Israel is all set to pass a significant law in its 66 years of history by formalizing Israel’s status as a ‘Jewish National State’ claiming it as an answer to those who questioned the country’s right to existence.
The controversial ‘National Law’ bill was approved by the cabinet despite the oppositions by the Ministers from the ruling party and warnings that the move would undermine the country’s democratic character. Around 15 Ministers voted in favour of the law while six opposed it. The new law recognizes the State of Israel as the ‘national home of the Jewish people’ where only the Jews are entitled to the national rights. The non-Jewish population comprising of the Arabs and the Christians who make up 20% of the population would be considered as secondary citizens further alienating them. As per the Bill which is intended to become part of Israel’s basic laws, Arabic would be delisted as a second official language and Hebrew would be the national language. The Jewish law would also be institutionalized as a basis for legislation.
The new Bill comes amidst the escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine and also within Israel’s Arab minority. It has invited international condemnation and prompted the rights group to call it a ‘racist’ decision. Netanyahu had earlier said there were equal rights for every citizen. He had also asserted that there were national rights only for the Jews such a flag, anthem and the right of every Jew to immigrate to Israel. The political infightings too have not affected Netanyahu much. The secularists justify their pro-Israeli stand citing Israel to be the only secular democratic nation unlike other Arab countries. The brutal, unethical and anti-democratic deeds of Israel are not justifiable and how the transformation to a complete Jewish state would help tackle the present challenges from the Muslim world is unclear.
The US and the European Union had warned Israel about the possibility of ruining the ties further by making the Palestinians insecure and unsafe. Israel dons the mask of country upholding democracy and secularism when in reality the Jewish state can’t contemplate or absorb even the minutest elements of broadminded democracy. Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian journalist, political activist and writer, founded the World Zionist Organisation in the nineteenth century and promoted Jewish migration to form a Jewish state. The Zionist nation is likely to further isolate the Arab minority and would resort to political craftiness when the situation arises compelling the US and the EU to step back helplessly. The Hamas stance in the Palestinian issue is vividly practical and should therefore be acclaimed.