The Israeli cabinet voted in favor of the controversial “Jewish state bill” which cites Israel as “the national homeland of the Jewish people”. It is expected that critics fear that the bill may discriminate the non-Jewish population, which comprises predominantly Arabs. Israel’s action to defend her national interests often conjures up world-wide condemnation. Unless a nation is 100% homogeneous in her racial composition, any form of racial segregation can be construed as apartheid and with discriminatory consequences for the minority. Israel may be singled out as a culprit of racial segregation. In truth the world is just blind to the fact that all nations have racial discrimination in varying degrees. Many are outright violations of human liberty and dignity. Israel may just be a punching bag. It is a worthwhile case study.
Jerusalem Post – “People ask who needs this bill; we have managed 66 years without it,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said ahead of the meeting. “And I ask, who needs the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, we managed 45 years without it. We need both,” he said. “Israel is a Jewish democratic state. There are those who want democracy to take precedence over Judaism, and those who want Judaism to take precedence over democracy. In the law that I am bringing, both principles are equal and must be given equal consideration.”
Netanyahu said Israel is the national home of the Jewish people where there are equal rights for every citizen. “But there are national rights only for the Jewish people; a flag, anthem, the right of every Jew to immigrate to Israel, and other national symbols,” he said.
The prime minister said this law was needed at this time because many people are challenging the idea that Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people.
“The Palestinians refuse to recognize this, and there is also opposition from within – there are those who want to establish autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev, and who deny our national rights,” he said. “I also don’t understand those who call for two states for two peoples, but at the same time oppose anchoring that in law. They are quick to recognize a Palestinian national home, but adamantly oppose a Jewish national home.”
Netanyahu draws a dichotomy of Jewish rights and national rights. Every Jew has a right to be in Israel. That is their “birth right”. That does not preclude non Jews from being in Israel. All Israelis, Jews or non-Jews are subject to their national rights, which presumably assure every Israeli with equality. If there is any debate, it has to be about the Jewish rights and not the national rights. Has any Jew has the unfettered right to be in their homeland Israel?
A challenge may come in the form of the definition of a Jew. Once that Jewish root can be established, the a person who is ethnically Jew has that right to be in Israel. There is a interesting biblical command that forbids Jews from marrying those in the land that they were to possess then. In the light of the predicament faced by Jews today, the biblical command pertaining to intermarriage was a foreboding warning. Part of the problems faced by Israel today is the breach of that single command for the preservation of the Jewish race.
Israel is unique. There are no known records of a race (of a certain bloodline) being given a land (by divine decree) to be called their own. In America, will the native “Red Indians” be given land as being their birth rights? In Australia, the same debate rages on for Aboriginal ” (land) rights”. South Africa, after the demise of apartheid, is now appropriating lands from the hands of the white “occupiers” back to the the “natives”. In Malaysia, the rights of Bumiputras (sons of the soil, the natives – another controversial policy regarding definition of being “native”) are beyond others. It is not uncommon for nations to have racial rights above national rights, i.e. some races have more rights. In Singapore, certain minority races have more rights in terms of education, healthcare and national largesse. These enshrined laws are all outright discriminatory. But because they benefit the minority, there was no public outcry.
When it comes to race, who really has authority to grant land rights? Who really have the rightful claims to land – the natives or invaders from afar? The British established a world-wide empire of lands that were conquered and colonised. These became Crown lands, but are in fact, never theirs. Unfortunately, substantive issues such as these are never mentioned in the United Nations. Often, advocates of human rights only raised issues that are meant to distract while real issues do not get addressed.
The world should take notice of the unique situation in Israel – Who declared to Israel their land rights? What about the descendents of Ishmael, the “half-brothers” of Israel (these people groups now dominate the Middle East)? Do they too have rights to land and blessings from God? By any account, the Arabs were blessed and wealthy. So why is this impasse over the tiny strip of land called Israel? If man cares to investigate with earnest, the answer is written in history. It would have spared mankind much misery.
In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: