Don’t usually wade into the mire of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis as I don’t live there and don’t really feel I have the right to pass judgement.
However, this latest call (click here for BBC report) for new immigrants to Israel to have to swear loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state“, the “centrepiece” of far right-wing MK Avignor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beteinu electoral campaign in 2009, struck me as so depressingly theocratic and undemocratic in its very nature that I, as a Jew, can’t resist commenting.
In a country made up of a significant Muslim/Christian Arab minority (20%), it seems no less than petty-minded and inflammatory to demand of new immigrants such as “Palestinians married to Israelis who seek citizenship on the basis of family re-unification, foreign workers, and a few other special cases” (quoted from BBC report) to have to swear allegiance to the Jewishness of the state of Israel, rather than to a democracy made up of people from a full spectrum of religious and ethnic backgrounds.
Which other country around the world demands that you swear loyalty to the religion adhered to by the majority of its citizens when you immigrate? I certainly didn’t have to swear loyalty to the USA as a “Christian and democratic state” when I got my Green Card last year.
Why not just stick to loyalty to democracy and leave religion out of it?
That way you might actually live up to your claims of being a democratic state.