There is no contradiction, not even a tiny sliver of contradiction, between Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and Israel as a liberal democracy that grants universal equal rights to all its citizens.
Though it has not yet officially passed, it is unfortunately already obvious that the discourse surrounding the Jewish state law is an indication of the worrying triumph of post-Zionism over the public consciousness.
The announcement of the state’s establishment in 1948 spoke about “the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel … in view of our natural and historic right.” Every nation has the natural right to an independent state in its homeland. The historic right is the right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.
The first part of the Declaration of Independence is an expansion and clarification of the two rights that lend validity to the announcement. This did not interfere with the authors’ or the signatories’ ability to add to the declaration the commitment to ensure “equal civil and political [i.e. voting] rights to all residents, regardless of religion, race or gender.”
There is no contradiction, not even a tiny sliver of contradiction, between Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and Israel as a liberal democracy that grants universal equal rights to all its citizens. As a democracy, all its citizens enjoy individual rights without discrimination. As a nation state, Israel is intended to realize the collective aspirations of the Jewish people — not just to protect the right of every Jewish person in the world to move to Israel and to receive citizenship, but also to actively encourage Jews to move to and settle in their homeland, to be responsible as a state for the entire Jewish Diaspora, to use Jewish symbols as state symbols, etc.
The Basic Laws of the State of Israel — especially the Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty and the Basic Law of Freedom of Occupation — are universal laws that grant rights to people and citizens without discrimination.
Fashionably late by 66 years, the proposal was made to enshrine Israel as a Jewish state. There should have been a national consensus supporting this law, but for some reason it has met completely unjustified objection.
If this law had been discussed 20 years ago, it would have enjoyed total support. Perhaps it was never legislated because it seemed so obvious. What happened since then? A post-Zionist brainwashing campaign that put forward the so-called contradiction between a Jewish state and a democratic state. There is obviously no contradiction between the two in any other democratic nation state in the world, but there is of course a doubt when it comes to the Jewish state.
When I talk about the victory of the post-Zionist brainwashing campaign, I do not mean that the majority of the public accepts the claim that a Jewish democratic state is an oxymoron, rather that this false claim took hold in public discourse and became a point of reference for those who participate in it.
Even those who do not accept the claim of contradiction, but say that there is a need to balance the Jewish and democratic sides, suspiciously examine every Jewish statement made and demand the sacred balance be maintained with a corresponding democratic statement. They are very influenced by this false claim.
The damaging influence of the post-Zionist discourse indicates the vital need to legislate the Jewish state as a Basic Law of Israel.