Saturday, July 21, 2018

Israels Nationality Law

There are many highly vocal critics of Israel's new Jewish Nation-State Law, specifically the Arab and Druze Knesset members, who say they are outraged not only because the law defines Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, but also because the new legislation does not include the phrase "full equality of rights for all citizens."

If these great thinkers had checked they would have realized it to be redundant to add those words since the new law DOES NOT rescind any previous law. 

From The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel:
"The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
We appeal - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions."
 "We extend our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land." 
And then there is the 1992 Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, which stipulates:
"The purpose of this Basic Law is to protect human dignity and liberty, in order to establish in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state."
"Fundamental human rights in Israel are founded upon recognition of the value of the human being, the sanctity of human life, and the principle that all persons are free; these rights shall be upheld in the spirit of the principles set forth in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel."
Here is the excerpt of the Amendment to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty  (5752 - 1992):
Amendment of section 1 (1) Section 1 shall be designated 1(a) and shall be preceded by the following section: Basic principles
1. Fundamental human rights in Israel are founded upon recognition of the value of the human being, the sanctity of human life, and the principle that all persons are free; these rights shall be upheld in the spirit of the principles set forth in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.  
So, if Israel's pre-existing laws and its Declaration of Independence remain unchanged and guarantee equal rights to all citizens, exactly WHAT is behind the Israeli Arab leaders' fierce attack on the Nation-State Law?

Is it really because they are worried about equality or is it something else? The answer can be found in their own statements: they are basically opposed to the idea of Israel being the homeland for the Jewish people.
They know very well that the Nation-State Law does not affect the Arab citizens' status and rights as equal citizens of Israel.

Arabs who remained in Israel after the 1948 War of Independence have full equal rights under the law. 
There are those, who claim they face constant discrimination, citing inferior services and unfair allocations for education, health and housing. However these detractors never compare their status to that of Jews or other minorities that remain captive in Arab Lands. 
For example in Saudi Arabia and the Maldives, only Muslims are allowed to be citizens. In both of these countries, the open practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden specifically Christianity and Judaism, which are supposedly accepted by Islam and one truly wonders why no one ventures to mention this outrage!

WHY? Yes, why? Have WE Israelis taken this step and formalized Israel's character / existance as a "Jewish State"  it is very simple really.

In his article from March 25th 2015 "Encountering Peace: Palestinians – Get over it and recognize the Jewish Nation State" by Gershon Baskin. He states;
"I know that the concept “Jewish” is complex. Most Palestinians and many non-Jews confuse Judaism as a religion with Judaism as a nation, as a people. They say, why should there be a Jewish state – referring to Israel as a theocracy – a state of a religion. Israel’s Jewishness, though, is much more than that, in fact, Israel is a civil state not a religious state or a theocracy. While laws of personal status (inherited from the Ottomans – also in Palestine) are controlled by the religious clergy and communities, the laws of the State of Israel are civil laws not religious laws."
Then there is the major issue felt by most Israelis:
"When I am asked ...(by the Israeli audience) .... Why do the Palestinians refuse to recognize the Jewish people’s right to a state?
Why can’t the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people?
I tell them(the Israeli audience) that the Palestinians recognized Israel and that should be good enough, but it is not. They (the Israeli audience) say that the Palestinians have never accepted the right of the Jewish people to have a state of their own in their ancient homeland and that the Palestinians only recognized Israel because Israel is strong today, but that if Israel were not so strong?" 
That is indeed the issue! Would the Palestinians deny Israel’s right to exist if they were stronger? Would they deny us once more of our "homeland"?

The threats by which we live day in, day out without stop for more than 70 years by our blood thirsty enemies that surround us is VERY real. The cries in Arabic from the followers of ISIS (Islamic State), the speeches of the Ayatollahs in Iran, the hate from Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Lebanon. The Falestinian Terrorism has struck a deep chord in the minds of the Israeli Jewish voter who ever since the debacle of the "hope for peace" died in the suicide bombings that erased the chords of the cheerful Meretz Political theme song that lead to the election of Yitzhak Rabin in 1992. The majority of Israelis have progressively moved to the "right".

In the last elections the Israeli people have voted strongly in favor of the right-wing parties and in Benjamin Netanyahu. Fear is the factor that explains why they voted for the "Right". Most Israelis really do live in fear; and many of us suffer from PTSD. The Middle East is a very dangerous and scary place to live and we feel that we stand ALONE.

"Many Israelis believe that the Palestinians do not really accept the legitimacy of Israel’s existence and are not really prepared to make genuine, lasting peace. Many Israelis speak about a “two-stage solution” not a “two-state solution,” meaning that the Palestinians are willing to make peace with Israel today because Israel is strong and the Palestinians are weak, but one day soon, that will change and then Israel will be wiped off the map. Those Israeli views are empowered by the continuation of incitement against Israel and Jews in the Palestinian media and in textbooks."

"This is not made up, it is real, it is a great concern to the Israeli government and the Israeli people and it must be confronted by Palestinian leaders and by the Palestinian people." 

Here are some points to consider from the controversy regarding the "Nationality Law"

Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People
1 — Basic principles:
  • The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.
  • The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.
  • The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
2 — The symbols of the state:
  • The name of the state is “Israel.”
  • The state flag is white with two blue stripes near the edges and a blue Star of David in the center.
  • The state emblem is a seven-branched menorah with olive leaves on both sides and the word “Israel” beneath it.
  • The state anthem isHatikvah.”
  • Details regarding state symbols will be determined by the law.
3 — The capital of the state:  Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.

4 — Language:
  • The state’s language is Hebrew.
  • The Arabic language has a special status in the state; Regulating the use of Arabic in state institutions or by them will be set in law.
  • This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.
5 — Ingathering of the exiles: The state will be open for Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles.(This clause is of special importance to ALL Jews of the Diaspora due to our experience during the days of the rise of Nazism in Europe in the 1930's)

6 — Connection to the Jewish people:
  • The state will strive to ensure the safety of the members of the Jewish people in trouble or in captivity due to the fact of their Jewishness or their citizenship.
  • The state shall act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people.
  • The state shall act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people among Jews in the Diaspora.
7 — Jewish settlement:  The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.

8 — Official calendar:
The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the Gregorian calendar will be used as an official calendar. Use of the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will be determined by law.

9 — Independence Day and memorial days:
  • Independence Day is the official national holiday of the state.
  • Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel’s Wars and Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day are official memorial days of the State.
10 — Days of rest and Sabbath: The Sabbath and the festivals of Israel are the established days of rest in the state; Non-Jews have a right to maintain days of rest on their Sabbaths and festivals; Details of this issue will be determined by law.

11 — Immutability: This Basic Law shall not be amended, unless by another Basic Law passed by a majority of Knesset members.

A quick reminder to EVERYONE. Here is the preamble of the League of Nations "Mandate for Palestine" I have high-lighted the important points to remember:
Source: League of Nations 10 August 1922
'PALESTINE" -The Palestine Order in Council.
WHEREAS the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them;
And whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,
it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine,
or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; And whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; And whereas, by treaty, capitulation, grant, usage, sufferance and other lawful means, His Majesty has power and jurisdiction within Palestine."
Now for further clarification I will quote two authors. I will begin with an excerpt from "Get Over It—Israel Is the Jewish State" - from the July 19th 2018 edition of the WSJ by Eugene Kontorovich, and then "The Case for Israel's Jewish state law"  from the Jerusalem Post of July 18th, 2018 by Emmanuel Navon.

Eugene Kontorovich begins by assessing that:
"Israel’s Basic Law would not be out of place among the liberal democratic constitutions of Europe—which include similar provisions that have not aroused controversy. The law does not infringe on the individual rights of any Israeli citizen, including Arabs; nor does it create individual privileges. The illiberalism here lies with the law’s critics, who would deny the Jewish state the freedom to legislate like a normal country.
The nation-state law declares that Israel is a country established to instantiate the Jewish people’s “right to national self-determination.” It constitutionalizes symbols of that objective—the national anthem, holidays and so forth. There is nothing undemocratic or even unusual about this. Among European states, seven have similar “nationhood” constitutional provisions."
Navon on the otherhand sees the passing of the Nationality Law as necessity with regards to the judicial "leftist"  activism of Israel’s High Court of Justice in the past two decades. 
"After 70 years of independence, Israel still lacks a written constitution. This is an anomaly, but not one that is going to be remedied any time soon because of unbridgeable gaps between Israel’s political parties. Constitutions are the cornerstone of democracies; they define the identity and purpose of the state; they determine the powers of the three branches of government; and they protect individual rights.
 Israel has “basic laws” that determine the powers of the three branches of government (such as Basic Law: The Knesset) and that protect individual rights (such as Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom), but not a basic law that defines the identity and purpose of the state." 
Until now Israel does not have a Constitution and Basic Israeli laws are continuations of British Mandatory Law based on the English penal codes and basic laws.
According to Navon the; " Basic Law: Israel Nation-State of the Jewish People was passed to fill that void." 
"To some, filling this legal void was unnecessary since Israel is de facto a nation-state and since its Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel does define the identity of the country (“We hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state”) and its purpose (the national independence of the Jewish people).  In fact, passing this new basic law was necessary because of the judicial activism of Israel’s High Court of Justice in the past two decades." 
In his continuation in the article Navon lays out several examples where the Israeli Supreme Court made decisions that underminded Israel’s identity as a nation-state i.e. the "Zionistic" or "Jewish" nature of the State.
"In 1992, the Knesset passed two basic laws: one on “human dignity and freedom” and one on “freedom of occupation.” Justice Aharon Barak (who presided the Supreme Court between 1995 and 2006) proclaimed a “constitutional revolution” after the passing of those two basic laws. What Barak meant was that the High Court of Justice could now strike down laws passed by the Knesset if deemed “unconstitutional” (i.e. incompatible with the two new basic laws).  Nowhere in the basic law does it say that the court is entitled to use them to strike down regular legislation. Yet Barak unilaterally granted that power to the court in a 1995 ruling.
 The “constitutional revolution” has affected Israel’s identity as a nation-state.  The basic law on “human dignity and freedom” states that Israel is a “Jewish and democratic state.” But what happens when Jewish and democratic values conflict? 
No problem, Barak wrote in 1992: "In case of a conflict, the word “Jewish” shall be interpreted by the court “with the highest level of abstraction.” In other words, it shall be ignored.
Theoretically, the court could use in its rulings Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which defines Israel is a Jewish state. Yet the court itself ruled in 1948 that the Declaration of Independence has no constitutional value. 

 Kontorovich continues:
"Another controversial provision of the law declares “the development of Jewish settlement” to be a national value that the government should promote. It is understood to refer to encouraging population dispersion into the periphery of the country. This essentially restates policy adopted by the international community in 1922 in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which sought to “encourage . . . close settlement by Jews.” 
Again, the provision is only declaratory of values, and does not prescribe or authorize any particular policies. By contrast, the state constitution of Hawaii authorizes land policies to promote homesteading by ethnic Hawaiians, and provides preferential land polices for them.
Moreover, the measure comes against a backdrop of land policies that discriminate against Jews. The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled controversially that Arabs have a right to create residential communities in Israel that exclude Jews. A separate case denied the corresponding right to Jews. In Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority prescribes the death penalty for Arabs who sell land to Jews. The new Basic Law does not even negate either of those injustices; it merely creates a normative counterweight.
Gershon Baskin in his article from March 25th 2015 "Encountering Peace: Palestinians – Get over it and recognize the Jewish Nation State" writes:
"...first every country in the world which is recognized as a nation state of one people has minorities in its midst. If those states are democratic there are guarantees for the protection of the rights of the minorities. Germany is the nation state of the German people, but millions of Turks live there. No one questions the rights of the Germans to define their state as the nation state of the German people while guaranteeing the rights of the Turkish citizens who live there. The same is true for every other nation state."
Emmanuel Navon in his article "The Case for Israel's Jewish state law"  gives a prime example of the absurdity of the "High Court of Justice.":  
"THE COURT’S activism, combined with the “highest level of abstraction” with which Barak interpreted Israel’s Jewishness, were soon to be felt. The court ruled that a Jew cannot purchase a plot of land in a Bedouin village (Avitan case, 1989), but that an Arab can build a house in a village established by the Jewish Agency (Ka’adan case, 2000)."
Netanel Fisher in his Opion Piece on Ynet "The truth about Israel's Nationality Law" states:
 "Indeed, the court has already expanded the interpretation of "human dignity" and granted constitutional protection to the value of equality. The court rejected government decisions and laws whose violation of equality was unjustified in its opinion."
"Moreover, the court inserted the value of equality into the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty even though the Knesset did not include it explicitly it in the language of the original law. This is, of course, another reason why Knesset members are suspicious and unwilling to introduce the word "equality" into the new law. Based on the Supreme Court’s history of very loose interpretation of existing statutes, the Knesset is legitimately concerned that the Court might one day decide, for example, that in the name of equality, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the territories can become citizens of Israel through marriage, or that the Israeli religious marriages system should be annulled. These are legitimate questions, but they should be left to the legislators, the people’s representatives, not to the Supreme Court."
Here is just how the Pro-Falestinians and their lackeys atempt to manipulate the Israeli Supreme Court System and our "Democracy"
"The court was petitioned twice by NGOs (in 2006 and in 2012) to cancel Israel’s citizenship law so as to impose on Israel the Palestinian “right of return” through the back door via fictitious marriages. Though the court rejected both petitions, it did so with a razor-thin majority of six to five."
For years the Communist inspired left wing Israeli's anti-Zionist camp who are possessed with an almost sick psychopathic self-hatred of their Jewishness, have tried to eliminate Jewish symbolism by using the Supreme Court to attempt to eliminate the vestiges of "Judaism and Zionism". As Navon points out:   
"Other laws and symbols related to Israel’s Jewish identity are not immune from petitions at the High Court of Justice. The “Law of Return” (which grants automatic immigration rights to Jews) might one day be struck down for being discriminatory;"
This absurd hatred by the "unhappy citizens", "Left Wing" and Arab Lists-parlimentary parties in the Knesset, have even challeged the Israel’s national anthem in court for ignoring the feelings of the Arab minority because it expresses the Jews’ two-millennia faithfulness to our land and fails to mention our "Non Jewish" population.
These "unhappy citizens" are now even challegening the countries flag (which only has a Jewish symbol) as NOT representative of them.

These same "unhappy citizens", "Left Wing" and Arab "Taxpayers" could petition the court against the spending of their money on the preservation of Jewish identity in the Diaspora. Therefore..." until the passing of the basic law on Israel as a nation-state, the court had no constitutional basis to reject such petitions and to protect Israel’s Jewishness. Now it does."

Navon continues with further examples of areas where these "unhappy citizens", "Left Wing" and Arab  opponents to the law claim that declaring Hebrew the country’s official language, while granting Arabic a “special status,” affects the rights of the Arab minority.
Nor does Israel have official religions, and nothing in the new Basic Law changes that. In this respect, Israel is more liberal than the seven European countries with constitutionally enshrined state religions.

Perhaps the best evidence that Israel needs a constitutional affirmation of its status as the sovereign Jewish nation-state is the eagerness of so many to denounce as undemocratic measures that are considered mundane anywhere else.

Would they say the same of the French constitution, which establishes that “The language of the Republic is French” (Article 2) while only recognizing “regional languages” as belonging to the “patrimony of France” (Article 75-1)?  Being a nation-state is compatible with the civic equality of minorities. Israel is no exception in that regard.   

The right to national self-determination was recognized as a universal one by the League of Nations after World War One. The Jews are entitled to that right like any other nation. Unlike the United-States and Canada, but like most countries is the world (including in Europe), Israel is a nation-state. Yet the Jews’ right to self-determination is still being challenged both internationally and domestically.  Thanks to the nation-state basic law, Israel’s Jewishness is no longer assailable at home.  

Many revisionist historians tend to forget that on June 30, 1922, a joint resolution (the Lodge Fish Resolution) " was; 
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected." [italics in the original]
By favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people as outlined in the Mandate for Palestine from the Treaty of Serves and this US Resolution. It confirmed the irrevocable LEGAL right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine – which in 1922 extended from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

MK Avi Dichter (Likud), who sponsored the bill, explained his reasons for passing the law.
“We are enshrining this important bill into a law today to prevent even the slightest thought, let alone attempt, to transform Israel to a country of all its citizen,"
"When I listened attentively to the Joint List MKs, it was impossible to miss their clear words: 'We, the Arabs will win, we are in our homeland, we were here before you and we'll be here after you.' This Basic Law is the clear-cut answer to those who think that and it is clear: You were not here before us and you will not be here after us,” 
"The most you can do is to live among us as a national minority that enjoys equal individual rights, but not equality as a national minority,”
MK Amir Ohana (Likud), who headed the Knesset Joint Committee of the nationality bill also said;  that the vote marked a “defining moment” in Israel’s history.
We don’t have 21 national nation-states like the Arab nation. This is a historic Basic Law that for the first time explicitly consolidates the different components of the State of Israel’s character. As the nation-state of the Jewish people,” he said.