Jewish before democratic
Hagai Segal
Published: 26.06.13, 19:56
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1. What kind of Jewish state is Israel
Dov   (06.26.13)
if it goes against Torah? Israel should thank all charedim and religious Jews in general for keeping it Jewish and for safekeeping the land. If not for them secular Zionist would have no power against its enemies.
2. Israel - even by its name - is first and foremost the...
Jehudah Ben-Israel ,   Qatzrin, Israel   (06.26.13)
...sovereign nation-state of the Jewish people. And, Israel is of course a liberal democracy. Israel in this sense is identical to Finland, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Ireland, Greece, Lithuania and tens of other nation-states that are first and foremost are nation-states, but which are also liberal democracies. We are in good company in this regard.
3. had the highest regard for democratic values
split ,   US   (06.26.13)
Yeah, right ;) That's why they made to run for their life, forcibly relocated, expelled over 750 000 Palestinians, erased their dwellings and didn't allow them to come back ? ,...
4. #1 Jewish Democratic Israel concept derives from the Torah
Yardena   (06.26.13)
classical democracy actually derives concepts directly from the Torah, and political democracy has deep Jewish roots. In addition, contemporary democracy is alive and well today in the Democratic Jewish State of Israel. Despite all the challenges to the small state, from wars and security threats to immigrant absorption and limited natural resources, Israel has succeeded to maintain a vibrant and stable democracy.
5. 100% agree
Ayatollah Chamenei ,   Tel Aviv   (06.26.13)
Our democratic theocracy is wonderful, isn't it?
6. I just would like to
A zionist democrat ,   Israel   (06.26.13)
remind the author that half of the global Jewish population lives in primarily democratic states, not Christian states. So in case these countries would start putting their Christian identity above their democratic values and of course then legally would be entitled to discriminate non-Christians, like their Jewish minorities, I'd actually expect from you to stand up and applaude. But for some reason I have the feeling that you would probably stand up and just shout "Antisemitism! All over!"...
7. Funny headline
Noname ,   Israel   (06.26.13)
It suggests that there is something like a "50% democracy" or a "70% jewish and 30% democratic" system. Sure there is theocracy or autocracy - but what the author promotes is certainly not a democracy as the western countries we like to compare ourselves to exercise.
8. How Can Israel Be Jewish and Democratic?
World Citizen ,   the world   (06.26.13)
At least 30 percent of the population is not Jewish and not entitled to the same rights and privileges as the Jews? And when you add in the Palestinians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem under apartheid the idea of these two words being used together is truly Orwellian.
9. Educating "world citizen" #8
Yardena   (06.27.13)
Democratic concepts were always a part of Jewish thinking and derived directly from the Torah. For instance, the belief that all men are created in the image of God logically leads to the idea of all men being equal. And the idea of the covenant between God and the Israelites, in which both parties accepted upon themselves duties and obligations, shows that power is established through the consent of both sides rather than through tyranny by the more powerful party. One can easily see how the biblical covenant could lead to ideas such as government by consent, constitional law and no absolutism.
10. Aryanization
Michael ,   Haifa   (06.27.13)
At a different time in a different place, racist fascists made every effort to aryanize their country...all other peoples considered inferior and treated accordingly
11. Israel is not a liberal democracy
Faris ,   Atlanta, U.S.   (06.27.13)
Israel is not a liberal democracy. The difference between Israel and other states such as Finland, Denmark, Norway, is that in these countries, which are "nation-states", one becomes part of the Danish nation by simply becoming a Danish citizen..and the "Danish Nation" is comprised of the people who lived in Denmark. I think you can see clearly how this is different in Israel's case. This is, in fact, the core difference between Israel and other states.
12. 8
how can the usa and all of europe be JUDEO CHRISTIAN AND DEMOCRATIC????? answered your question.
13. #3 Split
Mickey ,   Sydney, Australia   (06.27.13)
You are wrong about Israel throwing out 750,000 Palestinians: They were urged and forced to leave by their own leaders as the statements below illuminate: “The Arab states which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees.” – The Jordanian daily newspaper Falastin, February 19, 1949. . “The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade...Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes--Al Hoda, a New York-based Lebanese daily, June 8, 1951. “The Arab Exodus …was not caused by the actual battle, but by the exaggerated description spread by the Arab leaders to incite them to fight the Jews. …For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are responsible because of their dissemination of rumors exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs ... By spreading rumors of Jewish atrocities, killings of women and children etc., they instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the Arabs in Palestine, until they fled leaving their homes and properties to the enemy.” – The Jordanian daily newspaper Al Urdun, April 9, 1953.
14. #6 and #8
Mickey ,   Sydney, Australia   (06.27.13)
Common citizenship does not interfere with the individual belonging to a particular people or indeed more than one people because people can belong to various sub groups. So American Indians are indeed Americans but they are also Indians. African Americans are indeed American but also African, similarly Jewish Americans are indeed American but also Jewish. It is the same for Italian Americans, Greek Americans etc. Furthermore, there are other states that define themselves by the religion. For example, the Greek constitution defines Greece as being Greek Orthodox, so do the Danes define themselves through religion. In England, the monarch must be a member of the Church of England as the Monarchs are the Heads of the Church.. Pakistan was created from India solely due to its religion ie Muslim. Israel was creates solely for the Jewish people. Israel is part of the Jewish people’s heritage and Jewish Israelis are a subgroup of the Jewish people in that in addition to their Jewish character they have national territory a common governing authority and a national language-Hebrew. The state has quite legally ordained that any other Jew from anywhere has automatic right to migrate to Israel (Zionism). Many states have other groups within their borders. France has a large Muslim population (5 million). It is still a French State. Switzerland has three groups- German, Italian and French. Holland has the Dutch and the Flemish. Israel has one Million Arabs within its borders. In all these countries the minorities have equal rights which does not infringe on the national character or traditions ie religious holidays such as the Sabbath, Passover, Christmas etc.
15. Jewish State
Philip Hammond ,   Melbourne Australia   (06.27.13)
On the surface I agree with the idea of building Israel into a "Jewish State". The challenge is defining the term "Jewish State". As Amos writes "Do two people walk together unless they had so arranged". There is only one way to define a "Jewish State" and that is according to the Word of HaShem. Yet this also has its challenges. None the less a Biblical Jewish State and democracy are not compatible bed fellows. One cannot have both. The Holy One of Israel, blessed be He, has already written the constitution for Israel, it is called TORAH. When the Mashiach reigns Israel will truly become a "Jewish State". Until we take heed to such words as found in Psalm 50: " And call upon Me in the day of distress, I will release you, and you will honor Me", we as a nation will continue to flounder and our leadership will be polluted by influences outside of the Torah of HaShem. None the less I know my G-d the Holy One of Israel is in control and I can find Shalom in that fact and His plans for Israel will unfold as they always have, despite our best efforts to change them.
16. Never Forget
Zechariah   (06.27.13)
Never Forget that the world offered very limited Escape for the Jews from Genocide and from Turkey to Afghanistan it was even worse than the USA and British Dominions .So the Jews need control to the maximal extent their security with Armed Defense and Deterrance .All people's that have the Capacity to Live in Peace with Jews can stay but Jihadi and Fatah Ba'ath have no place from the Sea to the River.Neither Fascists and Racist Criminals of any biological origin..Garush Otam.
17. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of Jewish State of Israel"
Dr. L. Brnd ,   San Diego, USA   (06.27.13)
Every US school child and every state and local government in the US recites the "Plegde of Allegiance". "I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America". Israel was not established to be a miniature USA. It was established to be a Jewish State and national homeland. There is nothing wrong with requiring a pledge of loyalty to the State as a condition of voting rights and holding public office - as the US and many nations do. If Arabs and rejectionist haredim like the Satmar and Naturei karta do not want to pledge allegiance to the Jewish State - then no voting rights, no Knesset seats. "You no playa da game, you no maka da rules".That is in no way inconsistent with democracy, participation in which should be limited to those who recognize the state and its legitimacy. Palestinian Arabs in Israel don't like it? Then leave and go to the Palestinian Arab state, thats what its for (when it recognizes Jewish Israel, that is). Or one of the 23 other Muslim Arab states. Ditto extremist haredim - no loyalty pledge to the state, no IDF service, then no votes, no welfare checks and no Knesset participation. Go see if Lithuania will put up with your crap. They can all stay as non-voting resident aliens on condition of good behavior. Thats the way the USA works, also. Democracy, Shemocracy, as the autocrat Shimon Peres would say. As as for democracy being a Jewish tradition - lets be honest. What synagogue, Federation or Jewish communal organization is really run "democratically"? Answer: None. They are all run by major donors and maachers, the little people, the 95%, have no say whatever. So "Jewish and Democratic" is Clinton's invention, not our tradition. Its baloney.
18. Israel was established to be the Jewish Homeland.
Chaim ,   Israel   (06.27.13)
Israel was established to be the Jewish Homeland. Not simply another democratic state, which could easily change and become undemocratic. For instance, the Weimar Republic was a fully functioning democracy state before Hitler turned it into a Nazi State. In a conflict between Jewishness and democracy; Jewishness is FAR more important.
19. Israel cannot be and SHOULD NOT be
Israeli 2   (06.27.13)
democratic. It Should be Jewish with Torah laws...but it should NEVER be complete rabbinic control telling every citizen what to wear and what not. There must be individual freedom without infringing on the laws of the Torah. No democracy for Israel!
20. Decision On What's "Jewish"
Aharon   (06.27.13)
This is a good op-ed and I think the author should go a bit deeper in defining what it means to be a Jewish State. This is a debate that's been going on since the First World Zionist Congress and it's one that doesn't appear to end. However, I think it's important to be able to define in what way Israel is Jewish. Personally, I think Israel needs to balance itself between cultural Judaism and religious Judaism. Where there are Jewish symbols present in State's symbols (i.e. flag, emblem, anthem, language, etc.) and observing the Jewish religious holidays as state holidays and giving people the opportunity (but not forcing them) to observe Shabbat.
21. # 12 ,...
split ,   US   (06.27.13)
Where does it say in Bill of Rights or Constitution, a JUDEO CHRISTIAN AND DEMOCRATIC? By the way pinhead, the term 'Judeo-Christian' didn't exist prior to '68 in Webster dictionary or Britannica, before that was used by couple of zionist evangelical preachers in US and nowhere else ,...
22. a free society based on the values of the Torah
Zsolt ,   Wanganui,NZ   (06.27.13)
I agree with comment #19., Israel should not aspire to be another western democracy. First of all western democracies are neither free nor democratic any more, the global crisis is washing away all the make up and illusions about such terms. Besides Israel is not a nation lie any other, Jewish people do not have fundamental cultural, tribal ties, our people are united solely based on the values Abraham built his original group on: direct connection to the single force of reality, and the undisputed unity (Yashar kEl), mutual guarantee in between them based on "Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself". If we truly want to unite Israel and even Jews all around the world with the homeland we have to build such a unity on the same fundamental values.
23. Pinhead @ 14 - It is still a French State ,...
split ,   US   (06.27.13)
No it isn't, it's a French Republic, it's Swiss Confederation, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, etc. No country calls itself Islamic, Christian etc. State ,...
24. #13 ,...
split ,   US   (06.27.13)
Read "How Israel Lost” by Richard Ben Cramer for a change instead your hasbara crap and spare me your 'lecture' ,...
25. Seeing how Democracy works in Europe & Egypt &Gaza , isn't
tom ,   tel aviv   (06.27.13)
it about time we start discussing, whether it is such an absolutely wonderful invention? Even old pal Adolf got there with Democracy's helping hand. Just thinking aloud....Given enough time, it seems, Democracy degenerates, gets mentally ill and commits suicide (that's regarding Western Europe's future)
26. "democracy" doesn't appear once in the US Declaratiion of In
Scott ,   Ramat Gan, Israel   (06.27.13)
27. No20 freedom
If I don't want to observe Shabbat and not eat kosher, then I should be able to ride buses and trains on Shabbat, shop on Shabbat, and go and eat prosciutto with cheese in some restaurant. But then, some will tell me I can't because Israel must be Jewish. So then my freedoms are being violated. Obviously there's a choice to make. Israel can't be both Jewish and democratic
28. # 2, spot on. thanks. sarah
sarah bat-haim ,   uk   (06.27.13)
29. Democracy is the worst form of government...
Bertram ,   London, UK   (06.27.13)
...except for all the others, opined Churchill. I note that there are many here who want to have their cake and eat it. Jewishness must not be sacrificed to democracy! But the rabbis must not control every aspect of our lives. We must preserve individual freedoms! And how exactly can we do that without the checks of a democratic society?
30. #27 freedom
Michael ,   Haifa   (06.27.13)
that is precisely the reason why they want to legislate a law that will curtail your democratic rights at the expense of racist interests.
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