114. No longer Jewish state

Please don't refer to Israel as the "Jewish state" any longer since it is shedding its Jewish identity.

Israel was established as a homeland for the Jews. From Spain to Czechoslovakia, Poland to Austria, Russia to Germany, and from century to century, oppressive governments crushed this homeless people. Finally, as ordered by the United Nations, Israel became the only safe haven in the world for the Jews. In their own state, they could make their own rules, ensure their own security and not rely on the whims of other rules. The Jewish future was in Jewish hands.

Now, however, Israel faces a formidable philosophical question: Is a completely democratic state more important than a Jewish state? For example, by allowing Arabs to hold the deciding vote in a crucial Knesset election, hasn't Israel abandoned the idea of a Jewish state? There were 61 supporters for Rabin's territorial compromise. Five of them were Arabs. Therefore, only 56 Jews supported the plan; 56 Jews Knesset members is not a Jewish majority. Furthermore, 50 Jewish members of Knesset opposed the plan and seven Jewish Mks abstained. In fact, the majority of the Jewish MKs did not support the plan. there were 57 Jewish members who did not support this crucial decision vs. 56 who did. Is it appropriate to allow the Arabs to swing this vote in a Jewish state?

No one should oppose permitting a local population to direct its own day-to-day affairs. Arabs should elect their own mayors, run their own schools and hospitals, and manage their own utilities. However, if they participate in votes that arguably endanger national security, Israel is no longer a state run by Jews for the benefits of Jews. Arabs have their 22 states; the Jews have one. Israel cannot afford to relax their security policies now lest it lead to the end of the national dream.

Douglas Goldstein, Scarsdale

October 6, 1993

For a reply see [115]