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November 28, 2014 10:58 am

Shimon Peres: Proposed Nationality Law Undermines Declaration of Independence

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Shimon Peres. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Ynet – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former president Shimon Peres and current President Reuven Rivlin used a memorial service for Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion on Thursday to lock horns over the controversial “Nationality Law.”

“The Nation State Bill is an attempt to undermine the Declaration of Independence for political interests,” former president Peres said. “The bill will damage the country both at home and abroad and it will erode the democratic principles of the State of Israel.”

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  • Julian Clovelley

    There is an in teresting quote in the full text of the linked article:

    “Ben-Gurion was one of history’s messengers,” Netanyahu said at the memorial in Sde Boker. “The Declaration of Independence was not the final word, but just one stage in the journey to realizing the Zionist dream. He put a strong emphasis on Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.”

    Of course Netanyahu is correct in recognising that all vital societies, and their underlying justifications and philosophies exist in a state of permanent flux. Organic life – and particularly life possessed of self consciousness – cannot be static.

    But just as the Israeli Declaration was not the final word – nor are any of the words of Ben Gurion, Herzl or even Maimonides. Much of the strength of Jewish writing lies in its flexibility, adaptability and will to examine new situations with new proposals for solutions

    But this recognition of flux needs , above all, in present circumstance to be extended to such time worn concepts as Zionism per se and Jewish “identity” iself. A major problem in Israel’s present relationship with the world is that when taken within the framework of eve the world understanding of Judaic morality and spiritual identity the Zionist concept, and its current racist concept of Jewish Identity, don’t make a blind bit of sense except in the context of a move towards Israel becoming an Apartheid State, occupying on permanent basis land not seen to belong to it. Zionism, too has run its course – some might say to the train wreck that wiser minds, at its very foundation, always though inevitable

    Documents can be read as having different meanings according to the context and environment of the reader – Another example would be the Balfour Declaration of 1917, whose core text may well be read by a Zionist (“conveniently”) as “authorising and validating a Jewish State” – whereas a non-Zionist would read it to mean the exact opposite – that a “Homeland” is supported but a “Jewish State” clearly denied

    The Israeli people have an opprtunity in the coming election to tell the world how they wish to be understood – But for the world to see this as valid a consensus of some kind must be reached within Israel between its culturally divergent populations. Otherwise the result is bound to be viewed as the repression of one culture by another – in other words “Apartheid”

    I have a suggestion that Israel might like to consider through asking a question. Since the Settlers are NOT living in Israel – but in fact are living in the territory of another territorial institution – should they really be voting in the Israeli elections at all? It seems to me that the imperialist notions of the Zionist Settlers are at conflict with home Israeli interest, and distorting the outcome in a manner that makes Israeli inhabitants within the pre 1967 borders pay a huge price.