Apartheid makes a comeback in Israel

Israeli government on October 10 approved a bill which compels non-Jews to declare their loyalty to the Jewish state while not demanding the same thing of Jews. It is interesting to note that many Jews don’t recognise the legitimacy of Israel.

IF YOU believe that this is 21st century and individual dignity and human rights are the order of the day, the controversial bill requiring non-Jews aspiring to obtain Israeli citizenship to pledge an oath of allegiance to Israel as a ‘Jewish and democratic state’ would compel you to give a second thought. Israeli government on October 10 approved a bill which compels non-Jews to declare their loyalty to the Jewish state while not demanding the same thing of Jews.

It is interesting to note that many Jews don’t recognise the legitimacy of Israel for religious and theological reasons. A theological expert could explain in detail that the terms ‘Jewish and Democratic’ are oxymoron since Israel can’t be Talmudic and democratic at the same time.

Arabs populate 25 per cent of the Israel. To hoodwink the world opinion Israeli leaders hastened to gloss over the spirit of bill by saying that Israel was still a democratic state and that non-Jews aspiring to obtain Israeli citizenship had nothing to worry about as their rights and privileges would not be undermined in any way. The real intention behind the bill is to forestall demands for the repatriation of millions of Palestinian refugees, who were uprooted and ethnically cleansed from their homes when Israel was established in 1948.

What the so-called moderates in Israel fight shy to accept is clearly categorically stated by people like David Rotem, a member of the quasi- fascist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, a senior partner in the current Israeli government. He says: “I want to keep Israel a Jewish state, and if that contradicts democracy, then democracy comes second, period.”

The new law indirectly reminds Palestinians, who are Israeli citizens – to come to terms with their inherently inferior status as non-Jews. The whole world knows that 99 per cent of Arabs in Israel have been living in the country for hundreds of years before the arrival of Jewish immigrants.

According to Knesset member Ahmed Teibi – the new law means that Israel is democratic for Jews but Jewish for Arabs. “There is no country in the world that forces its citizens, or those naturalising, to swear their loyalty to ideology or a sectarian obligation.” Another Arab Knesset member, Talab Al-Sanea, reacted – the law was not accidental. “The Israeli government did this at this time for two reasons: first, the troubled negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation; and second, as a direct response to the dictates of Israel’s internal coalition politics.”

There is some silver lining also with the dark clouds – some liberal-minded cabinet ministers, who either opposed the law or skipped the cabinet session in protest against it have said that Israel is slipping towards an abyss. One minister, Isaac Herzog, son of former Israeli President Haim Herzog said that the resounding support for an amendment showed that ‘fascism is devouring the margins of society’.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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