7/22/2018--I always said I would not be a critic of Israel since I don't live in a country surrounded by enemies who want to destroy me. But I am not criticizing Israel here, just pointing out what the Israeli government has just enacted. The government adopted a statute providing that Israel is the national state of the Jewish people. For this reason, Arabic was downgraded from an official language.
Obviously, any Israeli citizen who is not Jewish is now a second class citizen, as Arab members of the Knesset argued in their opposition to the bill.
There always was a tension in trying to be both democratic and Jewish. In a democratic state, if a new group gains a majority, they just take over the government. But, if a state is supposed to be dedicated to a particular religious group, what happens if someone else gains a demographic majority? If Muslims and Christians gained a majority in Israel, would they not be tempted to change he nature of the Jewish state?
But how can that be prevented if the state is democratic? For now the announcement is largely symbolic. But if Arabs threaten to become the majority, further steps will have to be taken to limit their voting rights.
It's not evil. It's just the tension between a religious state and a democratic one. The Israeli government is right--you can't be both.
Sunday, July 22, 2018
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