WATCH: 'Jewish Nation-state Bill Is Akin to Incitement'

Haaretz's Bradley Burston unpacks the nation-state bill, explaining its three key flaws, and asserts how Israel could define itself as primarily Jewish without sacrificing its democracy.

Aimee Amiga
Aimee Amiga
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Aimee Amiga interviews Bradley Burston, Dec. 1, 2014.
Aimee Amiga interviews Bradley Burston, Dec. 1, 2014.Credit: Haaretz
Aimee Amiga
Aimee Amiga

The proposed Jewish nation-state bill being touted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and right-wing MKs undermines Israel's claim to be the only democracy in the Middle East, said Bradley Burston, senior editor and columnist for Haaretz.

In an interview with Aimee Amiga, Burston explains that the bill – which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and attempts to resolve the tension between the country's dual Jewish and democratic character – is problematic from multiple perspectives.

The first is that it "downgrades Arabic and drops it as an official language of Israel," says Burston, adding that the bill also "omits the use of the word equality, which is a hugely important omission."

The next area of concern, according to Burston, is "what kinds of implications this has for Israel as a society and for the government and its practice." He mentions the "implied attack" on the Supreme Court as an example (the bill defines Jewishness as the default nature of the state in any instance, legal or legislative, in which the state's Jewishness and its democratic aspirations clash).

The final problematic aspect of the bill, Burston says, "is what this has already done domestically and internationally – there's a tremendous amount of distress being felt among the Israeli Arab population because of this." And internationally, it undermines Israel's claim to be the only democracy in the Middle East; it undermines the claim to be a democratic society which concerns itself with the rights of minorities," said Burston.

Watch the full interview here:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott