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Thread: Can Israel be a Jewish state and a Democracy? -Your take

  1. #76
    Vic
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    Care to return to the original subject (government, parliament, election, citizenship, comparisons to Germany and France, state and religion?

  2. #77
    Vic
    Guest

    Re: We already have it

    Hi, Jeremie!
    Originally posted by Jeremie
    I admit that the proportionnal at the Knesset makes a lot of problems, it gives a lot of power to small structures.. But it's obviously a consequence of TOO MUCH democracy, it will be solved one day, like it was in many countries.
    Got any practical ideas on it?
    We can be a free country, created for the jews but opened to eveybody, and opened for the arabs who wants to leave in peace with us...
    In your experience - what is the proportion of Arabs, both with and without Israeli citizenship who dowant to live in peace with Israel? Have they got a chance to control the ones who don't?
    But if we do that, we HAVE to be the majority if we want to keep it as a jewish country:

    Make your Alyah and make babies, be in love with Israel and with your familly in the same time and at the same place.

  3. #78
    Jeremie
    Guest
    Hi Vic,

    Well, about the Israeli proportionnal system, I think that electing some local representatives to be members at the Knesset would be more clever...

    We have more than a milions of Arabs in Israel.. I don't say that they all support Israeli, but they aren't terrorists... They are full israeli citizens. I talk with arabs all the time... jews still very welcomed in some israeli arab villages... They cook very well
    We can live in peace with them, they are the only arabs in the world who can vote, they are also the ones with the best level of life.

    Read this text, it's impressive, by the way... What a paradox, Arabs inside Israel are protected against that:

    UN Report calls for Arabian Renaissance

    In the just released UN Arabian development report the UN Arabian office calls for an Arabian renaissance to combat "institutional inertia" poverty, the lack of freedom and gender inequality.

    After 9/11 the dominant theory explaining the Arabian resentment against the west was the "breeding ground theory".
    The theory held that the terrorists motives came from poverty, exploitation and injustice upheld by the west. So the terrorists acted out of resentment and hatred that had its origins in the policies of the west and America in particular.

    Although the UN report does not answer this guilt question, it does describe the state of Arabian "human development" affairs. And that doesn't look very good.
    In the 22 Arabian countries researched, (1) the factor productivity declined annually by 0.2% in the 1960- 1990 period, while it accelerated in other parts of the world, (2) in 1960 the per capita output was higher in the Arabian countries compared to the Asian Tigers, now it is half that in Korea, (3) in 1960 the productivity of Arab industrial labour was 32% of the North American level. In 1990 it had fallen to 19%.
    According to the UN report the human development in the Arab world is a "cause for concern". The indicators show that the Arab region is richer than it is developed. The Arab region limps because of a special kind of poverty: poverty of capabilities and poverty of opportunities.
    Not only does the region have to accelerate economic growth to bridge the gap with the rest of the world, it has to address the root causes of its poverty that lies in three main deficits: freedom, women's empowerment and knowledge.
    These root causes were analyzed already by Bernard Lewis in his book; What went wrong?. He holds that the Muslim world did not fully modernize because of the cultural inability to (1) change the position of women, (2) to separate religion and the state, (3) to fully grasp the meaning of modernity.
    Stanley Kurtz ads in his essay on Lewis another important root cause of the inability for Muslim society to fully adopt modernity. The tribal structure of society.
    According to Lewis the Muslim societies should follow the Kemalist (Turkish) example. This would mean: If the fundamental principles by which Muslim society is organized are profoundly incompatible with modernity, a total break with tradition might seem to be in order. But, of course, the very centrality of kin-based structures to Muslim society makes such a break very hard to sustain (as Turkeys Kemalists have discovered of late). (Kurtz)

    The UN report advocates exactly such a road of change for the Arab world. It advocates; (1) legal reform, (2) reforming the essence of governance by "activating the voice of the people" through representation, in other words: democratization. (3) Liberating human capabilities by strengthening institutions of local governance, liberating civil- society organizations and fostering free and responsible media.

    The report also argues that the Arabian region should be digitizing its cultural heritage and publish it on the internet. Artists, writers, professionals, scholars and students should therefore have the freedom to choose what to publish.
    The report reveals a stunning figure. In the last thousand years the books translated into Arabic is 100.000. This equals the translations of Spain in one year. Arabic speaking people must find themselves in a cultural desert.

    In essence this report calls for a total revolution of the Arab society. The call of President Bush, in his last speech on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, for reform of the Palestinian Authority is completely in line with the UN report. Although the report says that the ongoing conflict has a very negative impact on the Arabian region, you can not deny that the conditions for peace laid out by Bush are the core argument of the UN report analyzing the bad state of affaires in the Arab world.
    Reading the executive summary of the report one can conclude that the part of the "breeding ground theory" in which the west is to blame for creating evil itself by suppressing the Arabian people is nonsense. The problem is far to big and the root causes lay far to deep in Arabian culture and society. To put the blame of poverty and degradation of the Arab world on the west is a diversion of thinking that can only harm Arabians themselves.
    Arab Human Development Report

    http://www.undp.org/

  4. #79
    Vic
    Guest
    Jeremie, thanks, someone has already put this report on the forum a long time ago

    "I think that electing some local representatives to be members at the Knesset would be more clever..."

    What do you mean?

  5. #80
    Jeremie
    Guest
    Sorry, I'm brand new on that forum... I didn't know

    In Israel, you have to vote for a political faction in general. Then, following their percentage, they take proportionally from their list of potential members. I think this is a dangerous system, because even a small minority can get a knesset members.. We know that in time of crisis, they can blackmail the main factions to go one side or the other. Shas made it many times these last years.

    By electing local representative, it would be as democratic. It would be like "Local prime ministers", they would be send to the knesset. Maires, or any popular local figures may apply... For that we'll have to split Israel in areas and big cities in districts.

    In France they use this system. If they had done like Israel, Le-Pen and extrem right would have rule the country for a while.

  6. #81
    mulp
    Guest
    Is Israel a Jewish state meaning a people who view Israel as a sacred religious heritage granted by God to them forever?

    Or is Israel a Jewish state granted by the UN to those who have been persecuted for identifying themselves as being Jewish or who were identified by others as being Jewish even if they were not actually Jewish?

    In the US, democracy applies only to "Americans", ie., only US citizens can vote and expect to have other rights under the Constitution, so if I say the US is an American state, this implies that only Americans have real rights. The Bush administration has made it clear that it feels that it can decide the treatment of anyone in the US who is not American without regard to the Constitution, even if they are legally a US resident.

    Does Israel being a Jewish state mean that Jews (however defined) have rights and non-Jews have no or limited rights, even if legally an Israel citizen?

    It seems to me that Israel is now as Jewish as California is Hispanic, with the difference being that "Jewish" is a term "stolen" to refer to a confused ethnic identity while "Hispanic" is an invented term to refer to a confused ethnic identity.

  7. #82
    Jeremie
    Guest
    Should I remind you that we have 1 million israeli arabs ? They are regular citizens, they vote and they don't have to do the army... and paradoxaly they are the only arabs in the world who are living in a democracy.

  8. #83
    sharonbn
    Guest
    Originally posted by mulp
    Is Israel a Jewish state meaning a people who view Israel as a sacred religious heritage granted by God to them forever?
    That is one reason. The Jews believe in the bible (as do the Christians and Muslims), and it says that the land of Israel was promised to the Jewish people by God.
    But it goes deeper than that. Judaism defines not only a religion, but also ethnic identity, much like the French and British (and unlike the Americans, who are yet to form their common ethnic identity.) Jews declare Israel as their homeland, much like France and the UK, much like the Palestinians declare their lands as their homeland. This declaration (not the religious belief) was the basis for the foundation of the Zionist movement 150 years ago and the mass Jewish immigrate to Israel ever since.

    Originally posted by mulp Or is Israel a Jewish state granted by the UN to those who have been persecuted for identifying themselves as being Jewish or who were identified by others as being Jewish even if they were not actually Jewish?
    That is the reason why the world’s nations supported the foundation of the state of Israel. They realized the necessity of a safe haven for Jews.

    Originally posted by mulp
    In the US, democracy applies only to "Americans", ie., only US citizens can vote and expect to have other rights under the Constitution, so if I say the US is an American state, this implies that only Americans have real rights. The Bush administration has made it clear that it feels that it can decide the treatment of anyone in the US who is not American without regard to the Constitution, even if they are legally a US resident.
    Does Israel being a Jewish state mean that Jews (however defined) have rights and non-Jews have no or limited rights, even if legally an Israel citizen?
    You mix two different terms: ethnic identity (like black, British, Jewish) is a social term. Citizenship (like American, British, Israeli) is a legal civil term. Israeli citizenry does not include Jews only. The indigenous population (people who lived on the land prior to the establishment of the state) are also citizens, including Arabs. All Israeli citizens have the same rights and obligations (with the exceptions of law of return and military service.). Non Israelis, like non-Jewish immigrants, may apply for permanent resident status. They are not allowed to vote, but their rights are anchored in the Israeli laws (i.e. the Israeli government cannot “decide the treatment” of such people, whatever it means). Israel also houses a large number of foreign workers, who hold a working permit but no legal citizenry status. These people are subject to governmental policy and decisions.

    The state of Israel does declare itself a Jewish state. It expresses this declaration with the law of return (granting immediate Israeli citizenship to Jewish immigrants), with the official educational plan, by making Saturday and Jewish holidays an official vacations, etc.

    Originally posted by mulp It seems to me that Israel is now as Jewish as California is Hispanic, with the difference being that "Jewish" is a term "stolen" to refer to a confused ethnic identity while "Hispanic" is an invented term to refer to a confused ethnic identity.
    I don’t know what’s the situation of California. Israel is Israeli as much as California is American. Israel is Jewish because the majority of its residents are Jewish, and because of its self definition as mentioned above.
    I don’t know what’s confusing about Hispanic, but Judaism is a very well defined and rigid ethnic identity. You either have a Jewish mother or were converted to the Jewish faith.

  9. #84
    5-alef
    Guest
    Too bad many Haredim do not join the army. I think military service should be mandatory for them also.
    AMEN!

  10. #85
    Vic
    Guest
    An article on the conversion process:

    Up Front: An Arduous Journey
    Netty C. Gross

    Just how hard is it for Russian speaking non-Jews to convert in Chief Rabbinate courts these days? Very. At least that’s one lesson to be learned from Yigal (Igor) Klebansky’s long journey to Judaism.

    http://www.jrep.com/UpFront/Article-0.html

  11. #86
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    Re: Can Israel be a Jewish state and a Democracy? -Your take

    Well I took a class discussing Israeli sociology at UCLA, and one of the topics we discussed was WHAT exactly did it mean that Israel is a "Jewish" state. Essentially this is the points I remember:

    1) The place names -- the name Israel itself, and the names of various towns and cities are named after the biblical names described in the Old Testament, after prophets, kingdoms, etc. or after modern Jewish and Zionist luminaries. This of course has no effect on the inhabitants of Israel, as many cities and villages in Palestinian parts are also named after Hebrew names (think Bethlehem). Judea and Samaria, by the way, makes a lot more sense than the retarded name, "The West Bank", in my opinion.
    2) Language -- The national language of Israel is Hebrew (although Arabic is on par in many ways, and street signs are often written in English as well). This is not "Jewish" per se, as any religious, ethnic, or national group can learn and speak Hebrew, but it is the language of the Torah (although not the Israelites, who spoke Aramaic day to day....I think?)
    3) Flag and national symbols -- okay this is pretty self-explanatory. The Israeli flag, and the government symbol (a menorah) are pretty distinctly Jewish. Although this does not contrast it with dozens of other countries that have crosses or a crescent moon on their flags.
    4) The national anthem -- pretty Jewish. Even includes the words, "heart of every Jew". Nothing to argue about there.
    5) National holidays -- Having the weekend on Fridays, and Saturdays (Shabbat) and other national holidays corresponding with Jewish holidays. Again, nothing different from every Western country which takes off Christmas, Easter, and has Sunday weekends.
    6) Being referred to as "the Jewish state" and talking about "Jewish values" and things of that nature in national documents, such as the Declaration of Independence.
    7) The Law of Return -- perhaps the MOST important reason Israel is a "Jewish" state. Easy citizenship granted to anyone who has a Jewish grandparent and has not willfully converted to another religion (last time I checked.) This law makes Israel a state for the Jews, and not just the people living there. This is referred to as "blood" nationality, which is seen often in European countries, which have similar laws of return, as opposed to a "land-based" nationality, like in the US, where ancestry doesn't matter, only location.

    This all being said, I can't imagine why anyone would think this is a racist idea. It is a far cry from a "Jewish State" in the sense that almost every Islamic state is Islamic. That is, a judicial and political system based on Islamic laws, which incidentally give preference to Muslims. The Jewish people are a majority of Israel (I'm referring to Israel-proper) and they democratically choose to have these national characteristics. To force the majority to accept different holidays or national symbols for example, would actually be decidedly UNDEMOCRATIC!!!

  12. #87
    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Re: Can Israel be a Jewish state and a Democracy? -Your take

    Revive, I suggest the following thread:

    http://www.israelforum.com/board/sho...t=jewish+state

    Welcome to the forum
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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    Re: Can Israel be a Jewish state and a Democracy? -Your take

    I am not convinced that your solution is warranted. I think Israel can exist as a democratic nation, it just may be different to the democracies others see in the world. Though I, personally, see it becoming a more theocratic state. I am not convinced that Israel can work as an "American style" democracy, which is what most people seem to consider the ideal democracy. Indeed there are some notions of Israel that seem to me to directly oppose democracy.

    For example, I was recently accused by a "friend" of being anti-Semitic because I argued that, "Anti-Semitism should not be used to suppress criticism of Israel, its government or of Jewish/Semitic organisations." Their response was essentially that I was an anti-Semite because I presumed to judge that they should be criticised. Yet my point was that no group should be above criticism as long as that criticism is legitimate and not hate inspired. As my friend, a Christian, and I are Australian I was surprised that the mere suggestion that any part of the world's Jewish community may be criticised would be seen to be hateful. To me it was merely asserting that no one, no group and no government should be put in a position where they can face no criticism, as I view criticism as the ultimate tool of democracy. If my friend's view is popular in Israel it limits the viability of any democratic system and supports a racial (e.g. Apartheid era South Africa) or religious (e.g. Iran) totalitarian regime.

  14. #89
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    Re: Can Israel be a Jewish state and a Democracy? -Your take

    Quote Originally Posted by Davosown View Post
    I argued that, "Anti-Semitism should not be used to suppress criticism of Israel, its government or of Jewish/Semitic organisations." Their response was essentially that I was an anti-Semite because I presumed to judge that they should be criticised. Yet my point was that no group should be above criticism as long as that criticism is legitimate and not hate inspired. As my friend, a Christian, and I are Australian I was surprised that the mere suggestion that any part of the world's Jewish community may be criticised would be seen to be hateful. To me it was merely asserting that no one, no group and no government should be put in a position where they can face no criticism, as I view criticism as the ultimate tool of democracy. If my friend's view is popular in Israel it limits the viability of any democratic system and supports a racial (e.g. Apartheid era South Africa) or religious (e.g. Iran) totalitarian regime.
    Allow me to respond that Israel-bashing should not be used to suppress criticism of colonial Australia, its government or of Christian/White/Aryan supremacist organizations. Descendants of the Australian colonists who have absolutely no connection to the land, whether spiritual or historical, should stop oppressing the aborigenes and stop their racist apartheid practices well enshrined in Christian theology and stop parking the aborigenes in Bantustans.

    Your response will essentially be that I am an anti-white, anti-Christian hater because I presume to judge that Australian apartheid practices should be criticized. Yet my point is that no group should be above criticism as long as that criticism is legitimate and not hate inspired. I am merely asserting that no one, no group and no government should be put in a position where they can face no criticism, particularly when one speaks of white Australians who have stolen that immense country from its rightful owners, have plundered its resources, set themselves as its masters and call themselves a "democracy". If you can't see my point, that would be because you're a true antisemite.

  15. #90
    Senior Member Aliyah1995's Avatar
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    Re: Can Israel be a Jewish state and a Democracy? -Your take

    Interestingly enough, I find the claim of criticism of Israel being labeled "anti-antisemitism" to be an alibi used by Israel's detractors to shield themselves from counter-arguments against their claims. In other words, they are immune from their propaganda being criticized or dissected because they will just accuse anyone who doesn't tow their line of throwing the "antisemitism" card around indiscriminately.
    "Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." - RaMBaM (Maimonides), Guide For The Perplexed

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