“It is high time we cemented Israel’s Jewish nature and symbols by law, especially given the constant attempts by anti-Zionist elements to disavow the country’s Jewish and Zionist elements, which were once a given.”
“This is the time to clearly declare that the State of Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people and this is our basic right.”
The bills’ sponsors are saying that in giving “constitutional status to State symbols,” the bill “will cement an existing situation by law.”
The “existing situation” of Israel’s fundamental character is anything but cemented – but with this bill, the right hopes to not merely defend Israel from her detractors, but to make criticizing Israel’s “Jewish character” a matter of state security (such a law would presumably make it impossible for anyone to seriously advocate a bi-national solution, as that would impugn the “Jewish character” of Israel).
And, regarding the question of dissent, this Knesset has already passed an anti-BDS law to criminalize “delegitimizers” and proposed legislation that would have further criminalized dissent by subjecting nonprofit groups to political inquiries regarding the security implications of their work.
The success of this bill, though, could make such a political inquiry unnecessary. There simply would be no questioning of any of these matters, or any alternative to the present one-state-and-two-quarantined-dependencies solution.
Alarmist? Possibly. But with this Knesset, is it wise to brush this bill off as “just” a codification of the status quo?
JPost reports that the bill affirms “the State of Israel has a democratic government.” Presumably, as part of this affirmation, the bill will legally “cement” the existing situation of democratic governance in the West Bank.