Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Some Things Sound Fair, But Aren’t


“Israeli Arab group proposes new 'multi-cultural' constitution.

A proposed constitution written by the Israeli Arab advocacy center, Adalah, states that Arab Knesset members will be able to bring about the disqualification of bills that impinge on the rights of Arabs, and classifies the State of Israel as a "bilingual and multicultural" country rather than a Jewish state.

The proposal, entitled "The Democratic Constitution," also calls for majority and minority groups to split control of the government ....

Adalah's version of the constitution essentially abolishes the Jewish elements of Israel, but allows the Jewish majority to maintain its character through educational and cultural institutions. The proposal invalidates the Law of Return, which grants automatic citizenship to people with at least one Jewish grandparent, and states that citizenship will be granted to those who come to Israel for humanitarian reasons, regardless of their religion.”

From Haaretz, by Yoav Stern, February 28, 2007.

* * * * *

This proposal will sound fair to many people.

Before you dismiss it as an attempt to embarrass Israel, as a clever way to gain international sympathy, as propaganda, as a way to eventually establish an Arab majority, or as a way to eliminate the sole Jewish State, do consider this from the point of view of an individual Israeli-Arab.

Consider that he or she may honestly be offended by “their flag” having a Jewish star in it. Wouldn’t most American Jews (among others) be troubled if the U.S. flag had a Christian cross on it?

Consider that he or she may honestly be offended by “their national anthem” referring to the land, as the land of the Jews.

Consider that he or she may honestly feel discriminated against because, legal equality aside, he or she IS discriminated against.

Please understand that even if a Palestinian State is created in the territories, the Israeli-Arabs—most of whom will undoubtedly do all they can to avoid becoming part of any festering Palestinian entity—will want full equality in Israel.

Any minority citizen of any State wants no less. It sounds fair.

Why do so many Israelis, Jews, and supporters of Israel look for a dark hiding place when confronted with the truth of discrimination? I think it is because Jews understand what it is to be discriminated against, and have a deep desire that discrimination against all people throughout the planet be eliminated.

Discrimination against Arab-Israelis doesn’t sound fair.

As supporters of Israel, it is necessary to accept and admit, without nuance, that some discrimination against Arab-Israelis is 100% true.

Given geopolitical realities, we need not be embarrassed by this truth. This admission frees us to have an honest and thoughtful discussion regarding why it is true, why it must remain true, and why Israel will fight to retain a democratic character, but within the fuzzy confines of Judaism (whatever that ultimately means).

Serious peace discussions between Israel and her neighbors will have to include incentives for people to move. Many Arab-Israelis will ultimately move.

Those that choose not to, and instead choose to live in Israel, outside of the vast lands in the extended region that are governed by 21 recognized Muslim Arab States will need to declare their loyalty and acceptance of Israel as a Zionist Jewish State, and will need to commit to performing national service.

Those who choose to remain in Israel but not make such a pledge should not be considered citizens. They should be considered resident foreign nationals with citizenship of Jordan, Syria, or another State in which Arabs are the majority.

Someday, if liberal democratic ideals truly prevail, we will live in a world without Nation States. People will treat each other as individuals, and not as a part of this group or that.

Until that day, the world is better off with Israel’s continued existence. But we must recognize that there is indeed a price to pay by any Arab-Israeli who, understandably, may be unwilling to fully come to terms with living in a Jewish State.

The price, however, can be offset, and it is a small price next to the moral price of Israel being forced to participate in its own slow demise.

There is no shortage of land in other Arab majority States. Neither is there a language barrier. These countries could easily accept resettling Arabs as full citizens, and there is no reason that they and their children would not thrive.

When all the circumstances of the situation are taken into account (read my book if you want to know more about these circumstances), the imperfect solution of a Jewish Israel, not a pluralistic one, is the most just outcome possible.

Establishing a “multi-cultural” constitution in Israel is not the most just outcome.

Some things sound fair, but aren’t.

--David Naggar


Rebecca said...

The opposition to equality, sounds like something that David Duke, or I am sorry, he is a Doctor now, PHD, would say. If you want to be in the David Duke class, go ahead.

Culture for All said...

What Rebecca wrote above was nuts, your article is nothing close to David Duke if one actually uses their brain to process what you have written.

However I also have some criticism to your article and I will start by stating that I am from the UK.

You wrote:
"Wouldn’t most American Jews (among others) be troubled if the U.S. flag had a Christian cross on it?"

Yet I argue that America is a religiously neutral state and you can not compare most countries to the USA. A better comparison is to list a "western" country with a religious symbol on its flag such as the United Kingdom.

My National flag has a prominent Cross as its main feature, the Cross of St. George. England is a Christian country by its heritage, and I am not remotely offended by the cross upon my national flag.

This entire line of argument is obserd. Nobody debates about Saudi Arabia's flag or the British flag, however when it comes to the flag for the Jewish state there is a problem and you are arguing that the "offended parties" have a valid reasons.

Too bad. If they are Muslim they ought to read their own religious texts which state that Israel is the land of the Jews. If they are atheist and have a problem with living in the Jewish National Home they should move to America.

You wrote:
Any minority citizen of any State wants no less. It sounds fair.

This is fair. Israeli Arabs are equel citizens and have representation in government and legal offices. Discrimination against Israeli arabs not only "doesn't sound" fair, it is not fair.

On the other hand, "discrimination" against all people who commit treason against Israel -which includes supporting those who wish to exterminate us or destroy her Jewish identity- is necessary for survival. This president should be applied to Jew and Arab alike.

- Steven