Times of London

Israel is the only state favoring one religious tradition…except for all the others


If the Guardian or New York Times published a long essay about some tiny, obscure indigenous tribe in Africa with a language, culture, and religious tradition unique in the region, whose history extends several thousand years and was threatened with extinction, readers would almost certainly lament their plight.  Further, it certainly seems unlikely that many readers would challenge the tribe’s vigilance in protecting its ancient traditions, or its fierce desire to prevent the erosion of their unique religious-ethnic identity. 

Though this blog has been dealing of late with the specific false charge legitimized by Times of London that the new ‘Jewish nation-state bill’ proposed by Israel’s government will render non-Jews “second class citizens”, the broader debate about Israel’s right to identify with a specific religious tradition is the subtext underlying many online debates about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Whilst it seems beyond debate that Arab-Israelis – whether or not the current bill passes the Knesset – will continue to enjoy the kind of democratic political rights that their ethnic brethren in the region could only dream of, the debate over Israel’s Jewish ethos is often clouded by the implicit suggestion that the rest of the world has moved away from such particularistic notions of statehood.

This is not true.

Even in the democratic West, for instance, nations maintain codified systems of preference for those claiming some historic, ethnic, or linguistic connection with the state. Many countries provide immigration privileges to individuals with ethnic or familial ties to these countries – an immigration preference system known as “jus sanguinis“, a ‘Right of Return‘ of sorts for people determined to share a preferred common trait.

Moreover, a third of the world’s 196 countries, according to the Pew Research Center, have national flags that include religious symbols.

flags

Pew Research Center graphic

Of the 64 countries in this category, according to Pew, nearly half have Christian symbols and about a third include Islamic symbols. Regarding nationalism and Islam, it should also be noted that no less than 57 countries self-identify as uniquely Muslim states.

Israel is of course the only country to self-identify as a Jewish state, the only one with a Jewish majority, and the only one with a Jewish symbol on its flag.

The existence of a sovereign Jewish polity – with the economic, military and diplomatic means to protect Jews at home and abroad – is no mere religious, abstract, or ideologically driven desire. Rather, it is a rational approach to ensuring the safety of a small, historically persecuted minority who can no longer risk relying on the good-will of enlightened nations to ensure its well-being, and indeed its very survival.

Whilst the debate over how best to achieve the correct balance between Israel’s Jewish and democratic character is indeed legitimate, it needs reminding that Jews are not at all unique in seeking to maintain a majority citizenry united by a similar historical memory and a common political & moral destiny.

45 replies »

  1. Not ,emtioning the entire south and Central America that is strongly Christian.
    Brasil massive status and church of Jesus over looking Rio is but one example.

    Just by reviewing the UK; Bank holidays relating to Christian festivals: 5, Bank hollidays relating to other religions: zero.

    France is similar with one exception of 14th July.

    In the UK there are four dates religiously based dates (events) which you are permitted to light fireworks beyond 23:00:

    Christian festival of St Silvester,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year%27s_Eve

    The English festival of Guy fawks night – which is a reminder to the highly anti Catholic past:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Night

    Mainly Hindu festival of Diwali:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali

    Chinese new year:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year

    https://www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law

    Though the hindus and Sikhs are about 2.35 of UK population they and muslims have a larger array of representaion in holiday sales in supermarkets and street shops such as Eid and diwali sales etc.

    But without a doubt all public schools must break on Christmas (2 weeks) and around Easter (2 weeks). You may request for a break around your holiday if you are not Christian but it is evident that the majority tradition over rule others with respect to norms.
    As it should be.
    Democracy is what the majority dicate it to be, so the majority chooses according to it needs.
    In the UK Chsristians are the majority.
    In Israel the Jews are the majority.
    End of story.

      • also: “Though the hindus and Sikhs are about 2.35 of UK population”
        should be
        “Though the hindus and Sikhs are about 2.3% of UK population”

    • Democracy is what the majority dictate it to be, so the majority chooses according to it needs.

      Democracies are judged on many things. One of the salient standards is how those democracies relate to minorities within themselves. Israel comes out very well. Especially taking into account that most Muslim Israeli Arabs identify more with Israel’s mortal enemies than with the Jewish state.

      Having said that, the proposition re-defining Israel as a Jewish state is an abomination unless the wording is changed so as not to affect the reference point of Israeli Judges to ‘Judaism’ in any way or form when deciding a case. As it stands, the proposed law would increase the influence of rabbis over decisions of secular judges. And that is a step backwards.

      • “the proposition re-defining Israel as a Jewish state is an abomination” – your proposition is an abomination.

  2. What a disingenuous article, as per usual #sigh#

    A few points to note:

    1) Israel refuses to honestly admit that it differentiates between ‘being Jewish as a religious choice’ and ‘being of the “Jewish” people’, with intentional vagueness surrounding the the criteria for being allowed to be a Citizen of Israel, other than ‘supporting Israel’ (we all know that Jewishness as a ‘people’ is a made up nonsense, but Israel conflates the two to obtain the benefits of being both a ‘religion’ and a ‘people’)

    2) No other religion claims that it is also a ‘people’ and DEMANDS its own state: Israel makes itself a ‘unique case’ for it’s own benefit of obtaining statehood at the expense of Palestinians.

    3) The other religions mentioned all allow you to join them, being a belief system. Judaism for some reason precludes new members other than by birth (other than mass-conversions when it suits Israel to get some cheap black Africans to prop up a settlement somewhere!), and specifically from the mothers bloodline (a smart system for keeping everyone suitably inbred, if you ask me).

    4) STATE RELIGION and A STATE FOR A RELIGIOUS GROUP who alone are exclusively allowed to obtain nationality because of their religion are fundamentally different things. So different it beggars belief that no one has ever pointed this out to you numpties!

    Other than that, fantastic bit of journalism!

    lol

    • Dear Madam lady pond-creature Tamara

      “we all know that Jewishness as a ‘people’ is a made up nonsense”
      We- as in you and other members of a certain National Socialist party?

      “DEMANDS its own state”
      How dare they! Imagine that! A tiny little state all of their own! The scum!

      “Judaism for some reason precludes new members other than by birth ”
      False

      “get some cheap black Africans”
      National Socialist party indeed.

      “STATE RELIGION and A STATE FOR A RELIGIOUS GROUP”
      You’ve misread the article. Try again slowly. Sometime mouthing the words to yourself helps, and breathing deeply.

    • I notice that it is always the prerogative of the anti-Semite to define what a ‘Jew’ is. Tammy likes to think it is something that negates their right to have a state. Coincidence? Like obsessing over the one country in the world that actually has a Jewish majority – also a convenient ‘coincidence’ for the sanctimonious, hypocritical, malicious, European liberal mind.

      • “also a convenient ‘coincidence’ for the sanctimonious, hypocritical, malicious, European liberal mind.”
        What’s so liberal about it?

    • “we all know that Jewishness as a ‘people’ is a made up nonsense” – this ignorant gorilla is now being openly mocked by the other gorillas, those with a positive IQ.

    • There are people in my life who insist on telling me what I think. No matter how many times I point out that I’m in the best position to know what I think they will not listen but continue telling me what I think.They think I have a real nerve.

    • Hey Tam Tam. Do you know why I have taken to calling you Tam Tam. Because Tam Tam is a brand of crackers.

      Need I say more?

    • “No other religion claims that it is also a ‘people’ and DEMANDS its own state”

      Oh dear the self-confessed retard not only exposes its own ignorance but insults the proud Sikh people at the same time.
      For your information you lying sack of retarded shit. Sikhs are a religion, they are a people, and recognised as such, and want and are fighting for their own state.

    • A peacock of ignorance. Not even worth starting to point out factual garbage, because a poisonous mind is impervious to fact. Calling you a parrot insults parrots.

  3. “we all know that Jewishness as a ‘people’ is a made up nonsense”

    Leah, it’s a statement that drips with malicious intent: An arrogant sense of superiority over how others can be defined, a complete ignorance over the tripartite nature of Jewish identity, and a nasty and deliberate disrespect for the millions of Jews who were persecuted and brutally murdered because Tammy’s European ancestors believed they had the right to define, stigmatise and disempower their Jewish neighbours on the very premise that she now tells us is ‘made up’. Next step – Holocaust denial – how can you have an exclusive group of victims of murderous European racism and barbarity when they don’t and never existed in reality anyway?

  4. Still we wait for a sign of peace and love by the representatives of the religion of peace by making a step forward and share the Temple Mount with the Jews.

  5. “If the Guardian or New York Times published a long essay about some tiny, obscure indigenous tribe in Africa with a language, culture, and religious tradition unique in the region, whose history extends several thousand years and was threatened with extinction, readers would almost certainly lament their plight”

    Not if the tribe had nuclear weapons.

    But more seriously Israel can define itself as a religious state if it wants (unlike any other western country) its what happens over time to non Jews within the country is the question that is unknown. However a gradual growth in discrimination based on the differentiation can not be excluded as a possibility. Israel needs yo be very careful to avoid this if it enacts this law.

    • 1. Israel is not a tribe, idiot. Your deliberate confusion with Arab tradition tells a lot.
      2. The nuclear weapons are used as deterrrence, not as power projection.
      3. Almost all surrounding states have developed chemical weapons, supported by Germany, Switzerland, France by delivering dual use goods and the former Soviet bloc, so what, idiot?

      • I never called Israel a tribe. Adam used that phrase in his original piece. I simply said that an obscure African tribe would probably not have their plight lamented as much as Adam suggests, if, that same tribe possessed nuclear weapons.

        Please read before you post in future. It saves so much time explaining afterwards.

        • I never called Israel a tribe …
          Not if the tribe had nuclear weapons.

          About what exactly do you stammer then in a blog for Israel? The tribes of Kongo with nuclear capabilities? They are threatened with extinction or Israel which you deliberately and continuously prefer to ignore?
          And the nuclear deterrrence doesn`t work in face of terror, as Israel is not a state like Syria or Iran, and certainly not an organisation like Hisbollah, Hamas or other Palestinian or Islamic terror organisations who all routinely call for the murder of all Jews in Israel and beyond.
          I don`t mind if you are fooling yourself, but keep that private, idiot.

    • “But more seriously Israel can define itself as a religious state if it wants (unlike any other western country)” –
      Ever heard of Ireland, idiot?

      “Not if the tribe had nuclear weapons” –
      Ever heard of deterrence against genocide, idiot?

      • Poor Leah. Does not know the difference between a religious state and a state that acknowledges and accepts all religions, as is the case with Ireland. (Constitution article 44.2/3). Perhaps that is her/his problem ( or one of them).

        • Israel accepts and acknowledges all religions. Why are you being a belligerent asshole? Because it’s your religion?

          BTW, I am currently “enjoying” the first weekend of America’s Christmas tradition of Shop Till You Drop. Christ and Mass, of course, have NOTHING to do with Christians!

          Go fuck yourself, Dinkleberry.

          • I never said Israel did not. I was referring to Ireland and trying ( in vain) to inform Leah on what the position in Ireland is.

            But if Israel passes this law my fear that the Jewish religion becomes a De facto ‘ first among equals’religion which I know is not the purpose of the proposed legislation.

            • Several people seem to agree with me that you are talking nonsense.
              Poor Dinkle, doesn’t understand the difference between religion and ethnicity/people/nation.

        • Poor Dinkle. Originally I thought your handle referred to the size of your penis. Now we know it’s your IQ. The draft Israeli bill does acknowledge and accept other religions.

          Excerpts:

          From Article VII: The State will act to enable all residents of Israel, regardless of religion, race or nationality, to preserve their culture, heritage, language and identity.

        • Dinkle, that headstone of yours is proving more accurate by the day:
          Once a moron, always a moron.
          Christians have more rights in Israel than anywhere in the Muslim world.
          Heck, Muslims have more rights in Israel than in much of the Muslim world.
          Ireland, ignorant clown, is a deeply Catholic country, and it imposes all kinds of ***Catholic*** restrictions.
          It’s also typical that a creature calling itself ‘Dinkle’ has the brass neck to refer to me as ‘her/his’.

    • “However a gradual growth in discrimination based on the differentiation can not be excluded as a possibility.”
      No, not anywhere. In fact, such discrimination is today quite normal in many places, obviously off your Jew-obsessed radar. Obnoxious.

  6. “The existence of a sovereign Jewish polity – with the economic, military and diplomatic means to protect Jews at home and abroad – is no mere religious, abstract, or ideologically driven desire. Rather, it is a rational approach to ensuring the safety of a small, historically persecuted minority who can no longer risk relying on the good-will of enlightened nations to ensure its well-being, and indeed its very (individual and collective) survival.” My thoughts exactly! I must quote this!

  7. I have trouble with the idea that there is no Jewish people. I know that I am member of Am Yisrael, the Jewish people or nation depending on the translationn of “am.” I can become a citizen of Midat Yisrael, the State of Israel, but I am not. When a Jewish friend asks asks whether someone is a”member of the tribe” I know what she means. I know that I am a member of a people who have a long history. Is it any different from people who said they were part of the Polish people from 1800 to 1910. They knew they were Polish and that their country was Catholic even though it had no independent existence (let’s ignore their treatment of the Jews in their midst)

    It should be fairly clear to the world that if the Jewish people want to continue to exist, they need a safe haven. There is none other than the State of Israel. Jewish history is clear that countries willing to take in Jews at one point will not at another. Even in the US today it is doubtful that an immigration law could pass that would make it a safe haven for stateless Jews, just as it could not in the 1930s. The current experience in Africa demonstrates that no country will make itself a safe have for a persecuted minority.