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Israel as a “Jewish state”

May 19th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

I haven’t seen the case against Israel’s “Jewish state” claim put so eloquently for a long time:

“Netanyahu wants the Palestinians to acknowledge that Israel is a “Jewish state.” I don’t understand this demand. Israel is not a Jewish state, it is a multi-cultural state, with about half a million non-Jewish Russians and Ukrainians and 20% of its population is Arab. If “Jewish” is meant religiously, then observant Jews are actually a minority of the population in Israel. If “Jewish” is meant racially, then it is a particularly shameful demand. It is like demanding either that the US be recognized as a “Christian” country or as a “white” country. Obama was ill-advised to use the diction, himself.”

By Juan Cole, here.

I will say it again – the one-state solution is fast becoming the only answer. One democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 A // May 19, 2009 at 8.26 pm

    Do you feel the same way about the Syrian Arab Republic?

  • 2 Maysaloon // May 21, 2009 at 12.56 am

    A,
    The Syrian Arab Republic wasn’t founded by European and American Jews. It also wasn’t founded by ethnic cleansing. You have no point.

  • 3 Idit // May 21, 2009 at 1.19 pm

    So, Only Arabs are entitled to countries of their own.

    The camel does’nt see its own hump…

  • 4 Maysaloon // May 23, 2009 at 12.07 am

    Yes great, guys. Conveniently miss the point I was making that American and European Jewry came from -shock and horror! – America and Europe!!!! Pretend like you give a damn about Assyrians, Kurds and the other politically disenfranchised groups.

  • 5 A // May 24, 2009 at 9.50 pm

    Maysaloon, I know that and I agree with your view of what happened in 1948. It was ethnic cleansing. But this was not what Juan Cole talked about. He talked about how a state that professes an ethnic or religious affiliation is in itself a bad thing, and how it will be unjust for Israel to be a “Jewish state” even after a two-state solution (or for the US to be a “white Christian” state). I tend to agree with the principle of that, although I doubt its realism in regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    My point was that the same problem of state-suppoerted ethnic nationalism is true for Syria, so logically that argument should cut both ways. Do you agree with this, or do you think that Syria’s being an “Arab state” is unproblematic?

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