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Independence Day, May 5, 2014.
Independence Day, May 5, 2014.Credit: AFP

Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state

In recent weeks Haaretz has published articles on the issue of Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. It’s a reasonable demand. Israel has since its very establishment defined itself as a Jewish nation state, while simultaneously offering equal rights to all its citizens. Most states in the world are nation states. The European Union is made up of nation states, some of which are relatively new.

What is especially disturbing is that there are both Jewish and Arab Israelis who vehemently oppose any recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Israeli author Yitzhak Laor wrote in Haaretz on March 31 that recognition is unnecessary because no one has a clue as to what “Jewish identity is.” Why we should recognize a new state based on “Palestinian identity” isn’t explained in his article.  

Admittedly “we must free ourselves from the racism of the state” and get rid of the occupation. But where on earth does the peaceful coexistence of a “mosaic” of different ethnic groups - that Laor so much admires - exist? Not in the Arab world and not even in Turkey where a significant minority group, the Kurds, don’t have the right to use their language as a language of instruction in public schools.

Recognition is not a pre-condition for negotiations but the logical result of a peace settlement in which all difficult final status issues have been resolved. The Israeli and Palestinian sides should stop manipulating the recognition issue as a pretext to disrupt the peace talks.


Mose Apelblat

Brussels

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