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Israeli Cabinet passes loyalty bill, Arabs angry

Discussion in 'Political Debates' started by dust1n, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    Israeli Cabinet passes loyalty bill, Arabs angry

    JERUSALEM — Israel’s Cabinet approved a bill on Sunday that would require new non-Jewish citizens to pledge a loyalty oath to a ‘Jewish and democratic’ state, language that triggered charges of racism from Arab lawmakers who see it as undermining the rights of the country’s Arab minority.
    The measure was largely symbolic, since few non-Jews apply for Israeli citizenship. Nevertheless, it infuriated the Arab minority and stoked tensions with Palestinians at a time when fledgling peace talks are deadlocked over Israel’s refusal to extend a moratorium on new building in West Bank Jewish settlements.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the bill reflected the essence of Israel at a time when he said many in the world are trying to blur the connection between the Jewish people and their homeland.

    ‘The state of Israel is the national state of the Jewish people and is a democratic state in which all its citizens — Jews and non-Jews — enjoy full equal rights,’ he said. ‘Whoever wants to join us has to recognize us.’

    Ahmad Tibi, an Arab lawmaker, called the move a provocation.

    ‘Its purpose is to solidify the inferior status of Arabs by law,’ he said. ‘Netanyahu and his government are limiting the sphere of democracy in Israel and deepening the prejudice against its Arab minority.’

    Unlike their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel’s Arabs are citizens, with the right to vote, travel freely and collect generous social benefits. But they have long suffered from discrimination and second-class status. Arabs make up roughly one-fifth of Israel’s 7 million people.
    While the new bill would not force Arab citizens to profess their loyalty, a non-Jewish spouse of any Israeli would have to take the oath in order to receive citizenship.

    Israel’s Interior Ministry said several thousand people would be affected by the measure, while Adalah, an Arab advocacy group, said the number was about 25,000. The bill presumably would not affect Jewish newcomers, who automatically receive citizenship under Israel’s ‘Law of Return.’

    Roni Schocken, spokesman for the Abraham Fund, a group that promotes coexistence between Israeli Jews and Arabs, said the new legislation added to what is becoming a ‘terrifying’ atmosphere for Arabs. Efforts are under way in parliament, for instance, to punish groups that mourn the ‘Nakba,’ or catastrophe, the term Palestinians use to describe the suffering caused by Israel’s founding.

    ‘It conveys a very strong message that Arabs are second-rate citizens,’ Schocken said.

    The bill — which must pass a wider parliamentary vote to become law — easily passed in the cabinet by a 22-8 margin. Only a handful of ministers, mostly from the centrist Labor Party, opposed it.

    It was backed by Yisrael Beitenu, a hard-line nationalist party whose leader, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, openly questioned the loyalty of Israel’s Arabs during last year’s election campaign. The issue helped propel his party to a strong third place in parliamentary elections.

    (Cont.)
     
  2. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    That's a pretty disgusting bill.
     
  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian
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    What he said.

    Btw, that's a pretty commanding avatar, Xguy!
     
  4. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

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    OBJECTION!
    Irrelevant to the OP! :tsk:​
     
  5. Ordeet

    Ordeet Member

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    What's wrong with a loyalty oath. If anything, a loyalty oath to Israel makes sense, given it's situation. When I grew up in America, I had to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag every morning in school. People of all ethnicities had to say it.
     
  6. arimoff

    arimoff Active Member

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    And your point is? why not? when you have many traitors you need laws to counter them. As if Jews are complaining that they have no right in Arab lands, by the way I haven't noticed your concern about it, why not?
     
  7. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    I think the protest is against the specific wording proposed, as in includes "A Jewish State".
    Because a story about it didn't come in through my news feed this morning.
     
  8. Yona

    Yona Frum Mastah Flex

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    I don't see anything wrong with this bill at all.
     
  9. Yona

    Yona Frum Mastah Flex

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    Israel is a Jewish state and should continue to be so.
     
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  10. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    And why is that?

    I think the question in mind here is that there is a non-Jewish minority in Israel and their wishes are to retain the same rights as any other Israeli. In this instance, one might feel that a.) religion and government should be separate or b.) The oath to 'A Jewish State' as opposed to just a state with a diverse population. You can imagine the backlash of Americans if the government decided to put an oath to the 'white state' or the 'Christian state'.
     
  11. Yona

    Yona Frum Mastah Flex

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    That's what it is first and foremost, a Jewish state. Why? Let me answer that by asking this have you ever studied Jewish history, Zionism or the foundation of and the history of the modern state of Israel?

    The conditions for this bill should tell you there is a big difference between you're comparison and this bill. This minority, the Arabs-Muslims come from the exact same community in which those whom actively seek the destruction of the state of Israel come from. There is both organizations and nations whom seek the destruction of Israel and do not recognize it's existance at ALL. It's within this context that this bill was written. I don't see the problem with this bill.
     
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  12. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    They really are a bunch of clowns... the whole 'Jewish state' issue has gone out of hand a long time ago. who the hell cares if we consider ourselves the Jewish state or not. and asking native Arabs to pledge allegiance to anything other than democratic state is ridiculous. heh, even half of the Jews in Israel have abandoned the whole concept a long time ago.
     
  13. kai

    kai ragamuffin

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    "I swear that I will be a loyal citizen to the state of Israel, as a Jewish and democratic state, and will uphold its laws."

    BBC News - Israeli cabinet backs controversial Jewish loyalty oath


    so whats the problem exactly? the Jewish bit? i think anyone who feels that strongly about it wouldn't want to be an Israeli citizen anyway would they?
     
    #13 kai, Oct 11, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  14. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    So it no longer claims to be a multicultural state.
    It is now a Jewish State.
    Rather like declaring America to be a Christian state.

    A sort of religio-cultural takeover.
     
  15. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    You seem to have zero understanding of the situation. Israel has always defined itself as a Jewish state, that is a state for the Jewith ethnicity.
     
  16. Sufi

    Sufi Member

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    Ridiculous! it's similar if Nazi Germany would have demanded Jews to pledge loyalty to them, most Palestinians (Muslims in general) view Israel as an oppressive and a pseudo Nazistic system do you expect them to pledge loyalty to a state that oppresses them? and BTW we Muslims don't pledge loyalty to enemies of our people & religion.
     
  17. Bismillah

    Bismillah Submit

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    It boils down to whether you believe Israel to be a secular state.
     
  18. kai

    kai ragamuffin

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    doesn't it boil down to whether you want to be an Israeli citizen?
     
  19. Bismillah

    Bismillah Submit

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    To be an Israeli citizen you have to pledge loyalty to a Jewish state. Now is that state Jewish in the cultural sense or religious sense?
     
  20. Rakhel

    Rakhel Honey badger.

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    Out of curiosity, what is the difference, from a non-Jewish standpoint?
     
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