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Israel’s ‘nation state of Jews’ law is a ‘mistake’ that will hurt relations with US Jews — Dershowitz

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Alan Dershowitz was on i24 News last night and said his new memoir is about “how much more difficult it is today” to defend Israel today than it used to be. That chore now includes defending Israel’s new law making the country the “nation state of the Jewish people,” in which only one people have the right of self-determination, Jews.

I think it was not a necessary law to pass. Look everybody knows Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. If you want to pass a basic law, you just pass a law incorporating the brilliant declaration of independence of Israel, which talks about equal rights for all.

I don’t think there was a need to have a basic law declaring what everybody knows. It only gives ammunition to the opposition.

People who think this will help in Israeli Diaspora relations are wrong.

To do that, Get the rabbis out of marriage and the law, and who is a Jew, that’s the way to improve Israel-Diaspora relations. But this law is “unnecessarily provocative” and “a mistake.”

Look I don’t think anybody doubts that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. Of course the criticism of it is hypocritical, coming from the Palestinians. They declare Palestine to be an Islamic state governed by sharia law, where no Jew can buy property or be a citizen. That’s really racist. I mean, almost all the Arab countries are Muslim states. But I didn’t see any reason for enacting this law on Israel’s 70th anniversary. I think it was a mistake.

Dershowitz speaks for the centrist/liberal Israel lobby. The Israel lobby group the ADL also said that the law was unnecessary and would complicate Israeli-Diaspora relations:

“we are troubled by the fact that the law, which celebrates the fundamental Jewish nature of the state, raises significant questions about the government’s long-term commitment to its pluralistic identity and democratic nature.”

The liberal Zionist group J Street also said last week that the law was unnecessary and that Israel was “moving in an increasingly theocratic, authoritarian and xenophobic direction.”

There was no need for this legislation: Israel was already a Jewish homeland…. And this government – along with every other government in Israel’s history – already gave preference to the development of the Jewish population. Its main purpose appears to be shoring up Prime Minister Netanyahu’s status with right-wing voters ahead of possible elections later this year or next.

The concern about relations between Israel and American Jews touches on a provision in the law under which Israel can interfere in Jewish life in the United States.

The state shall act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people among Jews in the Diaspora.

Times of Israel reports that the Finance Minister of Israel also regards the law as a “mistake” though he voted in favor of it.

“The legislation was done hastily,” [Finance Minister Moshe] Kahlon said of the bill, passed last week, which his Kulanu party, as a member of the coalition, voted in favor of. “We made a mistake and we need to fix it.”…

Kahlon indicated that commitments to coalition agreements played a significant role in gaining support for the bill, rather than ideology.

Kahlon said he and others, including Druze members of Knesset opposed to the law, were meeting with PM Benjamin Netanyahu to try to change the law, but reports are that Netanyahu is opposed to any changes.

 

 

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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24 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    July 26, 2018, 2:33 pm

    … I think it was not a necessary law to pass. Look everybody knows Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. If you want to pass a basic law, you just pass a law incorporating the brilliant declaration of independence of Israel, which talks about equal rights for all. …

    Joe shouldn’t have bragged that he’s a wife-beater. Look, everybody knows that Joe is a wife-beater. If he wanted to brag about something, he could have bragged brilliantly about how loving and caring a husband he is.

    The Dersh can be counted on to be a slime-ball.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      July 27, 2018, 10:21 am

      https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/israel-nation-state-law-parallels-nazi-nuremberg-laws-180725084739536.html

      Al Jazeera, July 26/18

      “Israel’s ‘nation-state law’ parallels the Nazi Nuremberg Laws”

      “Israel’s new ‘nation-state’ law follows in the footsteps of Jim Crow, the Indian Removal Act and the Nuremberg Laws.”

      By Susan Abulhawa

      EXCERPT:
      “More than 80 years after Nazi Germany enacted what came to be known as the Nuremberg Race Laws, Israeli legislators voted in favour of the so-called ‘nation-state law’. By doing so, they essentially codified ‘Jewish supremacy’ into law, which effectively mirrors the Nazi-era legislation of ethnoreligious stratification of German citizenry.

      “Israel’s ‘nation-state law’ stipulates in its first clause that ‘actualisation of the right of national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people’. In other words, the 1.7 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, the native inhabitants who managed to remain in their homes when European Jews conquered parts of historical Palestine in 1948, shall be without sovereignty or agency, forever living at the mercy of Israeli Jews.

      “In similar fashion, the first of the Nuremberg Laws, the Reich Citizenship Law, deemed citizenship a privilege exclusive to people of ‘German or kindred blood’. The remainder were classed as state subjects, without citizenship rights.

      “Since there was no scientifically sound way to distinguish Jewish Germans from the rest of German society, legislators looked into people’s ancestry to determine their Jewishness. Anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents was defined as a Jew, regardless of whether that individual identified himself or herself as a Jew or belonged to the Jewish religious community.

      “That will not be necessary for indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel because, since its creation in 1948, Israel put protocols in place to ensure that non-Jews do not assimilate into mainstream Jewish society.”

  2. pgtl10
    pgtl10
    July 26, 2018, 3:29 pm

    I think it was not a necessary law to pass. Look everybody knows Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. If you want to pass a basic law, you just pass a law incorporating the brilliant declaration of independence of Israel, which talks about equal rights for all.

    I don’t think there was a need to have a basic law declaring what everybody knows. It only gives ammunition to the opposition.

    People who think this will help in Israeli Diaspora relations are wrong.

    __________________

    Alan to Zionists: Guys! Don’t let anybody know your racist! How am I going to lie with straight face if you tell everybody you’re racist?

  3. amigo
    amigo
    July 26, 2018, 4:16 pm

    There is no official Nation State of the Jewish People just as there is no Nation State of the Catholic People.

    There may be a Nation State of the Israeli People but that has yet to be determined.I should think that when the Zionists have been removed from power and the rightful Majority takes over , they will dump the name of Israel into the nearest garbage can and replace it with a name more befitting the neighborhood.

    Just imagine how much more peaceful this planet will be when zionism has had it,s wings clipped and is carefully monitored.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 28, 2018, 11:26 am

      Highest court in Israel has confirmed there is no “Israeli” nationality &Israeli citizen status does not connote any Israeli nationality; it just distinguishes two different types of Israeli citizens, Jewish & non-Jewish, for purpose of application (or not) of all Israeli laws, rules, etc.

  4. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    July 26, 2018, 4:37 pm

    The concern about relations between Israel and American Jews touches on a provision in the law under which Israel can interfere in Jewish life in the United States.

    The state shall act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people among Jews in the Diaspora.

    To paraphrase the Dresh,
    There was no need for this legislation: Azrael was already interfering in almost all sovereign countries and directly managing the politics of some… so criminal interference regarding Jews allegedly “in the Diaspora” is not such a big deal compared to the rest.

  5. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    July 26, 2018, 5:07 pm

    Classic scumbag Dershowitz. New book promotion opportunity – presumably completely unplagiarised and no doubt if asked he will bet anyone (except Norman Finklestein of course ) $10000 dollars if they can find any mistakes in it. Oh and he has been involved in “defending” Israel since the age of 10 when he was an even smaller short trousered pre-teenage scumbag. Oh and as a major player in US/Zioland/World politics he has of course been involved in consulting with the players in the Trump piss take plan having had multiple meetings with the main architects including Jared Kushner and theee man himself Donald does my bum look big in this combover Trump. Intimately involved as in “consulting” but no unfortunately he doesn`t know the details of the plan but he ASSUMES that it includes a two state solution as per the 1947 UN Resolution.Wait for it wait for it wait for it he also ASSUMES that the piss plan will offer “Domestic sovereignty” to the Palestinians. WTF is “”domestic sovereignty”. Is it eg like the “Sovereignty” given by the Nazis to Marechal Petain and Vichy France perchance – methinks so.

    This creatuire thankfully is way past his use by date and thankfully we don`t have many more years to suffer the odour which he generates.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 26, 2018, 7:54 pm

      Ossinev: “WTF is “”domestic sovereignty”.”

      That’s code for bantustans.

      Dershowitz: “… raises significant questions about the government’s long-term commitment to its pluralistic identity and democratic nature.”

      Now that’s a way to whitewash Apartheid.

  6. Talkback
    Talkback
    July 26, 2018, 8:59 pm

    “The liberal Zionist group J Street also said last week that the law was unnecessary and that Israel was “moving in an increasingly theocratic, authoritarian and xenophobic direction.”

    “Liberal” Apartheid supporters always claim that Israel is “moving” towards something. To Apartheid, to a “one state”, to “fascism”, to “an increasingly theocratic, authoritarian and xenophobic direction”, etc. It’s not allready there, no. Only if it continues to be the way it allready is. Zionists know how to bend temporal logic. They do it everytime when they claim that Israel IS the HISTORIC homeland of the Jews.

    And a quasi constitutional law which enshrines Apartheid is only deemed “unnecessary”. Like Apartheid laws in South Africa were only “unnecessary”. Like the Nuremberg laws were only “unnecessary”. Who cares about its victims. It’s only “unnessecary” from the view of the perpetrators.

    J Street: “There was no need for this legislation. Israel was already a Jewish homeland.”

    Who cares that it has allready been a Palestinan “homeland”, too, right?

    J Street: “Hebrew is unchallenged as the primary language of daily discourse in every sphere of life.”

    Who cares that Israel’s claim that Arabic was an official language was a farce, right?

    J Street: “And this government – along with every other government in Israel’s history – already gave preference to the development of the Jewish population.”

    Who cares that every Israeli goverment has been racist and an Apartheid state’s goverment, right?

    J Street: “We also note that the law that passed could have been even worse.”

    Even more openly racist than it allready is, right? That could have been worse.

    J Street: “This is a sad day for Israel and all who care about its democracy and its future.”

    Yes, not a sad day for its Nonjews, but a sad day for Jews, right?

    What a bunch of pathetic pseudo liberals.

  7. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    July 26, 2018, 10:51 pm

    I saw the Dersh on “the View”. He was showcasing his sensitive feminine side and told the ladies he was a “liberal Democrat”
    I never knew that !
    All I knew was the attack dog.
    It”s great to see Israel’s march towards fascism blindsiding thugs like Dershowitz, the ADL and the NYT.

    If you reduce Israel to its essence you get Phil”s Mom saying “Jews wouldn’t do that”.
    That is the core tension between ordinary US Jewish Schmucks and “Fuck You , Smoch alai” Israeli Jews.
    The centre cannot hold .

  8. Marnie
    Marnie
    July 27, 2018, 12:00 am

    Gee Alan – how is it going to hurt jews? Are they going to be shot for leaving their houses? Protesting their imprisonment? Are their teenage children going to be arrested at 2 a.m. without a parent accompanying them? Will they be prevented from seeking the urgent or routine medical care they desperately need? What about the checkpoints – how will those poor things survive? Will they be confined to their homes during Ramadan and other Islamic holy days? Oh the pain they will never feel is going to be enormous. ‘Hurt’? You don’t even know the meaning of the word. Fucking pervert. If you want to know what hurt is, go to Palestine. If you won’t do that, watch Killing Gaza. That might help you see what hurt is. Please, I dare you to lift your veil of self-indulgent imagined pain and suffering and see what actual suffering looks like up close. Pussy.

  9. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    July 27, 2018, 4:40 am

    “People who think this will help in Israeli Diaspora relations are wrong.

    To do that, Get the rabbis out of marriage and the law, and who is a Jew, that’s the way to improve Israel-Diaspora relations.”

    Dersh does not understand the depth of the chasm. He does not understand what Orthodox rule means. Apartheid can be justified by any number of settler rabbis.
    Apartheid puts the whole project at risk. The Orthodox do not care.
    Imagine spending your whole life defending Israel only for Israel to destroy every value you believe in.

    Dersh is a walking Greek tragedy.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      July 27, 2018, 8:28 am

      Absolutely.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        July 27, 2018, 9:44 am

        Get the rabbis out of who is a human being deserving of rights.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        July 29, 2018, 2:50 am

        Or just get the rabbis out, period. ;^)

  10. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    July 27, 2018, 6:38 am

    Maghlavatan, you said:

    “If you reduce Israel to its essence you get Phil”s Mom saying “Jews wouldn’t do that”

    Funny that, this is, in principle, a constant refrain I am hearing when I talk to people about occupation in Palestine.

    “If it were true…..” then

    – “There would be outrage”

    – “It would be front page news”

    – “No liberal politician would support Israel”

    – “World would do something about it”

    – “You cannot hide something like that”

    – “People would talk – it would never be allowed to happen”

    – “Sorry, but you exaggerate”

    – “You are reading dubious propaganda against Jews”

    etc, etc….

    127/138

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      July 27, 2018, 12:26 pm

      Edward Said wrote in 1979 that Palestinians have had “the extraordinarily bad luck to have a good case in resisting colonial invasion of their homeland combined with, in terms of the international and moral sense, the most morally complex of all opponents, Jews, with a long history of victimization and terror behind them.”

      This history bought the Jewish people much sympathy. It was understood as carte blanche. It was no such thing. The backlash will happen.

      https://youtu.be/VkY4icPZdP0

  11. iResistDe4iAm
    iResistDe4iAm
    July 27, 2018, 11:49 pm

    Shorter Dershowitz:

    De facto Apartheid is GOOD
    – even a 10-year old hasbarist can deny Israeli apartheid and plead plausible deniability

    De jure Apartheid is BAD
    – a bad mistake, it becomes more difficult, even for a Harvard Law Professor, to defend Israeli apartheid

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      July 30, 2018, 5:14 am

      Dersh loves ambiguity. He hates proof.

      It’s like the joke about the difference between eroticism and porn. Eroticism is the brush of a feather. Porn is the whole chicken.

      Dersh likes to riff on the feather. He cannot bear to acknowledge what the chicken is doing.

  12. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    July 28, 2018, 9:45 am

    @Maghlawatan
    IMHO the overiding priority in Dershowitz`s “mentality” is to be seen to be a “player” in the I/P scenario, to be seen as relevant in Jewish American circles and very definitely to be seen to be “relevant” in any and every American political debate. He has and will continue to portray himself as a ” liberal ” simply because despite all the hypocrisy and the contradictions being identified a “liberal” is still very much the “in” thing amongst the intelligentsia in American society.

    As I said before in this thread he is well past his use by date and is becoming increasingly desperate to advertise his so called “liberal” beliefs in order to keep the interviewing media interested and guarantee those ego fixes.

    The liberal in me (there is one) thinks that he is simply a sad old git who was probably a sad young git and a sad middle aged git.

  13. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    July 28, 2018, 1:43 pm

    “we are troubled by the fact that the law, which celebrates the fundamental Jewish nature of the state, raises significant questions about the government’s long-term commitment to its pluralistic identity and democratic nature.”
    So sayeth J.Greenblatt of the ADL. Perhaps he should have a converstion with Likud Knesset MK Avi Dichter the sponsor of the bill who said:
    “We are enshrining this important bill into a law today to prevent even the slightest thought, let alone attempt, to transform Israel to a country of all its citizens,” he said.”
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-democratic-nation-state-law-raises-questions-over-israels-purpose/

    Sounds very familiar. Oh yes:
    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/background-and-overview-of-the-nuremberg-laws

    Jawohl Herr Dichter !!

  14. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    July 28, 2018, 1:46 pm

    ‘Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people’ – does everyone ‘know’ this? I think that Israel is a state where sovereign power is exercised with substantial disfranchisement of those subject to it in order to serve the aspirations of the Jewish half of that population and of many, though by no means all, Jewish people worldwide. The ‘nation state’ claim is not a way of merely drawing attention to that state of affairs but a way of hinting how that state of affairs might be justified under nationalist theories. At this rate it is not known to be true and that is the reason why opponents get ammunition: the doubts cluster round.

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