It is not rare for dreadful things to come in beautiful packages. Often terrorist organizations follow this norm with names that appeal to feelings of justice and fairness, using words such as “liberation” and “freedom”, even though in practice they seek the opposite. Likewise, Muslim terrorists are called “martyrs”, a word that inspires nobility. This is best described as populism, the spoon of sugar that helps poison go down well. The same rationale applies to the Equality Bill that recently received the affirmative vote of 56 members of the Knesset in its first reading.
In truth, however, despite its attractive label, the Equality Bill is misguided and misleading and was also sponsored for populist purposes to unseat the current Israeli prime minister by the same political party that is holding hostage Jewish villages and neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria. It is a bill that sides with those who think that Israeli Jews should apologize to the world for being in their rightful land.
Anyone familiar with Israel will know that equality thrives here. Whereas in 2020 the United States still struggles with the fact that they have never had a woman running the White House, Israel had a female prime minister before man landed on the moon – way back in 1969. Israel, the Jewish State, has Arab judges in its Supreme Court – a Jewish prime minister has been sent to jail by an Arab judge. Tel Aviv is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. Ethiopians are an important group within Israeli society – the current minister of immigration and absorption was herself born in Ethiopia.
As in any successful democracy, adjustments are welcome. In this regard, Israel is behind other countries when it comes to certain issues in relation to same-sex couples, such as civil union and adoption. These are, nevertheless, issues that are not to be resolved by attacking the Nation State Law, as expressly indicated in the Equality Bill’s explanatory note. Indeed, these issues merit to be treated thoughtfully, taken seriously, and addressed by specific legislation in due course. The Equality Bill is not the appropriate statute for this, it is a larger move for populist and electoral purposes without same-sex couples in mind at all.
As a matter of fact, the problem with the Equality Bill is that it ultimately seeks to devoid the State of Israel of its very nature and identity, and it submits to the terrible global view sponsored by the media according to which Israeli Jews should apologize for being Jews in Israel.
The State of Israel has a context, a historical background and a reason for existing as a unique nation, a very unique nation in fact: for example, out of some 200 countries that make up the world, she is the only one where Jews live in their rightful homeland and are not a submissive minority and an easy target. The Equality Bill, though, ultimately dismisses all this, and contradicts Israel’s very Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the creation of Israel as a Jewish state.
As is the case with any piece of legislation within a legal system, the Equality Bill should be understood systematically. The conclusion of any reflective analysis is that the Equality Bill tarnishes the legal system that contains the Law of Return as one of the mechanisms to uphold Israel’s Jewishness. As a basic law, it would, if enacted, make it possible for immigration to Israel to be widely available to non-Jews, starting with Israel-haters such as Rashida Tlaib, currently persona non grata in Israel thankfully. In a world in which “Palestinians” have all rights and no duties, including a rather special definition of refugees – unlike any other refugees in the world – the Equality Bill could mean the end of the State of Israel.
Actually, the Equality Bill ruins the objectives envisioned in the creation of the State of Israel. Whereas it is understandable that the BDS movement, the media and the public in general are clueless about Israeli history and how international law is the basis for the foundation and existence of Israel as a Jewish state, it is inconceivable to think that members of the Knesset can ignore this and therefore the 56 members of Knesset who voted for the Equality Bill in its first reading betrayed the State and constituents.
The State of Israel did not appear on the map out of the blue (and white). And neither was it born as a result of some act of generosity. The San Remo conference passed resolutions that led to the creation of several Arab states and one Jewish state – yes, the Arab residents of Mandatory Palestine perceived themselves as Syrians and also pan-Arabs, not as Palestinians. In San Remo, ALL member states of the League of Nations recognized the connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel as a pre-existing right and called for “reconstituting” – an important word – the Jewish homeland. The famous Balfour Declaration on the creation of a Jewish state here is part of the San Remo resolutions and as such it is binding under international law.
An attempt to change this, as in the Equality Bill, amounts to a destruction of millennia, of hopes, of Jewishness. And the destruction of Israel’s legitimacy. It shows 56 quite questionable members of Knesset who have just delegitimized Israel in a way worse than BDS-ers do. May their names be recorded among all other Jew-haters who have failed in the past.