Does a Jewish State = Racism?
Let's start with Israel's Supreme Court:
Gov't school plan struck down as 'racially based'
The High Court of Justice on Monday struck down a government educational plan that gives preferential treatment to 500 Jewish communities and four Arab ones, ruling that the plan discriminates against the Arab sector...
"We have been convinced that the government decision on the matter of determining the national priority zones does not sit well with the principle of equality, as its consequences lead to unacceptable discrimination against members of the Arab sector in the fulfillment of their right to education, thereby resulting in its illegality," wrote Supreme Court President Aharon Barak...
"The result is contaminated by one of the most suspect distinctions, which is distinction based on race and nationality," wrote Barak. "This is a result that Israeli democracy cannot tolerate."
The Education Ministry said it would study the ruling and "come to the necessary conclusions" regarding the consequences.
Let's take a moment to enumerate some of the conclusions and consequences that the Education Ministry (and the rest of us) can draw from Supreme Court President, Aharon Barak's comments:
* The concept of Israel existing as a Jewish State, whereby the interests and needs of the Jewish People are placed above all others, is racist, as it represents a "distinction based on race and nationality".
* For Aharon Barak, and Israel's Supreme Court, preserving Israel as a democracy in which there exists absolute quality for all, takes precedence over Israel's existence as a Jewish State.
* In the (Jewish) State of Israel, the Education Ministry is forbidden from placing a stronger emphasis or allocating greater funding towards Jewish communities and Jewish education - as it " does not sit well with the principle of equality".
Now, let's compare Supreme Court President Barak statements to those recently made by Arab member of Knesset, Ahmed Tibi:
MK Tibi: Jewish state not democratic
"I certainly oppose Zionism and the Jewish character of the State. Everything I've said tonight, I will also say in the Knesset, and that is that a state can't be equal and democratic and prefer one ethnic group over another. Despite the fact that I'm aware of the presence of Basic Laws defining the country as a Jewish state, this does not take away from the logical contradiction between the two definitions of Jewish and democratic in our opinion, and our opinion is also shared by a wide echelon of a group of intellectuals and Israeli left-wingers."
"We won't accept a coercion of Zionism, which we oppose as we oppose the foreign and defense policies of the government, and the validity of the occupation. A million Arabs in the country oppose the occupation, oppose Zionism, and oppose the liberation of land which is a Zionist value. You can't force these things on us and our public... Our platform talks about equality of rights for the Arab public as a national minority in the context of a legal battle to change the country into a state of all of its nations," Tibi said.
Ahmed Tibi (who is scheduled to meet with Hamas' new PM Ismail Haniyeh), along with other Arab Members of Knesset, such as Azmi Bishara (Balad) - who has met with his fare share of terrorists who call for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel during his tenure as an MK, see the inherent contradiction between Israel being both a Jewish State and a democracy, and recognize that ultimately one of these two ideologies must take precedence.
They, along with Israel's Supreme Court, believe that it should be the State of Israel's democratic character that is the ultimate arbiter of all values and policies in the State of Israel.
As such, it will only be a matter of time before we see the following decisions rendered by Israel's Supreme Court:
* The annulment of the Law of Return, which establishes in law the right of every Jew in the world to move to the State of Israel and be granted citizenship, as it "does not sit well with the principle of equality" between Jewish and Arab citizens of the State of Israel.
* The rejection of Israel's national anthem, the Hatikvah, which contains the words: "The soul of a Jew yearns". The current national anthem is "contaminated by one of the most suspect distinctions, which is distinction based on race and nationality" and must be changed to an anthem that can equally represent all elements of Israeli society.
* The State of Israel must change it's national flag, as Israeli Arabs do not feel a connection to the Shield (Star) of David, nor to the blue and white stripes representative of the Jewish tzizit (ritual fringes) and talit (prayer shawl). This ruling will also apply to the State of Israel’s national emblem, the Menorah, which only holds meaning to a particular segment of Israeli society, and as such, is discriminatory.
* The State of Israel will establish all Muslim holidays as national holidays, as Arab citizens are not able to celebrate the State of Israel's current national holidays, which are by and large, Jewish in nature.
* Calls to "Judaize" the Galil and Negev regions of the State of Israel, in order to preserve a Jewish majority in those areas will be forbidden. As the State of Israel is a democracy, it should be of little consequence if a particular region is populated by a majority of Jewish or Arab citizens.
* The State of Israel will no longer publicly celebrate her Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmaut), as for many of the State of Israel's Arab citizens, this day is mourned as The Nakba (The Catastrophe) - lamenting the terrible day in which the State of Israel - the Jewish State - was established. To continue publicly celebrating this day would represent the height of cruelty to an entire segment of Israeli society.
With leaders such as these, one can only wonder what future the Jewish State of Israel has.