Like many other aspects of Israeli politics, public debate on the proposed law – which has different forms – to re-emphasise the Jewish dimension of the country’s democratic framework is often highly distorted, and stripped of both complexity and context.
This initiative cannot be understood without considering the ongoing campaigns to erode and eventually erase the essential Jewish framework of Zionism. For a number of years, anti-Zionist political groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have sought to reverse the definition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and replace it by a state “of all of its citizens”.
Many of these NGOs receive major foreign government funding, both directly and through church aid agencies, to promote this objective under the facade of human rights and democracy.
For example, Adalah, an Arab-Israeli NGO funded by the EU, Germany, Sweden, Christian Aid, as well as the New Israel Fund, promotes this agenda through statements and appearances before United Nations committees, and sends numerous “reports” to journalists and diplomats.
Adalah condemns the Law of Return, the Israeli flag, Hatikvah, the Menorah as the national symbol, the Jewish National Fund, and other items that reflect the Jewish history and culture.
Furthermore, claims that a Jewish state is somehow racist or a theocracy ignore the fact that the 28 members of the EU (plus Norway and Switzerland), are Christian societies, with symbols, flags, calendars, and, as in Britain, an established Church.
For all of these reasons, public support has grown for measures designed to re-emphasise Israel’s fundamental Jewish and Zionist identity, based on the 1948 Declaration of Independence, which defines Israel clearly and repeatedly as “the Jewish state”.