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by Stephen Lendman
Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 at 11:43 AM
Israel: Racist Pariah State Writ Large
by Stephen Lendman
Israel finds new ways to prove its pariah state status. On Sunday, extremist cabinet ministers added more controversy to their collective rap sheet.
Voting 14 - 6 to permit drafting a new Basic Law. For Knesset consideration. Cabinet members:
"(D)efining the identity of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and to anchor the values of the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the principles of the Declaration of the Independence.
All Likud, Yisrael Beytenu and Jewish Home ministers supported the new measure. Except for Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud).
Votes against included Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Education Minister Shai Piron, Science Minister Yaakov Peri, Health Minister Yael German, Welfare Minister Meir Cohen, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
Proposed legislation will declare "the right to express national self-determination within the State of Israel only to the Jewish people."
Netanyahu outrageously claims the law affirm's Israel's democratic status. On the one hand, providing self-determination, immigration and related rights only for Jews.
On the other, ludicrously claiming civic and individual rights for all citizens.
At a time Israeli Arabs are considered fifth column threats. Denied rights afforded solely for Jews.
Face racist discrimination in all aspects of their lives. Including employment, education, healthcare, and where permitted to live.
According to Netanyahu:
"There are those who want the democratic (element) to take precedence over the Jewish, and there are those that want the Jewish (element) to take precedence over the democratic."
"(T)he principle of the law that we are proposing here today - both of these values are equal and we must consider them equally."
Finance Minister Lapid disagreed saying:
"The nationality law being presented to the government is a bad law that was only drafted for the sake of Likud primaries."
This is a law that (David) Ben-Gurion, (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky and and (Menachem) Begin would (have) oppose(d)."
Netanyahu criticized Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. She blocked a similar measure last Sunday. "We wouldn't have gotten here if Livni acted differently," he said.
She responded saying "(i)f all of this was to get back at me, you won."
"Your speech this morning and the beautiful words about the Declaration of Independence, about Jabotinsky and equality, do not cover up the holes in (coalition chairman MK Ze'ev) Elkin's bill, and that even his bill and your speech together don't amount to anything substantial."
Proposed legislation will Incorporate 14 "principles." Officially affirming Israel as a Jewish state (the Jewish national home).
Declaring it as "a democratic state, founded on the principles of freedom, justice and peace, in accordance with the vision of Israel's prophets, and upholds the individual rights of all of its citizens according to the law."
Netanyahu criticized legislation opponents. Ministers threatening to bolt coalition governance over this issue. Saying:
"It is impossible to run the country this way. We need to focus on strengthening security against threats by Islamic extremists and the (nonexistent) dangers of Iran's nuclear program, strengthening Israel's economy and improving the welfare of its citizens - not making threats."
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein opposes legislative language in its present form. On the one hand, he finds nothing wrong with defining Israel as the Jewish people's nation-state.
On the other, he said some parts of the bill significantly "change the basic principles of constitutional law as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and Basic Laws of the Knesset, and lead to deterioration of the democratic characteristic of the state."
Livni's softer version calls for "equality for all (Israeli) citizens. At the same time, calling "Israel the Jewish people's nation-state, where it realizes its right to self-determination."
"It's a democracy based on the foundations of freedom, justice and peace," she claims. Truth is polar opposite. More on this below.
Israel has no constitution. Basic Laws substitute. Proposed legislation is similar to an August 2011 draft version stipulating 15 principles:
"Draft Basic Law: Israel - the Nation-State of the Jewish People
A Jewish State
The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish
people, in which it realizes its aspiration for self-determination
based on its cultural and historical heritage.
The right to national self-determination in the State of
Israel is uniquely that of the Jewish people.
The text of this Basic Law or any other legislation is to
be interpreted in light of this clause.
A Democratic State
The State of Israel has a democratic regime.
The State's national anthem is 'Hatikva.'
The State's flag is white, with two azure stripes close to
its edges and an azure Star of David at its center.
The State's emblem is the seven-branch Menorah
(candelabrum), olive branches on both its sides, and the
word 'Israel' below it.
Hebrew is the official language of the State.
The Arabic language has a special status, and its speakers
have the right to linguistic access to State services…as...stipulated in law.
Right of Return
Every Jew has the right to immigrate to Israel and acquire a
citizenship of the State of Israel in accordance with the law.
Ingathering of the Exiles and Jewish Settlement
The state shall act to gather the Jewish diasporas and to
promote Jewish settlement within its boundaries, and will
allocate resources for these purposes.
Connection with the Jewish People in the Diaspora
The State will work to strengthen the affinity between Israel and the Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
The State will extend assistance to members of the Jewish people who are in predicament or in captivity because of their Judaism.
The State will work to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the Jewish Nation and to foster it in Israel and in the Diaspora.
All educational institutions that serve a Jewish public in Israel will teach the history, heritage, and tradition of the Jewish people.
The Right to Preserve Heritage
Every resident of Israel, regardless of religion or nationality, may work to preserve their culture, heritage, language, and identity.
The State may allow a community, including members of one religion or nationality, to establish a separate communal settlement.
The Official Calendar
The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the State.
Independence Day and Memorial Days
Independence Day is the State's national holiday.
The Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen and the Holocaust. And Heroism Memorial Day are official State's memorial days.
The State of Israel's official days of rest are Saturday and the Jewish holidays, in which a person cannot be employed except under terms to be specified in legislation; members of legally recognized communities may refrain from work on
Hebrew Law shall serve as a source of inspiration for the legislator.
Should the court encounter a legal question demanding a ruling and be unable to find a solution in legislation, in legal precedent, or through clear deduction, the court should rule in light of the principles of freedom, justice, integrity, and peacefulness of Israel's heritage.
Protection of Holy Sites
The holy sites shall be protected from desecration, other harm, or anything that might impair on the freedom of access of religion members to places they consider sacred or hurt their feelings toward those sites.
This Basic Law shall not be altered except through a Basic Law passed by a majority of Knesset members."
The First Zionist Congress (August 29 - 31, 1897) "establish(ed) a national home for the Jewish People, in the Land of Israel."
The Declaration of Independence declared a newly-established Jewish State. The national home of the Jewish people.
Proponents say affirming it in Basic Law provides "greater validity." According to former Israeli High Court president Aharon Barak:
"The values of Israel as a Jewish state posses a constitutional, supra-legal status. They influence the interpretation of all Basic Laws, and thus affect the constitutionality of all statutes."
"They affect the interpretation of all legal texts, for they should be viewed as part of the fundamental values of the State of Israel, and as such they are also part of the general purpose underlying every legal text in Israel."
Israel is no democracy. It never was one. For sure not now. Extremist governance reflects hardline fascist rule. Moderates are too few in number to matter.
Arab citizens can vote, but why bother. They have no say whatever over policy. MKs representing them are few in number. Powerless. Treated like potted plants.
Peace, equity and justice are convenient illusions. Four-letter words. Hardline rule prevails. State terror reflects official policy. So does institutionalized racism.
Jews alone are wanted. Muslims are persecuted for praying to the wrong God. Occupied Palestinians have no rights whatever.
Militarized harshness controls all aspects of their lives. They're marginalized, terrorized, and brutalized.
Crimes against humanity persist. Western leaders able to intervene responsibly do nothing.
Washington supports Israel's killing machine. Generously with billions of dollars in weapons, technology and other aid.
Both countries partner in crime. One fascist regime supports another. Ruthlessness defines their agenda. Giving pariah state lawlessness new meaning.
Guilty of every crime imaginable and then some. Repeatedly. Unaccountably. Shamelessly. Unapologetically.
Netanyahu's nation-state bill excludes equal rights for all Israelis. He and likeminded extremists believe some Israelis are more equal than others.
Ignoring 20% of Israel's population, With its own language, culture, heritage and rights. Making them second-class citizens at best.
Maintaining discriminatory policies. Polar opposite democratic values. Violating international law.
Haaretz editors call his conduct unsurprising. Ignoring fundamental Arab rights. Working tirelessly to Judaize Israel.
Stealing all valued Judea and Sumaria areas. Displacing Arabs for Jews only development. Collectively punishing an entire population.
Treating them like yesterday's garbage. Institutionalizing racism more than ever. Making Israel unfit to live in.
Haaretz contributor Uri Misgav says Netanyahu heads Israel toward "violent, unbridled national struggle…(Partnered with) irresponsible extremists."
"(I)nflamed by populist rhetoric…(F)ed by (nonexistent) existential fears…(T)hreatening to get out of control when combined with religion…"
Irresponsibly led by former US citizen Benjamin Nitay. Netanyahu's name in America.
Misgav calls his governance "failed," "reckless," "atrocious." Nothing ahead looks promising.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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