Israel Nation-State Law Passes Amid Deep Concern
July 20, 2018
Posted by: JCRC Staff
Early on Thursday, July 19, the Israeli Knesset passed legislation known as Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. The new law has caused controversy in Israel and in the American Jewish community. National U.S. Jewish organizations have raised concerns that the legislation will have a negative impact on Jewish pluralism in Israel and on the equal treatment of Israel’s minority populations (see statements below). We have heard similar concerns from members of our Jewish community, the interfaith community and from our allies across the Bay Area, and wish to provide you with the following information.
Our Bay Area Jewish community and the JCRC are deeply committed to Israel and to its future. We believe in “the civil, economic and social rights of all Israelis, including its Arab citizens.” For decades, we have been on record in our belief that a strong and vibrant democracy depends on the active integration of all of its citizens. We believe in the critically important role of “Israel’s Supreme Court in safeguarding democratic protections,” and have voiced deep concern about attacks on the Court’s authority. There is also a consensus view among Bay Area Jews that initiatives undertaken to marginalize or deny religiously liberal Jews legitimacy, authenticity or full rights are of deep concern and dangerous to Israel’s democracy.
In the coming weeks, we will be gathering influential Bay Area faith leaders who care about Israel to discuss these issues and learn about our Jewish community’s perspectives and work.
We encourage YOU to:
- Become involved with our Invest in Peace campaign to support peaceful and prosperous coexistence
- Donate to Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund projects aimed at strengthening Israel as a pluralistic, democratic, and shared society with equal opportunity for all its citizens
- Learn more from experts in a conference call on July 30 (details below)
Text of the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People
Statements by U.S. Jewish Organizations
- ADL Statement on Knesset Passage of Nation-State Law
- AJC Criticizes Knesset Adoption of Nation-State Bill
- Ameinu Decries Provocative Israel Nation State Law
- Israel Policy Forum Statement on the Jewish Nation-State Law
- JCPA Expresses Disappointment on Passage of Israel’s Nation-State Bill
- NIF CEO: Israel’s “Nation-State Bill” Is Tribalism At Its Worst; Betrays Human Dignity and Equality
- URJ Statement on Israel’s Nation-State Law
- ZOA Praises Israel for Passing Law Declaring Israel is a Jewish State
More information, by the Israel Democracy Institute, here.
- Israel's Contentious Nation-state Law: Everything You Need to Know (Haaretz)
- Get Over It—Israel Is the Jewish State (Wall Street Journal)
- The Israel You Know Just Ended. You Can Thank Netanyahu (Haaretz)
- Israel’s Nation-State Bill Would Undermine Jewish Democracy (Forward)
- Zionism Is Not Racist. Israel’s Nation-State Bill Shouldn’t Be Either. (Forward)
- Complaints About Jewish Nation-State Bill Reach Congress (Jerusalem Post)
- Sharansky: Jewish state bill will ‘drive a wedge’ between Israel and Diaspora (Times of Israel)
- ‘Nation-state bill’ would be a disaster for Israeli democracy (J. The Jewish News of Northern California)
- Analysis: Will the Nation-State Law Change the Supreme Court? (Jerusalem Post)