RAMALLAH, 15 Oct (JMCC) - The recently approved loyalty oath contradicts Israel's Declaration of Independence according to New Israeli Fund president Naomi Chazan, because it denies democratic rights to one out of every five Israelis.
These reciprocal sets of rights and responsibilities can provide
self-determination for two peoples within geographically segmented
homelands, while mutually guaranteeing the rights of each other's
minority cohort, Chazan wrote in the Huffington Post.
Nearly 20 percent of the nation is not Jewish - including over 300,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union who aren't recognized as proper Jews by rabbinical authorities.
As the future of the newest round of peace talks hangs in the
balance, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has reiterated what seemed to
some to be a logical demand. Recognize Israel as the Jewish state, he
said to the Palestinians, as a condition for extending the moratorium on
settlement expansion and thus keeping the Palestinians at the table.
The notion that the legitimacy of Israel's Jewish character somehow
hinges on others' recognition has become a convenient and often used
political billy club for the Prime Minister. Just last week, he
announced his support for what amounts to a loyalty oath, an amendment
to the Citizenship Act, which would require new Israeli citizens to
pledge loyalty to a Jewish, democratic state. The proposal was passed
by his cabinet on Sunday.
The Prime Minister's demands, simple and straightforward as they may
seem, are the long fuse to a tinderbox of complex issues involving our
identity as Israelis and as Jews, the nature of Israel's democracy, and
the rights of minorities not just in Israel but in an eventual
Palestinian state. Instituting a loyalty oath and demanding external
recognition of a Jewish state is the next dangerous step in allowing
the ruling coalition of ultra-nationalists and ultra-Orthodox to define
who is Jewish, who is Israeli, and who is loyal.
Read more at The Huffington Post...