"Israeli pundits frequently insist that their state is both Jewish and democratic. They say that minorities in Israel have equal rights and representation in state apparatuses. That's not true, but it doesn't matter. What does matter is that roughly 20% of Israelis are not Jewish. And those non-Jews are meeting one another, falling in love, and having children. To borrow Netanyahu's words, it is these children that are a "threat to the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel."First of all, do those "Israeli pundits" include Jimmy Carter, Mr. Moor? Because he says that minorities in Israel do have equal rights. No offense, but I'd be willing to believe even him over you.
Secondly, Mr. Moor's link to claim that "that's not true," is in Arabic (thanks a lot) but thanks to Google Translate I was able to read some of what they had to say. And what they have to say is mostly just complaining and calling for "justice" in response to what Israel has done this time, which includes demolishing unrecognized villages and policemen getting out of line. I admit that I didn't cover the website as thoroughly as I could have but nothing I found contradicted Mr. Moor's complaints that minorities (who aren't just Arabs, by the way) don't have equal rights and aren't represented. Maybe he was hoping none of us would actually look at his link.
"These people, Palestinian-Israelis and other native non-Jews, have no way of entering the mainstream of political and cultural life in Israel. The only reason they can't is because they're not Jewish."Yes, I'm sure Mr. Moor is well informed about what "these people" can't do from a hundred miles away in Beirut. Let's take a look at some links:
The First Female Arab Combat Soldier in Israel
Arab Crowned Miss Israel
Ismail Khalidi Named to San Franscisco Consulate
Azzam Azzam's Story
Just more honest and constructive criticism from the Huffington Post blogger community, I see. But the fun doesn't end there.
"Is it possible for a non-Jewish person to become the Prime Minister of Israel today? And what about Minister of Defense? What does it mean for the Jewish state if the 20% minority grows to 50%, then 70%? Is it still the Jewish state?"Here Mr. Moor, in trying to accuse Israel of racism, only succeeds in showcasing his own ignorance. Not only is it more than possible under Israeli law for a non-Jew to be Prime Minister (and Defense Minister), one actually was for a while when the PM was in the hospital. I forget the exact details, but you can look it up. Of course, the Arab politicians might be more likely to get elected if they stopped doing things like sailing on terrorist supporting flotillas. Just a thought.
As for the percentages, obviously Israel will have to deal with that as the situation arises. But until then, they remain the Jewish state and you will have to try another tactic, Mr. Moor.
"For too long Western liberals have engaged in willful denial about the true nature of Israel. Israel is the Jewish state -- of that I have no doubt. But can the Jewish state be squared with liberal and democratic values when one out of every five citizens isn't Jewish? I don't think so."I thought Israel was the Zionist state? Anyway, somehow Ireland and England and Spain have all managed to maintain their democratic nature as well as their national character. In fact according to Gil Troy Zionism and liberalism reinforce each other. What do you have to say to that, Mr. Moor?
"Israel is already an apartheid state. The separation of the people -- their enforced apartness -- arises not out of security considerations, but racial ones. In short, Israel cannot be both the Jewish and democratic state. That's because Zionism is fundamentally anti-democratic in a mixed-race society. The important questions now are how will Israel prevent the growth of its non-Jewish minorities? And how long will Western liberals continue to pretend that Zionism is compatible with liberalism?"Godddamn it, do you need to go through all this again? Here, let me link to the Israel and the apartheid analogy blog posts Matt and I did a while back. It's worth mentioning that not even Jimmy Carter and his team consider Israel to be an "apartheid state," because they don't consider the Palestinians to be Israelis or the territories to be part of Israel.
It's also funny that he is complaining about 'mixed-race societies,' seeing as how they are practically an anachronism in the Middle East. And yes, I know that Lebanon where Mr. Moor is located is the big exception to that rule. But if you look at the Middle East across the spectrum you will see that all the states are based on one ethnic group ruling and others just living there. All that Mr. Moor is doing here is singling Israel out for criticism while simultaneously pretending that it is the only state that have problems involving immigration, democracy and national character.
Hey, isn't that practically the definition of anti-Semitism?