In the opinion of MJ Rosenberg, New laws aim to make democracy subservient to the orthodox religious beliefs of a minority of citizens. He so truthfully observes
Netanyahu has no interest in negotiations. What he wants is to prevent the Palestinians from taking their aspirations for statehood to the United Nations this autumn. He thinks they are so brainless that they will accept an empty offer from him rather than try something new, something which – whether it succeeds or not – will fundamentally change the political terrain in a way Netanyahu most certainly will not welcome.
More evidence of the utter phoniness of Netanyahu’s new stance comes with the news that the Knesset is now considering a bill – supported by 40 legislators from Kadima, Likud, and Yisrael Beiteinu – that would, according to Haaretz: “make democratic rule subservient to the state’s definition as ‘the national home for the Jewish people’.”
The lead sponsor of the bill says that it is intended to give the courts legislation that supports “the state as the Jewish nation state in ruling in situations in which the Jewish character of the state clashes with its democratic character.”
The bill is likely to pass – 20 of the 28 members of the “moderate” Kadima party have joined Likud in pushing it – which would mean that Israel will be making that long-predicted choice between being democratic or Jewish – a choice that would be unnecessary if Israel gave up the 1967 territories.
Members of the Knesset, it seems, are prepared to lay aside democracy, giving Israel the freedom to hold on to all the territories while continuing to not give democratic rights to the millions of disenfranchised Palestinians who live there.
The legislation, should it pass, would represent the most significant change in Israel’s history. Israel would be embracing the idea of theocracy over democracy. Until now, Israel has always insisted that it is no different than the United States or any modern country – where church and state are separated.
Everyone who loves freedom for all should be VERY concerned about this turn in Israel. It is appallingly ignored, though, in media here in the States. And yet Israel may soon become the same sort of theocratic nation as we have in Saudi Arabia and other repressive Mid-Eastern states.
- Knesset considering bill recognizing Israel as ‘Jewish state’ (jta.org)
- This is what imposition of religious law looks like (salon.com)