Israel's Sham Democracy - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous previous articles exposed it, highlighting policies affording rights solely to Jews, including a January 2010 Israeli Democracy or Hypocrisy one accessed through the following link:
It cited a same titled October 2007 Haaretz editorial, calling for "debate about Israel's control over the lives of Palestinians deprived of civil rights," saying its democracy is flawed for denying Arab Israelis equality with Jews.
In his December 10 op-ed titled titled, "The farce of a secular and democratic Jewish state," Haaretz writer Gideon Levy was equally critical, saying:
"The debate over the conversion bill is deceptive." The IDF bill aims to prevent municipal marriage clerks from refusing to register marriages of people converted during military service. An estimated 2,500 occur annually, mostly among former Soviet Union immigrants. Orthodox parties, like Shas, want the Sephardic chief rabbi to have sole conversion authority. Secular ones want bill's language left unchanged.
Levy believes the debate masks greater issues, fundamental ones "that define our society and state." Whether military or civilian rabbis decide who is Jewish is a distraction. "Ten times more significant is....whether (we're) living in the only country on earth where clerics determine the right to citizenship. No less important (is the illusion that Israel) is a secular and democratic state."
Imagine debates over whether to rent apartments to Arabs. What about equal rights, democratic freedoms, civil liberties and justice. Choosing who's superior, who's inferior, who gets rights and who doesn't exposes Israel's real agenda, a theocratic-run Jewish state under religious law, deciding who belongs and who doesn't, enforced by hardline officials and MKs.
"It's time to admit that this approach can only be called racist," based on "the blood flowing through (one's) veins....determin(ing) your status....Sixty-two years after (Israel's) establishment, (it's time to) change this reality."
It's time for "normalcy, for joining the enlightened world, (and changing) distorted reality." Otherwise, it's ludicrous calling Israel "a liberal and modern state" when growing despotism better defines it. Non-Jews have experienced it for decades, under a repressive occupation, and Israeli Arabs treated like second class citizens.
On December 17, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said a new report lists 20 new Knesset laws and draft laws that discriminate against Arab minorities, threatening their rights as citizens. In some cases, Occupied Palestinian rights are also violated.
For example, a recently proposed Knesset "Bill for Protecting the Values of the State of Israel (Amendment Legislation) 2009 requires organizations pledge loyalty to Israel as "Jewish and democratic." In a November 4 press release, Adalah said the bill:
"violates the right of freedom of association and freedom of expression of all Arab organizations in Israel, which seek through democratic means to change the political, legal and social status in Israel. It asks those organizations to express their loyalty to the Jewish state and therefore it is not just a discriminatory law but one that seeks to oppress the rights of the Arab minority."
It also limits and damages Arab organizations' work, "put(ting) them under ultra-nationalist, ideological interrogation and investigation, and (questioning) every serious action" they take. The bill enforces a Jewish world view, delegitimizing and perhaps criminalizing organizations not endorsing it. This and other bills mirror 1920s Italy and 1930s Germany where democracy became fascism, including racist laws, persecution and extermination.
Institutionalizing Apartheid in Israel
On October 29, Haaretz writer Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu headlined, "Segregation of Jews and Arabs in 2010 Israel is almost absolute," saying: