A Possible Solution?

The newly passed Nation-State law is causing rejoicing in right-wing circles while at the same time being decried by Jewish and Arab opponents.

The Joint Arab bloc led by Ayman Odeh and the 16 Arab members in the Knesset are not entirely wrong in their loud negative reactions to the passage of the law. And Dr. Ahmed Tibi is not entirely wrong when he cries out that democracy in Israel is dead.

Jewish leaders, rabbis and politicians, outside of Israel have condemned the new law as being both racist and discriminatory. And as I have written in a previous article, I too am very much opposed to the law.

For 100 years since the British established their Mandate in Palestine, Arabic was one of three official languages. Now, only Hebrew remains as our national language. Probably all road and highway signs with directions in Hebrew, Arabic and English will have to be re-modeled to blot out the Arabic.

This act against the Arabic language is, in my opinion, one of the most despicable crimes our government could have committed. It is a blatant anti-Arab move and an insult to the 21% of our Arabic-speaking citizens.

I am not a defender of any Arab cause. But when I see injustice, I cannot remain silent. Nor should any Jew. Have we forgotten the biblical commandment “tzedek tzedek tirdof”.. pursue justice and righteousness ?

The law omitting Arabic as one of our three national languages since 1918 is neither just nor righteous nor moral.

The most respected and beloved minority in our country, the Druze, have always been loyal citizens of our country and serve with honor and dignity in our armed forces. They have always been proud to be Israelis. And now, the new language law will affect them also as Arabic is their native language.

Equally unethical is the change of our judiciary and our courts. No longer relying upon Common Law, we are subjected to Halachic law and the rule and enforcement of the Chief Rabbinate. Millions of non-Orthodox Jews in every continent on the globe will not be recognized as Jews, will be prohibited from freedom of worship at the Wall according to their own Jewish religious tradition, and will be denied marriages by Orthodox rabbis.

Only today, a prominent Conservative rabbi in Haifa was taken by police for interrogation, demanded by the Orthodox rabbinate, on charges of having performed Jewish marriages outside of the official rabbinate.

We are living in the era of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza who, because of their hatred for one another, caused the destruction of our holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Roman legions.

While Muslims and Christians have access to their own respective courts of law, the Jews are forced to submit to Halachic law against the will of non-Orthodox Jews.

Iran has its Sharia law and Israel has its Halacha. No freedom of religious choice or manner of observance in Israel.

Because sections of the Nation-State Law are factually discriminatory against our large Arab minority, a solution is needed to correct the problem.

I suggest that Arab members of the Knesset should resign in protest, tear up their Teudot Zehut (ID) cards, surrender their Israeli passports, and head for the Allenby bridge. They should cross into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan where they will become citizens of an Arab modern democratic nation and will be able to speak Arabic everywhere daily.

Leading the way, many thousands of Israeli Arabs may wish to follow them and to build new lives in a free Arab nation.

It will be the best solution for the Arab problem. And for us also.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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