|The answer is a Hebrew republic. But what is the question?|
Obviously, Israel cannot maintain an occupation, denying a great many people political rights, and remain democratic in any ordinary sense. But there is an even more disturbing problem, which calls the Jewish state into question. Can a state for world Jewry be a republic of citizens, many of whom are not Jews? And just what is a Jew in the legal terms statehood presumes: a member of a Hebrew-speaking civil society, a follower of Orthodox Jewish law or a bearer of J-positive blood? The question is troubling enough as it is, but it also has immediate consequences for the ways Israelis imagine their fight, especially since the Netanyahu government, which has been promoting its “Jewish nation-state law”, seems so satisfied to promote rabbinic law as Jewish and speak of democracy purely in terms of majority rule.
“Look,” most Israelis will now tell you, “we might have to push the Arab states around or make them believe that we can – and we have to be able to do this with the blessing of western democracies or at least Trump’s America.” If you ask them: “But isn’t pre-emption and lethal force making your neighbours more determined to fight you?” they answer: “Our neighbours hate us anyway and, sadly, most of our own Arab citizens do, too. It is naive to believe that they won’t, given the kind of state we are.”
Read on at The Guardian