Israeli Cabinet Approves Loyalty Oath for Non-Jews: ‘Arabs Raus’
I’m actually heartened by the formulation of the loyalty oath which the rightist Israeli cabinet approved today. It compels only non-Jews to swear loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state and doesn’t make the same demand of new Jewish citizens. This makes the proposal, almost guaranteed of approval in the Knesset even more racist than it was when it enjoined every new citizen to swear allegiance to the Jewish state. This in turn almost guarantees the law will be overturned by the Supreme Court. If the Court does not reject the law then Israel is sliding down the slippery slope to a racialist state.
I was contemplating using the term “fascist” or even stronger but thought better of it given that there are those ready to pounce on the use of such strong terms, but a sitting member of the Israeli cabinet beat me to it:
Isaac Herzog, a Labor member of the cabinet, said the amendment was one of a series of steps in recent years that “borders on fascism. Israel is on a slippery slope.”
Even a Likud stalwart like Reuven Rivlin, Knesset speaker, sees the evil in this proposal, which he says is:
“…Provocative and [could] serve as a weapon for the enemies of Zionism.”
Gee, dya think?
Can we be far from separate water fountains and bathrooms for Arabs? We already have separate schools, separate towns and separate political parties. For that matter, can we be far from prohibiting anyone who isn’t Jewish from becoming a citizen? Actually, Israel will always allow Christians to become citizens. It’s the Muslims who are a problem. So the next thing you know Israel will be prohibiting Muslims and Arabs from becoming citizens. They might just as well add “Arabs raus” to the Israeli Declaration of Independence.\
And while we’re at it, can’t we add a loyalty oath for visitors, especially the undesirable ones like Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky and Ivan Prado, the Spanish clown. That should end the problem of Israel having to arrest them and send them packing when they arrive at Ben Gurion unwanted. No more nasty ISMers either. Just think about it.
Let’s think really big, instead of confining the oath to non-Jews who wish to become citizens, let’s apply it to leftists who already are citizens. When they go abroad to spout their anti-Israel swill, don’t let ’em back in the country till they swear allegiance to the Judenreich. That will get rid of any number of Sheikh Jarrah activists, Neve Gordon, Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, and the like. It also ought to bring down substantially the number of leftists afflicting the Israeli body politic.
Ehud Barak as usual proposed an ineffectual compromise rejected out of hand which would’ve added a reference to Israel’s Declaration of Independence in the oath, as if this somehow will kasher what is treif in it.
Bibi, for his part, in defending the oath, repeated the usual pro-Israel delusion that Israel is the region’s only democracy:
“There is no other democracy in the Middle East…
Which must mean that Lebanon, Turkey and arguably Iran don’t exist. That’s explains why Israel does so poorly in understanding its neighbors. It isn’t even aware of what form of government they have.
Read Gideon Levy’s eloquent denunciation:
Remember this day. It’s the day Israel changes its character. As a result, it can also change its name to the Jewish Republic of Israel, like the Islamic Republic of Iran…
From now on, we will be living in a new, officially approved, ethnocratic, theocratic, nationalistic and racist country.
…Today the loyalty oath bill, soon the loyalty oath law. The dam will overflow today, threatening to drown the remnants of democracy until we are left perhaps with a Jewish state of a character that no one really understands, but it certainly won’t be a democracy.
…The Association for Civil Rights in Israel issued a blacklist of legislation: a loyalty law for Knesset members; a loyalty law for film production; a loyalty law for non-profits; putting the Palestinian catastrophe, the Nakba, beyond the scope of the law; a ban on calls for a boycott; and a bill for the revocation of citizenship. It’s a dangerous McCarthyist dance on the part of ignorant legislators who haven’t begun to understand what democracy is all about.
…Swearing an oath to a Jewish state will decide its fate. It is liable to turn the country into a theocracy like Saudi Arabia.
…That’s what happens when the fire is still smoldering under the rug, the fire of the basic lack of faith in the justice of our path. Only such a lack of confidence can produce such distorted proposed legislation.
…[This] is being done either to provoke the Arab minority and push them into a greater lack of loyalty so one day the time will come to finally get rid of them, or it is designed to scuttle the prospect of a peace agreement…One way or another, in Basel at the First Zionist Congress in 1897, the Jewish state was founded, as Theodor Herzl said, and today the unenlightened Jewish Republic of Israel will be founded.
- The Jewish Republic of Israel (warincontext.org)
34 thoughts on “Israeli Cabinet Approves Loyalty Oath for Non-Jews: ‘Arabs Raus’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Even Iran doesn’t force its ethnic minorities (Jews included) to swear allegiance to a “Persian State.” Imagine the backlash if Iran had done this.
Oh please…The Mullahs stole the last election and Iran is a theocratic state.
I don’t even know how anyone could “arguably” say Iran is a democracy.
Originally the reporting stated that the election was stolen. But further research has cast doubt on those claims.
I’m rather inclined to say that overall Israel’s “democracy” isn’t much better than Iran’s. Pretty corrupt.
I’m happily following your blog and admire you for all the great work which you’re doing, but I do think that the Iranian political scene is definitely a lot worse than it is in Israel. Whether or not the elections there were stolen, violence was widespread and we’ve all seen the images during the post-election demonstrations. Luckily I haven’t seen that so far when I lived in Israel last year in the aftermath of the Israeli elections. What is happening in Israel and to Israeli democracy is awful in itself, and there is no need to ‘strenghten’ that image by sort of downplaying the appalling situation Iranian ‘democracy’ is in, if you ask me.
But this is starting to be off topic, I do have to say that this loyalty oath scares me, and a fear what it will put into motion.
What the oath does now is to bring out into the k light of day in a very stark and undeniable way what kind of state Israel is and has always been.
The oath does show a very ugly side of Israeli politics and the Israeli state, I definitely agree with you on that. I hope sane forces within Israel will be able to stand up to these developments and stop the oath from being actually implemented, though that may sound naive for now.
The situation in Israel is much more subtle. If you are a Palestinian Israeli you can hardly say Israel is a democracy in its elections or anything else. Yes, they may count votes & may seat Palestinian MKs, but beyond that pretty much everything to do w. Palestinians in Israeli society reflects very badly on the notion of Israel as a democracy.
Israel & Iran are truncated democracies.
Many of us don’t even know how anyone could arguably say Israel is a democracy.
And by the way, there is no actual evidence that “The Mullahs” stole Iran’s election. On the other hand, there is excellent evidence that the United States has seriously manipulated the ways in which Iraq’s various pseudo-governments have been chosen. And let’s not forget the U.S. Presidential election of 2,000, which many insist with strong justification was stolen.
There are degrees to democracy JB. Some countries are more democratic than others. Iran, excluding the 09 elections, is highly democratic. It has more democratic institutions than any country in the region, including Israel. People have a meaningful say in their own affairs. In practice, the fact that laws have to conform to religious doctrine means that 4 or 5 issues (gay rights for instance) will be trampled, and then there is the issue of once again abolishing the Guardian Council which approves presidential candidates.
Those are the outlying issues, and there is a lively debate within Iran about them. But on the whole Iran has an incredibly vibrant democracy and anyone who has spent time there will tell you this.
guess you dont understand bibi’s political gamesmanship
he has made sure that this amendment will never get past the courts…they will find it discriminatory…and he knows it
so he still looks good to the far right…and also makes sure that israel still has no loyalty oath
You forgot to quote an important part of Ha’aretz headline: “Cabinet approves loyalty oath, but only for non-Jewish new citizens”.
note: new citizens.
I agree that the law (as it is right now, without amendments) is racist and the high court will probably throw it away.
If you review the current immigration laws (prior to this one), you’ll discover they already contain a preference for Jews, so this new law (affecting only possible Arab immigrants) doesn’t change anything about this policy. It’s nice of Gideon Levy to denounce this law but he’s a little late.
I didn’t forget anything. My post clearly indicates the oath is for new citizens. That makes no diff. whatsoever. A preference for Jews in immigration laws is far diff. than a loyalty oath which effectively bars non-Jews fr. becoming citizens.
“ If the Court does not reject the law then Israel is sliding down the slippery slope to a racialist state.”
What slippery slope? Israel was established as a racialist state by definition. Any state that explicitly establishes and defines itself as the state of a specific race or ethnicity is by definition a racialist state. If that state has, in addition, endeavored to remove a large portion of the indigenous population that was not of the defined race or ethnicity; denied citizenship to persons not of the defined race or ethnicity; shipped in from the outside large numbers members of the defined race or ethnicity in order to establish and maintain a majority; insists that it is essential to prevent other races or ethnicities from diluting that majority out of a necessity to “preserve the specific ethnic character of the state”, then it is without a doubt a racialist state.
Israel is not sliding down a slippery slope toward being a racialist state. Israel was conceived and created a racialist state, and has struggled to maintain its racialist character from the beginning until this moment.
I was originally going to use the term “fascist,” but 2nd guessed myself & used “racialist” instead. Then I read Isaac Herzog’s comment & realized he’d already said it.
It’s often difficult to find just the right word to describe Israel and the situation within and involving it.
Richard, your exhaustive research has already demonstrated that isreal is probably among the top five violators of human rights in all of human history. Given this, how can you still support its existence? How long are you going to fence sit and hope that the zionists will change their philosophy? Come join us and formally declare allegiance to BDS. You yourself called israel a racist state in 1969. You must be awfully tired of fencesitting
“top five violators of human rights in all of human history”…
Sorry but that makes me laugh…
The human rights violations are serious enough, but they pale in comparison to (obviously) WW2 Germany, Stalinist Russia, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China, but also: the Roman Empire, the Japanese rule of China, Korea, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Birma etc., the Dutch massacres in Atjeh and the Banda Islands (to name just two), the Belgian rule of the Congo, the British rule of India, the Spanish conquest of South America, the US treatment of the native Americans etc. etc. Do I really need to go on?
I agree with Elisabeth, calling Israel as being among the top five violators of human rights in all of human history shows a severe lack of historical knowledge, to say the least.
No, not in the top 5, but definitely right up there & a record that no one should be proud of.
A record that no one should be proud of, I agree. And it is happening NOW, which is why it should concern all of us.
But ‘right up there’ with the worst of human rights violations? No. That is really ridiculous.
Just think of what those Interahamwe militias did in Ruanda only a couple of years ago, or what similar groups are still doing in Eastern Congo as we speak (massacres, mass rapes).
But the difference is that my government does not support those militias or provide them with arms. Nor does my government continuously block attempts to condemn said militias in the UN. Nor do my neighbors or members of my congregation send tulips to parks owned by those militias or bequeath their assets to the “Eastern Congo Militia National Fund” when they die (as they do to the JNF).
To me that is the big difference: I am not responsible for that those militias in the Congo do, but I AM responsible for what is happening to the Palestinians: Because of the Holocaust, because of the international backing of the creation of Israel (without thinking of what this would mean to the local population), because of my country’s unconditional support for whatever Israel does.
Off topic. When I want to comment on the topic I will. If you make such a comment again, you’ll be moderated.
would you at least rank israel in the top 10 of human rights violators? I was disappointed by Elisabeths obscuring our discussion with historical trivia. Also, wouldnt you agree with Daniel Levy’s recent characterisation of the creation of israel as mistake? I certainly do
Trivia… my oh my..
You are either joking, or extremely young and lacking of empathy: I am sure it did not feel like ‘trivia’ to the people who had to live through it, if they managed to.
And by the way, so sorry to ‘obscure’ your discussion with more worthy parties, my dear!
Today? Probably. But there’s unfortunately a lot of competition: Congo, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Burma, China, N. Korea, Iran, etc.
Of all time? Nah.
Richard, we will have to agree to disagree on whether israel is one of the top ten human violators of all time. I would like your thoughts on Daniel Levis statement that the creation of israel was an act that was wrong. I think it is extremely significant that he said this and will open the floodgates of people who can now express this opinion without being tarred and feathered
I don’t want to get into a discussion about Daniel Levy’s views about anything. I’ve written often here about the events of 1948 & you can look up what I’ve written. I’m not going to rehash that. The goal of my blog is not to make statements you agree with. I may make statements you agree w. in the course of writing this blog. But I’m not a stenographer or automaton & don’t take orders fr. anyone. I take suggestions fr. readers who offer specific stories they think are worthy of coverage. But that’s diff. than what you’re doing which is to take a specific position on a specific policy that offends you.
I don’t understand what difference it makes whether Israel is number five in history, number ten in the world today, or what. It has a lousy human rights record, which is very well documented. That’s plenty.
Oh, and by the way, in terms of breadth if not depth of human rights horrors the United States makes Israel look like a nice guy by comparison.
Amen, to that.
Note how all Palestinians and the other Arab states are simply hypocrites for denouncing Israel for defining itself as a Jewish state…they all call themselves “Arab states” and view “Islam” as a state religion or Sharia Law as the basis for legislation:
Yes, but you have a wee small problem. 20% of the population of these states are not Jewish as the Palestinian population of Israel is. So it’s a bit more problematic for you since there’s no comparison bet. the 2 situations.
Ah, to see that you’re linking to the Washington Times as a font of wisdom regarding Islam. What will they think of next? Perhaps Dore Gold or Baruch Marzel will explicate Sharia for us? Or Caroline Glick will lecture us on Barack Obama’s Islamic heritage?
“20% of the population of these states are not Jewish as the Palestinian population of Israel is. So it’s a bit more problematic for you since there’s no comparison bet. the 2 situations.”
Not to mention that none of those states was artificially created by importing large numbers from another continent in an attempt to overwhelm the existing population.
I wasnt giving you orders. Much has been made about Daniel Levi’s statements on the right wing ziosphere, but I was wondering how we can use his statements in a progressive fashion
That’ll be your job, not mine. I don’t promote Daniel Levy’s views. He does a fine job of that himself & needs no help fr. me. Besides, he & I have diff. views on lots of issues.
I don’t see how we can use in a progressive fashion any statement that Israel should never have been created. We might have come to that same conclusions ages ago, but it’s an automatic turn-off for anyone who does not already see it that way, and will close far more ears and minds than it opens.