Knesset Votes to Ban Palestinian Parties, Destroy Israeli Democracy
Yesterday, the Israeli Knesset voted to ban Israeli Palestinian political parties from participating in future elections. It accomplished this evisceration of Israeli democracy in the dead of night with only 29 members voting in favor (20 brave souls voted against, the rest were apparently asleep at the switch). The means used was quite ingenious: the Basic Law was amended to read that no MK could sit in Knesset unless he or she affirmed that Israel was both a “Jewish and democratic state.” Jewish MKs have no trouble affirming both of these claims. But Palestinian MKs believe that Israel is not democratic and that it shouldn’t be Jewish (alone).
The amendment passed also notes that MKs may be found to have violated it not only by their deeds, but by their public statements. This means that if a Palestinian MK exercises his right to free speech, he may be expelled from the Knesset.
So with a few strokes of a fountain pen or keyboard, the most extremist of Israeli governments has effectively destroyed Israeli democracy. No self-respecting Israeli-Palestinian would be willing to affirm that Israel is and should be a Jewish state. It’s the equivalent of an American Jew affirming the U.S. should be a Christian nation; or an African-American affirming the U.S. should be based on Christian white supremacy. And without Palestinian representatives, the Knesset will become a Jewish-only body.
In the past, every single Palestinian MK has been subjected to criminal investigation or other form of persecution by the Knesset itself. So the new law is further evidence of the Israeli Jewish campaign to render Israeli politics Arab-rein. It is part of a longer term initiative to “disappear” Palestinians both physically and politically from Israel.
One must ask why only 20 MKs voted against this travesty? Their number included the Joint List and Meretz. Notably, it excluded virtually every other Jewish MK, including those from the supposedly liberal Labor Party. Do I hear the “A-word,” anyone?
Coincidentally, today a UN body issued a report finding that Israel had become an apartheid state. It further urged that the UN reactivate the methods, resolutions and commissions it used to ostracize South Africa, when it too faced international opprobrium for its racist policies. The new version of the Basic Law further strengthens such findings.
In truth, this is all a bit of political theater, since the Israeli elections commission decisions to expel Party lists or individual MKs must be ratified by the Supreme Court. This body, which has grown increasingly rightist, has in the past routinely overturned such rulings by the commission. It’s likely it will continue to do so. But as settlers are added to the Court it becomes increasingly likely it will eventually rubber stamp the anti-democratic racism of the legislative body.
18 thoughts on “Knesset Votes to Ban Palestinian Parties, Destroy Israeli Democracy – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
How is this not major headline news? It only appears in an op-ed in the English edition of Haaretz.
It isn’t headlines b\c the way Richard present it is exaggerated.
@ Jim: Exaggerated? You mean my characterization of the law isn’t the intent of the lawmakers who approved it? No, of course it is.
What you mean to say is that the wording is rather craftily written so that it appears to be reasonable (but only to a Jewish Israeli). But isn’t.
Virtually every Israeli Palestinian MK would never endorse Israel being solely a Jewish state. So in effect you’re banning them.
I am again calling you out on inaccurate reporting. The change in the basic law does not require an MK to affirm “that Israel is a Jewish State”, as you reported. It says that he cannot by words or actions work against “Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state, incite to racism or support armed struggle against Israel by an enemy country or a terrorist organization.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.777594
Maybe this is too nuanced for an extremist such as yourself, but this is a HUGE difference requiring active affirmation versus avoiding working against the Jewish state. No “pledge of allegiance” is required. Yes, it does ban MKs from pursuing your radical agenda but that’s OK, just as a US congressman would get disciplined and kicked out if he or she voiced support for Al Qaida.
Your brand of radical “liberalism” has become an increasingly marginalized, albeit vocal, part of the political spectrum that is rejected by most of America and Europe, not just Israel.
@ Yehuda: Review previous comments in the thread before publishing your own. Two other commenters have made similar claims & I don’t enjoy repeating myself.
Your “distinction” is a question of semantics. Virtually anything any Palestinian MK would do or say would be construed as working against Israel as a Jewish state. While the MK wouldn’t necessarily have to refuse to affirm that Israel is a Jewish state; because all Palestinian MKs in effect do reject this articulation, they would be in violation of this law & liable to expulsion.
No, not a huge difference. Merely one of semantics.
Since any statement by any Palestinian MK can & would be used against them, this distinction, again, is moot.
What horseshit! Palestinian MKs rejecting Israel as a Jewish state has NOTHING to do with al-Qaeda. Their refusal to accept Jewish supremacy in their native homeland is an entirely legitimate political expression. The fact that you equate it with Islamist fundamentalism tells us all we need to know about your racist Palestinophobia.
Pray, what the F(&k is that? I’m neither marginalized nor a liberal. Since my views accord closely with Bernie Sanders, who nearly won the Democratic presidential nomination (after which he would’ve won the presidency), my views are anything but rejected or marginal. Nice try habub.
If you make such a stupid, noxious comparison again my disgust may get the better of me. Consider yourself warned.
Thanks for reminding me how extreme you are, even though you pose as the voice of reason.
the person you are featuring in the article , MK Basel Ghattas, was found guilty of smuggling cell phones and other items to convicted terrorists in jail. why should Israel not expel him from the knesset and punish him?
also, what is the problem with having a jewsish state? why its that so wrong? we have no problem having Muslim States (Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and many more)? Christian states? should we demand the Vatican to not be Christian state as well? or is that different since none of them are jewish?
@ Sheni: There is a fundamental flaw in your thinking. That is that I attribute any validity to the Israeli justice system. Israel is violating international law in denying Palestinians their land and rights. Palestinians are resisting. They are resisting in ways you don’t like. But given the fundamental evil of what your state is doing you have no right to point fingers or complain about what form that resistance takes. You put Palesitnians in prison. Who cares. Give Palestinians what they deserve and they won’t do the things that bring them into your prison. Don’t do that & you will fill a million prisons with tends of millions of prisoners. It won’t help. They will still resist. Do I care whether Ghattas brought cell phones into the prison? No. Do I care what he was charged with? No. Do I attribute any meaning to the sentence against him? No.
What is wrong with a Jewish supremacist state? Well let’s take a look at all those states which are paragons of theocratic religious states in your view: Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. They’re doing pretty well, are they? Free, democratic, tolerant, thriving? Are they all those things? Are they bastions of normalcy? Stable? Hmm, methink not. So perhaps there is a fundamental flaw in states whose primary definition is based on religion.
As for the Vatican, is that the model of state you seek to emulate? A state run by a pope? So why not have Israel run by a rabbi? Or better yet a King. Let’s trace David’s line and anoint a new King of Israel. Enough with this pseudo democracy shit, just like Kahane said. We don’t need it. We need something authentically Jewish. Like King David. But let’s omit all those bad kings. The one’s who killed so many. Who were corrupt. In the name of themselves or their religion. Got that?
BDS apartheid Israel.
So one could basically ban any party in the current coalition since their actions (not just their words) are actively creating a non Jewish (majority Arab) non democratic state …
UN Report: Israel Has Established an ‘Apartheid Regime’
Report breaks new ground on the UN’s examination of the situation in occupied Palestine by using the word ‘apartheid’.
By Ben White
A new United Nations report accuses Israel of having established “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”.
From ICH. For a copy of the report go to the un home page and the publications menu.
This is a major victory that effectively denounces Zionism as the racist ideology it is. I hope that Moynihan chokes on his breakfast over this one. BDS these racist dogs. Smash Zionism and free Palestine for all who live there.
[Comment deleted: comments must be substantive and deal only with subjects directly related to the post.]
Israel has become so brazen as a result of international apathy it no longer even bothers pretending it’s a democracy.
THE ADJECTIVE “JEWISH” AND THE NOUN “STATE” CANNOT BE COMBINED – Morris Jastrow, 1919:
No one. questions, of course, the good faith of the political Zionists in thus placing themselves on a sound democratic basis, but the point is that they contradict the principle of their platform the moment they combine the adjective “Jewish” with “State.” The adjective and noun do not agree ; they are mutually exclusive. [. . .] Such distinctions will lead to internal dissensions and, what is more, will result in an in tolerable segregation of groups within a population.
Zionism and the Future of Palestine (1919) by Morris Jastrow (p. 113)
“After so many killed, and the siege, and expansion for Jews only, and Jerusalem, and the racist wall, what makes [Israel’s U.S. followers] so proud of Israel’s oppression? It is their stupid belief that Israel is a democracy. Israel defines itself as a Jewish state. Therefore only Jews can be 100 percent Israeli. Israel must choose to be either Jewish or democratic.”
—– MK Haneen Zoabi, speaking at NYU, Apr. 24, 2015.
BTW, this new law and other Knesset measures of censure and attempted expulsion have been hatched in part to specifically target MK Zoabi of the Balad party because of her participation in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla aboard the MV Mavi Marmara. In a night raid in international waters, Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara and killed nine peace activists, leaving two to bleed to death without medical attention, wounded dozens more and dramatized to the world Israel’s punitive blockade of Gaza’s 1.8 million people and its use of deadly force to perpetuate it.
Richard Silverstein you are so full of hate towards Israel, i present you a challenge. Dont let people know who you are, wear jewish attire and take a walk down main street Gaza, maybe wear an Israel flag tie or shirt. have a camera on you so we can count how many steps you can make before you are shot. Palestinians can walk around in israel with no repercussions. let me just wish you that you may be able to have a little less hate after passover.
@ Sheni: I will do that…as soon as you walk down a street in Yizhar or Tapuach or a similar settlement in a keffiyeh bearing a Palestinian flag. Let’s see if you get out alive.
As for hate, I don’t hate Israel. I hate those who run it. I hate those who are apologists for them. I hate the violence and hate it stands for. I hate the fact that it will destroy itself at this rate. I want Israel to live. But it will not with jackasses like you and yer pals running the show.
Don’t EVER tell me I hate Israel again. Not ever. Read the comment rules. Violate them one more time and you will not comment here again.