Israel’s Nation-State Law and the dead end of Zionism
21 July 2018
The passage on Thursday by the Israeli Knesset of the “Nation-State Law” enshrining Jewish supremacy as the legal foundation of the state marks a new stage in the crisis wracking Israel. It puts paid to the already discredited claim that Israel is “the only democracy” in the Middle East. With the enactment of this openly racist “basic law,” the legal foundation of the state is brought into alignment with the reality of a garrison state based on the brutal oppression of an entire people, the Palestinians.
The law declares that “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.” It proclaims Jerusalem “complete and united” as Israel’s capital.
It sanctions state-supported segregation and the exclusion of Arabs from exclusively Jewish communities, declaring, “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.” This is a green light for an explosion of ethnic cleansing and the dispossession of Palestinians within the borders of Israel itself.
The law makes no mention of non-Jewish citizens of Israel, who comprise over 20 percent of the population, nor of democracy and equality.
In the name of the supposed unity of the Jewish people, it removes Arabic as an official state language, granting this status to Hebrew alone. And it gives official and exclusive standing to Jewish symbols, including by declaring “Hatikva” the national anthem.
The attempt to assert Jewish national unity by elevating the Hebrew language and “Hatikva” only highlights the forced and artificial character of the entire Zionist project. Hatikva is the product of…