It is amazing that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still needs to reaffirm to Israelis that Israel is the Jewish State.
Yet Netanyahu was required to do just that afterfashion model, actress and TV presenter Rotem Sela instagrammed:
“When in hell will anyone in this government tell the public that Israel is a state of all its citizens, and all human beings were born equal. And the Arabs, God forbid, are human beings. As are the Druze. And the homosexuals too, by the way, and the lesbians and also ... what a shock ... the leftists.”Netanyahu’s response was swift:
“Dear Rotem, important correction: Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the Basic Law we have passed, Israel is the nation-state of theJewish people – and only them.As you wrote, there is no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel –they enjoy equal rights like all of us, and the Likud government invested more in the Arab sector than any other government.”Netanyahu elaborated on his statement at last Sunday’s cabinet meeting:
“I would like to clarify a point that, apparently, is not clear to slightly confused people in the Israeli public. Israel is a Jewish, democratic state. This means is that it is the national state of the Jewish people alone. Of course it respects the individual rights of all its citizens – Jews and non-Jews alike, but it isthe national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people. Other peoples, other nationalities and other minorities – have national representation in other states. The national representation of the Jewish people is in the State of Israel. Israel is the national state of the Jewish people and of it alone.”David Ben-Gurion and Yitzchak Rabin expressed much the same sentiments d cades ago.
Ben-Gurion presciently defined the term “Jewish State”during his evidence before the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine on 7 July 1947:
“What is the meaning of a Jewish State? As I told you before, a Jewish State does not mean one has to be a Jew. It means merely a State-where the Jews are in the majority, otherwise all the citizens have the same status. If the State were called by the name “Palestine,” – I said if – then all would be Palestinian citizens If the State would be given, another name – I think it would be given another name – because Palestine is neither a Jewish nor an Arab name.
As far as the Arabs are concerned, and we have the evidence of the Arab historian, Hitti, that there was no such a thing as “Palestine” at all: Palestine is not an Arab name.
Palestine is also not a Jewish name. When the Greeks were our enemies, in order not to annoy the Jews, they gave different names to the streets. So, maybe the name of Palestine will be changed. But whatever the name of the country, every citizen of the country will be a citizen. This is what we mean. This is what we have to mean. We cannot conceive that in a State where we are not in a minority, where we have the main responsibilities as the majority of the country, there should be the slightest discrimination between a Jew and a non-Jew.”Rabin stated in 1992:
"I don’t want to make Israel a binational state. I would like to keep Israel a Jewish democratic state. By that, I mean at least 80 per cent of its population Jewish"Peace will only come when the PLO,Hamas and the UN General Assembly recognizethat Israel is the Jewish State.