243. Israel is not a democracy
Ralph Krainin (Sep 13), Joe Levy and Laura Lewis (Sep 14) seem to be singing in
their letters the same theme and variations: Israel is a democracy; Israel is
the only democracy in a region…; Israel is the only true democracy in
that region; Israel is a democracy, (the only one in the Middle East).
Apologists of Israel in this country obviously have a standing order to repeat
ad nauseam that Israel is a democracy, lest anybody forgets this "fact."
A country that discriminates against its own citizens because they do not
belong to the state religion is not a democracy. Laura Lewis contends that
Israel "has opened its doors to millions of `tired, poor and huddled
masses.'" This is true only if they are Jews. If it were true, Israel
would have opened its doors to the Palestinians that have been forcibly driven
out of their homeland. The few non-Jews who made it to Israel are the exception
and are in the hundreds, not millions.
Contrary to what Laura Lewis stated, Israel does not have a constitution and
Ms. Lewis is either lying to herself or to the reader. Israel has a set of
Basic Laws crafted in a way that it can legally discriminate against its
non-Jewish citizens. Even if Israel had a constitution, it doesn't necessary
make it a democracy. Many countries have constitutions and are not democracies.
Israel would have been one of them
September 19, 2002