Lou Sandler

Misdirected ‘Jewish State’ Legislation

That Israel is a Jewish Democratic State is without question and the alternate and opposing meanderings ranging from those of Abbas to selected members of the world community are only relevant if given such highlighting. Israel needs to engage the Palestinian and world communities in a way that is shows Israel knows what it is and what needs to be done based on that framework. Signing this pointless document is a step back rather than forward.

The fact that Israel already very much is and will remain a ‘Jewish State’ makes such legislation appear defensive and reactive rather than forward thinking and thoughtful. It is more cheap posturing and yet another example of Netanyahu throwing more meat to the Israeli hard Right. This legislation presents as a point of weakness and uncertainty than a vision from a point of strength and confidence.

The proposal to define Israel as the ‘nation-state of the Jewish people’ as Basic Law does nothing but fill paper without discernable value for Israel. This proposal also allows a debate to continue which lacks stated purpose or outcomes. Pass the legislation and then what…what changes? It is just more posturing; posturing which presents as more of a ‘taunt.’

Netanyahu continues to allow himself to be as superfluous and neutered as is Abbas; semantics but no action, huffing and puffing, remarkably counterproductive posturing, misprioritized realities, not leading but being led by the reactive individuals and variables in their respective government worlds. No coherent vision.

Netanyahu and Abbas’ primary function, as they both individually demonstrate in their own way, has increasingly become to only keep their day jobs without any attempt to do the hard work which must be done. It takes the form of two groups of bickering aggressive school children. But unlike here, bickering and reactive children don’t have their own armies and weapon arsenals and the argument is interrupted regularly by the recess bell and time to come back into school.

Enshrining the “Jewish State’ won’t do much good if the Jewish State continues to eat and digest itself from within.

This bill is akin to the ‘English firsters’ in the U.S. whose actions are driven by their own fear, denial and full disorientation than anything beneficial. Israel does need to figure out how to remain a ‘Jewish Democratic State’ rather than a ‘Democratic State with lots of Jews. It is a serious issue but one further degraded by the current legislation. Israel also should not trying to legislate a ‘caste’ system among its own citizens be they Jewish or not.

Of all the things which need to be addressed; yelled about and debated; brainstormed and resolved; of all the resources and logistics which need to be called upon and reevaluated, such legislation is not much else than another stall and melodramatic distracter from the real and really serious work which needs to be done; from the hard decisions which need to be made.

The Israeli hard Right continues to be far more dangerous to the current stability and future viability of the State of Israel than Hamas and the PA combined. This legislation is little more than a thoughtless and politicalized act of pandering to base elements in the Israeli government and core right wing while continuing to be led by and reactive to the real issues.

About the Author
I was born in Baltimore, MD and have since had a wide range of experiences including a year plus in Israel. I've been a progressive organizer, writer/media spokesperson, coordinator and freelance. I am a PhD level Clinical Behavioral Analyst specializing in severe behavioral need in children (and adults) and their families. I write through no ‘agenda or special interest’ other than being a passionate supporter of Israel and Israel's future.
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