Journalist Ben White gave a speech last week about the meaning of Israel’s new Nation State of the Jewish People law. It can only be understood as a pushback against efforts over the last two decades by Palestinian citizens of Israel to challenge Zionism, assert their national identity, mobilise against discrimination, and, critically, to demand a state of all its citizens.
The Jewish Nation-State law is making it hard to be associated with Israel, without being openly associated with an Apartheid regime. How will Daniel Barenboim handle it? By continuing “dialogue” with Israel, or finally boycotting the regime?
Western media should stop mincing words by calling the Israeli nation-state law “controversial” when in fact it is encoding the worst human impulses into law, the likes of which are found in Nazi Germany, Jim Crow America, the Indian Removal Act and other abominable moments in human history.
Underneath all that Israel does lies a central notion – that of the ‘Jewish nation’. It informs all that Israel does, and sits at the core of all its violations. Jonathan Ofir writes, this is the central myth that needs to be dismantled.
Yesterday, the Israeli Knesset passed a bill titled “Nation State of the Jewish People” in a preliminary vote. In explaining the need for the bill MK Avi Dichter said: “Israel is the state of all its individual citizens. It isn’t and won’t be the nation-state of any minority living in it…That is a right this bill gives to the Jewish People alone.” Jonathan Ofir says a close examination of this one statement, reveals a wealth of Zionist lies, contradictions, obfuscations, and sheer chutzpah.