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'We must turn good old list of priorities from 1948 into a law' Photo: Yaron Brener
'We must turn good old list of priorities from 1948 into a law' Photo: Yaron Brener
 
Hagai Segal Photo: Zoom 77
Hagai Segal Photo: Zoom 77
 
 

Jewish before democratic

Op-ed: Israel's right to define itself as Jewish state is as important as its right to defend itself militarily

Hagai Segal
Published: 06.26.13, 19:56 / Israel Opinion

Our Declaration of Independence includes 650 words. The word "Jewish," in its different forms, appears 20 times, while the word "democracy" doesn’t even appear once.

 

The people who drafted the declaration and signed it had the highest regard for democratic values, but first and foremost they wanted to stress its Jewish side. Perhaps they said to themselves that there are many democracies in the world, but only one Jewish country. It's important to protect it.

 

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These days it's even more important. From the outside and from within attempts are being made to undermine the Jewish character of the Jewish state. The dark forces rely on the fatigue of the Zionist material in order to internationalize Israel and declare it a state of all its citizens. They are taking advantage of the fact that over the years the fashion here has changed, and democracy has been emphasized at the expense of Judaism.

 

The Knesset members of the new era have ignored the Declaration of Independence's list of priorities, and the High Court of Justice has acted as if it were based in The Hague. Sacred Zionist terms like "the Judaization of the Galilee" have turned into bad words. An MK from the Labor Party has expressed her opinion that "Hatikva" is a racist anthem. A ministerial initiative to wave a flag at schools has been presented as a wretched nationalistic idea. For the first time in the history of Israel, a proposal has been submitted to the Knesset to declare the Nakba as a national commemorative date. It would not have been submitted had the "nation state bill" been approved by the previous Knesset.

 

When Netanyahu demands that Abbas recognize us as a Jewish state, the Left says this demand stems from an inferiority complex: Why should we care if Abbas recognizes us or not? After all, it is clear that Israel is a Jewish state.

 

Well, it's not so clear anymore. It's time for us to come to our senses and turn the good old list of priorities from 1948 into a law. Israel's right to define itself as a Jewish state is as important as its right to defend itself militarily. Don't worry, it will continue to serve as an exemplary democracy, but it will finally start restoring its Jewish interest.

 

 

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