Daily Israel Report

Op-Ed: Israel—Insisting on Being Recognized as a Jewish State

Why is it so important that Israel be recognized as a Jewish State?
Published: Saturday, February 01, 2014 6:58 PM



Israel, the Jewish State, is the only state where although the head of state is Jewish, the government is Jewish, the Supreme Court is mostly Jewish and the military chief of staff is Jewish, nobody blames it on a Jewish conspiracy.

With the dramatic growth of the Islamic population in Europe, it is no surprise that European-bred anti-Semitism has rocketed to new heights reminiscent of the 1930s. What most people fail to recognize is that the chauvinistic phenomenon is not limited to Muslims. It is promoted by leftist politicians who seek votes among the rapidly swelling Muslim minority as well as devout Christians looking for a scape goat when rationalizing their own failures.

In Poland, for example, not only a majority of Poles believe that there is a Jewish conspiracy to control the banking system and the world media, but a notable number accept as true the anti-Semitic propaganda claiming that Israel treats the Palestinians just as Hitler treated the Jews of Europe, that Jews were responsible for the death of Christ, and they use Christian blood for ritual purposes.

The fact is that present and past anti-Semitism is one more reason why a Jewish State, a religion and an ethnicity-centered state is befitting the 21th century, even though every western style democracy—and Israel belongs in this group—rejects the notion of a Christian State, an Aryan State or a White State.

Jews, unlike Catholics, are bound by their ethnicity and heritage over and above their religion. They have been rejected, discriminated against, robbed, demonized, raped and massacred. Too many in the old and the modern world have placed Jews at the top of the “most-hated” list. The world forced Jews into ghettos, death camps, and other unspeakable horrors in which the only logical way out was—and still is—to reestablish their own Jewish state where they could be free to be Jewish without the fear of persecution. 

Israel, the Jewish State, is the only state where although the head of state is Jewish, the government is Jewish, the Supreme Court is mostly Jewish and the military chief of staff is Jewish, nobody blames it on a Jewish conspiracy.

If Israel is not categorized as a Jewish state, this would render Arab claims to a Muslim Palestine that extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River as possibly being justified. As such, Jewish immigrants to Israel would be rightfully regarded as the new Crusaders, the Palestinian right of return would be unequivocal, and the late Helen Thomas would most certainly be deemed a prophet.

Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza see Jews as foreign invaders who do not belong there. Had it been up to the Arabs, Jews would have been forbidden from settling in all of Palestine - including Israel proper. They protest when Jews build homes in Jerusalem, the ancient Jewish capital — with the claim that "it's Palestinian land.”

They define their dream of a future state not as being a Muslim or a Christian state, rather they characterize it as a non-Jewish state in which only Jews will be prohibited from residing. Over and over they reinforce the notion that the world is divided into two types of human beings, Jews and non-Jews.

It’s true that more than 20% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish. But that number, albeit not a small one, is nonetheless marginal. The State of Israel assumes a definitive Jewish character. The government is run by Jews as is the military. The social atmosphere, the media, the national holidays, and the democratic institutions are all immersed in Jewish tradition, values, and moral fiber.

Israel was a Jewish state since the times of Joshua. The Roman Empire destroyed it, renamed it, killed millions and enslaved the rest of its Jewish residents. The Empire tried and failed to wipe the Jewish State off the map. It took 2000 years for Jews to return and reclaim their ancestors’ land, and no one can wipe the Jewish state off the map simply by denying the reality of what Israel is all about. 

Jews have a home. The only place in the world where they are not deemed foreigners, a minority, or special.

Nonetheless, character, demographical statistics, and historical rights are all moot points: The real motive behind Netanyahu’s insistence on Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is that such acknowledgment is the sole element that has a chance of generating an end to the conflict.

As long as the Palestinian Arabs regard Israel as another Palestinian Arab state, one that happens to have Jewish residents, their dream of a Greater Palestine will not be extinguished and the volcano will remain active - ready to erupt at the first opportunity.