Israel moves closer to constitutional apartheid

John Kerry caused a bit of a fuss a few days ago by using the apartheid word with regard to Israel.

With immediate pressure from the Jewish lobbies in the US, he backed away from his use of the word. But there is little doubt that he meant it and that Israel – which already has two classes of citizenship in practice – is moving closer to a form of constitutionally sanctioned differentiation of nationality for Jews and non-Jews. Which is indistinguishable from a separate treatment of peoples by religion. Constitutionally sanctioned, religious discrimination it surely will be. Apartheid is not too strong a word.


Binyamin Netanyahu will push ahead with a rare change to Israel’s basic laws – which amount to the country’s constitution – to insist Israel is “the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people”.

At Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the civil rights of minorities, including Arabs, would be guaranteed, and the move was vital at a time when aspects of Israel’s legitimacy were “under a constant and increasing assault from abroad and at home”. …

The proposed law would be in addition to Israel’s declaration of independence of May 1948 – the anniversary of which is celebrated on Tuesday – which defines Israel as a Jewish state.

Most of Israel’s basic laws deal with procedural issues relating to elections, the appointment of the prime minister, state payments and the administration of the judiciary, but some laws have been more controversial, including the 1980 law that designated Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Despite the intention that the new law should guarantee full equal rights, critics say it strays into contentious territory in its explicit definition which, regardless of passport and citizenship, would codify a differential notion of nationhood.

Every religion which claims some kind of special position for its own adherents – inevitably and of necessity – denigrates and sanctions discrimination against all who do not follow the “true faith”. Which is of course the fundamental weakness of every organised religion which claims to be the “true faith”. There are as many Heavens as there are organised religions.

A “faith” – by definition – is unproven and unprovable and its “truth” is indemonstrable.

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One Response to “Israel moves closer to constitutional apartheid”

  1. Israel is not immune from the neo-Nazi disease | The k2p blog Says:

    […] Of course Amoz Oz is now being castigated for even using the word “Nazi” in relation to Jews. But the reality is that Israeli politicians and religious leaders give tacit support to the persecution of and discrimination against Muslims. The indignation at the use of the word “Nazi” is the same as that against Kerry for calling Israel an apartheid state. […]

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