Ameinu Decries Provocative Israel Nation State Law
Yesterday, Israel’s Knesset passed a superfluous and intentionally provocative bill, The Nation State Law, by a vote of 62-55. Several provisions of the new law have the effect of diminishing the status of Israel’s significant Arab minority and negatively impacting the careful balance of Israel as a Jewish and democratic country. Ameinu remains committed to Israel’s Declaration of Independence which proclaims that the State of Israel “will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants…it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” Ameinu calls upon the Government of Israel to reaffirm its commitment to all of Israel’s citizens.
Ameinu President Kenneth Bob said, “By distinguishing between the rights of Jews and all other citizens of Israel, this bill weakens Israel’s commitment to democracy and makes Israel less than a state of all of its citizens. While I am heartened to see that the bill only passed by a slim majority and proud of the work that was done by our allies in Israel to tone down the original language proposed in the bill, this is a sad day for Israel.”
Bob continued, “many American Jewish organizations, including Ameinu, expressed concerned about specific clauses included in various drafts and opposed its passage. In this light, it is ironic that the new law declares that ‘the state shall act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and the members of the Jewish people.’ Perhaps listening to Diaspora representatives and recognizing all forms of religious affiliation would be a good start in strengthening that affinity.”
Ameinu, the leading progressive Zionist membership organization in the United States, is dedicated to promoting a negotiated peace between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states, and to social and economic justice for all in Israel and America.
Ameinu reinforces Jewish continuity through support for Habonim Dror, the Labor Zionist youth movement, and management of the Kibbutz Program Center which sends hundreds of young adults on unique Israel experiential journeys every year.