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.
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)