Realistic Dove, Magnes Zionist and Tikun Olam have united to create an online petition campaign against the Knesset’s odious Jewish National Fund bill which would prevent Arab citizens from leasing the Jewish National Fund’s lands:
We the undersigned express our profound disapproval and sorrow at the Israeli Knesset’s recent passage, on first reading, of the Jewish National Fund bill. The bill would prohibit Israel’s Arab citizens from leasing land owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and managed by the Israeli Land Authority (which administers 93% of Israel’s land). The Israel High Court had earlier ruled that the ILA cannot discriminate against Arabs in leasing such land. This new legislation is an attempt to circumvent that ruling.
We applaud the High Court for putting an end to a discriminatory practice that should never have existed within a democratic state. We also applaud the Israeli MK’s, Jewish and Arab that voted against the amendment. If Israel is to be truly democratic, all its citizens must have the right to lease land held in trust by the government of Israel. Israel must not settle for anything less.
We call upon to the Knesset to defeat the amendment when it comes up for its next reading and to embrace values of equality and tolerance for all its citizens.
As readers here will remember, the Knesset passed the bill on first reading by a 64-16 vote with many Labor members joining the majority including Ami Ayalon, a supposed champion of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
I’d be grateful if all my readers would take a moment and visit our petition and add your signature. Also, e-mail the link to this post or the petition to all of your friends, family or co-workers who are interested in this issue. We should stand together against racism and in favor of Israeli democracy for all its citizens. My view of Judaism is that is not a supremacist religion, but rather a tolerant religion that embraces–or at the very least co-exists peacefully with–other faiths including Islam. If we insist that Muslims to be tolerant of non-Muslims, what message does this bill send to Israel’s Arabs and those around the world?
You may view all the petiton’s signatures here.