Saturday, December 1, 2007

What is a Jewish state? (updated)

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied West Jerusalem for the Palestinian Information Center

Seeking to perpetuate institutionalized racism and systematic discrimination against its non-Jewish citizens, the apartheid Israeli state has been incessantly trying to blackmail the weak and vulnerable Palestinian Authority (PA) into recognizing the Zionist state as “an exclusively Jewish state.”

Some Israeli officials have used terms such as “a state of the Jews, for the Jews, and by the Jews.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been quoted as saying that Israel wouldn’t recognize a prospective Palestinian state on the West Bank unless the PA recognized Israel as “a state of the Jews.”

Israeli leaders are reluctant to tell the world what they exactly mean by “a state of the Jews,” ostensibly to save themselves the embarrassment of the implied racism inherent in the concept.

However, the implications in such a recognition are abundantly clear for those who have even rudimentary knowledge of the Israeli mentality.

To make a long story short, “Jewish state” means that Israel has an inherent right to discriminate against its non-Jewish citizens, especially the sizeable Palestinian minority, and, if need be, expel them from the country in order to preserve the “Jewishness” of Israel.

In other words, Israel simply wants to obtain from the Palestinian leadership a recognition that it has a legal and moral right to carry out ethnic cleansing of its Christian and Muslim citizens on the ground that Israel is and must always remain a Jewish state.

Of course, Israel is deliberately evasive and vague about its manifestly fascistic designs regarding its non-Jewish citizens. Israeli leaders and apologists claim ad nauseam that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. But this is a defensive reflex at best and is as mendacious as claiming that apartheid is compatible with democracy.

The truth, however, is that Israel can’t be Talmudic and democratic at the same time. Hence “Jewish” and “democratic” are an eternal oxymoron that should never be used in the presence of an honest audience.

The reason for that is amply clear. Ask any Jew in Israel or abroad which comes first “Jewish” or “democratic” and he or she wouldn’t to tell you that “Jewish” always overrides “democratic.” Which really shows that “democratic” is no more than a cosmetic fa├žade that is meant to blur or conceal the brutal ugliness of the fascist nature of the “Jewish state.”

Another important, even paramount, aspect of this issue is the Israeli insistence on obtaining recognition as Jewish state in order to permanently bar millions of Palestinian refugees deported from their homeland from time immemorial from repatriation.

In other words, Israel wants to legalize and legitimize ethnic cleansing by getting the victims, or at least their supposed representatives, to bless the greatest act of theft in the history of mankind.

Thus, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would be tantamount to a double national suicide of immense catastrophic proportions for the Palestinian people.

First, it implies that Israel has the right to expel all or most of its Arab citizens or at least check their demographic growth by all means necessary to maintain Israel as a Jewish state.

And, second, it implies that Israel has the right to prevent Palestinian refugees uprooted from their ancestral homeland from returning to their homes and villages in what is now Israel. In other words, Israel wants to make sure that ethnic cleansing will win at last.

In light, one is prompted to ask: Can there be a greater national suicide for the Palestinian people?

In addition, there are a number of other practical implications which a recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would entail. These include the following:

1- That only “Jews” can be considered complete citizens of Israel, and that if an incomplete citizen, e.g. a non-Jew, wanted to be “complete” he or she would have to convert to Judaism. This is very much like the situation many Jews in mediaeval Europe faced, forcing them to convert to Christianity in order to enjoy equality and find acceptance in their contemporary societies.

2- That the Israeli citizenship per se is ultimately inconsequential and doesn’t guarantee holders all rights and privileges, since Israel is defined as “state of the Jews.” Hence, in order to enjoy full and complete and permanent citizenship, one has to be Jewish.

3- That whenever there is the slightest disharmony between the Jewish and democratic aspects of Israel, the Jewish aspect will override and take priority over the democratic aspect.

4- That Jews all over the world, including potential converts to Judaism, are citizens of Israel and may well be allowed the right to vote in national elections, especially if non-Jewish citizens, gain political influence in Israeli politics.

More to the point, recognizing Israel as a Jewish state also implies a recognition of the moral legitimacy of Israel’s criminal history, particularly the genocidal ethnic cleansing of the bulk of the indigenous Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland.

In other words, a recognition as such by the PA would also imply that the Palestinians would effectively though compulsively embrace and accept the Zionist narrative in its entirety.

This would mean that the victims of Zionist supremacy and racism would have to transform themselves into a sort of Arab Zionists, very much like Christian Zionists.

It is for these reasons that no dignified Palestinian under the sun will be able to recognize Israel as a Jewish state since such a recognition would be incompatible with basic morality and fundamental human decency.

Indeed, even if such a recognition were to be arrogated through blackmail and coercion, it would be utterly rejected by the vast bulk of Palestinians, and treated like a marriage under duress, which is no less than an act of rape.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his refusal on Saturday to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Israel Radio reported.

"Historically, there are two states - Israel and Palestinian. Israel has Jews and other people, and this we are ready to recognize, but nothing else," the radio quoted Abbas as saying shortly after he landed in Saudi Arabia after brief stops in Egypt and Jordan.

(read the rest of Abbas' statements in Ha'aretz)