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Netanyahu at it again.

4 May, 2014

Benjamin Netanyahu wants to redefine Israel as “the nation-state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people” Here. What an interesting notion: anyone living in Israel who is not Jewish would be considered a minority. Netanyahu mentioned Arabs in this reassurance, but his new law would affect many other non-Israelis living there as well.

Imagine becoming an official minority because you did not share the religion of founders. The U.S. might follow Israel’s example and declare itself a nation-state of Christians only, but promising to protect the rights of its minority citizens who are not Christian. Suddenly one’s neighbor might become a “minority citizen” by law.

The idea of minority citizen is one which the U.S. has striven and still strives to rid itself of. It is repulsive to me, because as a child I raised by parents born of two immigrants and though they had work here and though my father became an educated man and did well , we lived as children as outsiders. My parents grew up in tenements: their parents world was circumscribed by non-acceptance. Those barriers took three generations to fall, but in the U.S. there are still minorities whose rights are supposedly protected but who suffer simply because they are minorities.

I hope that the final vote will deny Netanyahu this bizarre notion that Democracy and citizenship can be separated in the modern world. Tzipi Livni said she could only support legislation where “Jewish and democratic would have the same weight, not more Jewish than democratic, nor more democratic than Jewish” HERE. Let’s hope that her point of view prevails in an already troubled Middle East.

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