Knesset to Demand Loyalty Oath, Ratify Israel as Racist State
Well, they might just as well do so. And this points to why the entire peace negotiation-settlement freeze is such a mess that it should die a sudden death.
Bibi Netanyahu pulled a fast one on his Labor coalition partners, according to Haaretz, and introduced a new Knesset law that would require all citizens to take a Jewish loyalty oath. In effect, this means that no non-Jew could become a citizen of Israel, since none worthy of whatever their religion is would take such an oath.
Though angered, Labor is essentially toothless and can do nothing but withdraw from the government. This would transform them from being inconsequential to irrelevant. So it must stay as the perennially scorned second wife in Bibi’s bigamous relationship (the ultra-right wing parties are his beloved first wife).
From Bibi’s point of view, he must throw red meat to the rightist allies in his coalition in order to extract their agreement to a settlement freeze extension. This is a political payoff (as opposed to the actual payoffs Yvette is accused of accepting from Martin Schlaff) to Lieberman, a major plank of whose platform was such a loyalty oath. Keep in mind, it was the same Lieberman who had the chutzpah to lecture the UN General Assembly about the need to expel Israel’s Palestinian citizens from the country.
So the question becomes: is it worth throwing Israeli democracy under a bus, accepting that Israel enshrines its racist nature in law; or is it preferable to throw the entire thing in the garbage heap where it belongs? The question is: peace at what price? Is this any way to an equitable, just peace? No.
This is precisely the type of amoral thinking which so disturbs me:
“I hope that Netanyahu’s support is a payoff to Lieberman, so that the prime minister will be able to extend the freeze without breaking apart his coalition,” said one Labor minister, who declined to be named.
Not a single thought given to the nature of Israel itself and whether it can be a democratic state if it forces a loyalty oath on every new citizen regardless of religion. No reflection on what this will mean to Israel’s current non-Jewish citizens.
The last resort will be the Israeli Supreme Court which at times takes a dim notion to such legal shenanigans. It expunged two racist laws from the books which prohibited Israeli Palestinian political parties from running in past elections. Perhaps they will view this type of law similarly. If not, open the floodgates of racism…
As for me, I think the U.S.A. English movement had the right idea. Speak English, be Christian. That should be our motto. Forget E Pluribus Unum. Not “out of many, one.” Nuts to that. Out of many, a big fat mess. I say, ‘Out of one, one’–and forget the rest. If Israel can be an uber-Jewish nation despite its 1-million citizens who are not, then this country can be Christian, for Christians and the rest of you suckers be damned.
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16 thoughts on “Knesset to Demand Loyalty Oath, Ratify Israel as Racist State – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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instead of the regime relying on its loyalty to the citizens, the citizens are required to show “loyalty” to the regime.
Good point. I thought a democracy required the consent of the governed. I didn’t know it required the coercion of them as well.
This is nothing new. Israel has been, de facto, a racist exclusionary society from its very beginnings.
I know your last paragraph is an attempt at irony, but as I watch from afar, I see the US becoming exactly what you describe.
As a U.S. citizen living abroad – I totally agree. It’s said – but I think we’re heading toward facism…
The disconnect between American Jews who get their drawers in a twist about prayer, Christian pageants, and Easter celebrations in public schools and steadfastly maintain the separation of church and state as a good thing in the United States — and then support creepy 19th century religious and racial nationalism in Israel — always shocks me.
Not only might this be a classic case of cognitive dissonance but it calls into doubt whether these same people really DO believe in democratic ideals — or whether in their heart of hearts they’re really the same racist colonialists whose form of government they support from the right side of their mouth.
This just makes me sad. It’s scary thinking about the direction in which this country is going.
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
the above is the oath taken by all naturalized citizens of the united states
Yeah, & it doesn’t force anyone to affirm the NATURE of the U.S. government whether it be a republic, democracy or even Christian state. So why does Israel force its own new citizens to do so?
@Uncle Joe McCarthy
So why should the Israeli oath require allegiance to the Jewish state? How about the Israeli state?
It’s the Jewish thing that makes it racist and unacceptable.
When I took the U.S. oath of citizenship I would have refused if I was swearing allegiance to the “Christian” state rather than the United States. Why is it so difficult for you to understand the difference?
And the price of tea in China is?
I respect Avigdor more than Bibi. Avigdor is blunt. One of the lesser-reported tectonic shifts in modern Israel is that young Arab Israelis (not the people in occupied Palestine) are often physically, stylistically, culturally indistinguishable from Maghrebi and Mizrahi (even Seph/Ashke) Jewish Israelis. This was not the case when the Arabs in the region were still Ottomanized.
BUT… the non-Jewish Arab Israelis are not equal under the law. The sheer outrage of having lived in Israel since ’48 but being a lesser citizen than a Haredi who has never left Brooklyn… try to imagine.
This is what comes of being an ethnic state when you pretend to be a true democracy. The center cannot hold. Those who “swear allegiance” will be under a microscope for the slightest hint of disloyalty. Most will not — and what then? Where do they go?
On a lighter note, what must it be like to be Japanese Shinto, or Chinese Taoist, or South Indian Hindu, or Sikh, etc. — and see this massive struggle over the fulcrum of Israel. All over a bunch of ancient myths… “What does Jersalem have to do with me?” the Polynesian thinks…
There is no chance this loyalty oath will pass. Not only do Arabs object to it, but I (being what you call “pro-Israel” in your most derogatory sense) and many other “right-wingers” would refuse to take such an oath because I don’t know what it means to be “Jewish and democratic”. For example, what is “Jewish” or “democratic” to send soldiers and bulldozers to Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and drag the people out and destroy their homes and synagogues, without getting any public ratification for the act?
How can the state force the Arabs to say they support Zionism? A coerced oath is useless. It reasonable to request that the Arabs obey the law and restrict their opposition to Zionism to lawful, peaceful and democratic activities, but not to force them to think something they really object to.
I have never read that the oath would affirm Israel as a democratic state. I’ve only seen the oath referred to as affirming a Jewish state.
Besides, why should a new citizen have to affirm the nature of the state? Why shouldn’t they just be swearing an oath to be a good citizen of their new home & leave the nature of it out altogether? To me, it just shows the entirely defensive nature of Israel & its own uncertainty about what it is.
I can’t believe we actually agree on something. We ought to break out a bottle of mashke & celebrate.
Nope, the proposed oath refers to “Jewish and Democratic”. There is also no allegiance to the “Jewish Religion” required, but just to the idea that the state is a Jewish state.
Just getting the facts straight. This is a disgraceful, Fascist proposal. Those who seriously contend that there is no discernible change and “Israel has always been this way” have no idea what they’re talking about, if you’ll excuse my bluntness. Israel is in a rapid decline toward Fascism and self destruction, which may make some of the readers happy, but is tragic in my mind.
i swear allegiance to bar-kochba … moses be damned … and his Law with him …
Our Bar Kochba here? If so, he’ll be flattered (or horrified considering how yr politics diverge!). But I’m guessing you’re referring to the historic Bar Kochba.