks about the Jewish people being "masters of their own Fate LIKE all other nations" (1). Also, it promises to be open for Jewish immigration (2). CONCLUSIONS: 1. The vision is that of a Democracy with equal rights to all citizens as INDIVIDUALS. 2. As far as COLLECTIVE rights, the Declaration shows preference for the Jews and recognizes some extra rights for them, such as a "right of return". The Palestinian collective of Israeli citizens does not get that right. 3. But the type of mastery, it appears, is LIKE every other nation, that is, if the Arabs become a majority, they can write the laws and the Jews may lose any preferrential treatment. I find this to be the meaning of "Jewish and Democratic state" according to the Declaration. However, other exegetes might reach different conclusions. It makes little sense to include such an unclear term in a loyalty oath. Better to demand loyalty to the State and its laws.

    from the article: Loyalty oath isn't racist, but it will destroy Israel
    First published 00:41 19.10.10 | Last updated 00:41 19.10.10
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