Is­rael is any­thing but a democ­racy

The Mercury - - OPINION -

I’M TIRED when Is­raeliphiles par­rot-speak about Is­rael be­ing the only “democ­racy in the Mid­dle East” when it isn’t even a democ­racy.

Why? Per­mit me to elab­o­rate just one live ex­am­ple.

The Knes­set of­fi­cially de­clares that Is­raeli democ­racy is for Jews only.

The Knes­set (a 10-mem­ber group rep­re­sent­ing most par­ties) last week dis­qual­i­fied a bill moved by Is­raeli Pales­tinian par­lia­men­tar­i­ans from com­ing to a de­bate or vote.

The bill in ques­tion was named “Ba­sic Law: Is­rael (is a) State of All Its Cit­i­zens.”

As the name hints at, the bill would have de­clared that Is­rael be­longs not only to its Jews but to all its res­i­dents.

The Knes­set de­cided the bill was too dan­ger­ous to come to a vote.

The bill was put for­ward by the Joint List, a mega-party com­posed of three Is­raeli-Pales­tinian par­ties, forced to run to­gether be­cause the Zion­ist ma­jor­ity hiked the per­cent­age of votes needed for a seat in the Knes­set to 4%, which none of the par­ties would pass in­di­vid­u­ally, in an ex­plicit at­tempt to ban them.

The chance of the bill pass­ing even a pre­lim­i­nary read­ing was slim: sim­i­lar to the chance that a baked pig, with an ap­ple in its mouth, would spread its wings and fly.

That bill con­tains sev­eral ar­ti­cles meant to change the char­ac­ter of Is­rael from the na­tional state of the Jewish peo­ple into a state which grants equal sta­tus, from the na­tional point of view, to the Jewish na­tion and the Arab na­tion.

Is­rael isn’t and can­not be a democ­racy. A demo­cratic coun­try al­lows for a peaceful change of its form of regime.

Zion­ists in con­trol of the Knes­set like the Nats in South Africa un­der apartheid, struck down the op­tion of par­lia­men­tary change.

There can be only one regime in Is­rael: a Jewish one. De­moracy is a sur­plus. There’s a He­brew say­ing “me­d­ina Ye­hu­dit ve’democratit.” A state Jewish and demo­cratic. But the “ve” mean­ing “and” pre­cedes demo­cratic. The state’s Jewish­ness is es­sen­tial; democ­racy, less so. SABER AHMED JAZBHAY Newlands West

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