A minority, non Zionist government  in Israel

Certain political groups want to throw basic, consensual assumptions about Israel's government into the fire. I fear that in the process, they will create a new fire.

Dr. Chaim Charles Cohen

OpEds Waving signs, shouting slogans; Arab MKs of Joint List
Waving signs, shouting slogans; Arab MKs of Joint List
IN: CCC

I am writing out a deep, almost voracious, sense of passion and worry that we may be soon governed by a government in which a dominating factor is the non-Zionist Arab Joint List, either as part of the government or as a bloc that will support it and whose demands will have to be met for that to happen. That Israel will be governed by a non-Zionist, minority government is a radical, probably tragic, change in the 72 year old history of our wonderful Jewish State of Israel.

It is a radical break with all the unwritten but basic, consensus assumptions that have allowed our very divided and disparate, primarily Jewish electorate, to work well enough together  to succeed in creating one of the world’s most stable, creative flourishing democracies.

Up to now, it has been an unwritten consensus that Israel’s Arab population deserves equal civil rights, can equally participate in the state’s political process  but cannot actively participate in the state’s leadership. It has been an unwritten consensus that Arabs cannot participate in the political leadership because our state is still, after 70 years, is in an ongoing state of unresolved conflict with the Palestinian Arabs, and the surrounding Arab populations. (Look at the attitudes of the Jordanian population 25 years after a peace treaty.)


It has been an unwritten consensus that Israel’s Arab population deserves equal civil rights, can equally participate in the state’s political process  but cannot actively participate in the state’s leadership.
It has been understood that the Arab parties cannot be privy to classified information on security, because Israel’s Arab citizenry ‘suffers’ from a very strong sense of dual loyalties to the Palestinian Arab world. The parties that represent this citizenry have the elimination of the Jewish State in their platforms. Some of their MKs have expressed sympathy for terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. In the past, one fled the country to avoid arrest for aiding the enemy during wartime.

In addition, there has been an unwritten consensus that the Arab population should not have a deciding voice in questions determining the Jewish, religious nature of the Israeli state.

Now certain political groups want to throw these basic, consensual assumptions into the fire. I fear that, in the process, they will create a new ‘fire’.    

The majority of Israel’s Jewish population will feel that a minority, non-Zionist government lacks political legitimacy. Living under a minority, non Zionist government, for any period of time, will create a very volatile, dangerous degree of discontent among a majority of the Israel’s Jewish population. Establishing the rule of a minority, non Zionist government is thus a very, very dangerous, threatening  act for the welfare and well being of the state of Israel.

I am writing to simply place in clear bold letters what I believe to be a basic political reality. I am not writing to analyze how we got to this tragic moment. I am not writing to place the blame on any specific leader or political group. I and others have done that before, and will do it again. I am writing to help the political leadership clearly see the reality, in the hope they will act somewhat more cautiously, more prudently, and with a long term, historical perspective.

I am in no way impartial. I have been a very ardent supporter and admirer of Netanyahu for over twenty five years. I am seventy three, and have been Judea and Samaria political activist since the first intifada, 1987. I am also a trained lecturer and researcher in the field of social sciences. 

I am fairly sure that the majority of Israel’s Jewish population  do not share the intensity of my feelings and forebodings. But I do believe that the majority of Israel’s Jewish population shares these worries on one level or another. I do believe that a majority of Israel’s Jewish population is extremely troubled by the prospect of living under a minority, non-Zionist government. I do believe that they feel that such a government will lack a meaningful sense of political legitimacy. The Jewish majority will feel distinctly discontented and troubled, and will likely express these feelings in frequent confrontations with the representatives of such a non-Zionist , minority  government. This is not a threat, but a warning, before it is too late, about what is likely to happen.

Establishing a minority, on Zionist government is a historical, radical, revolutionary act. And like all radical, revolutionary acts it is likely to have radical, tragic consequences.

I pray that those who are trying to establish a minority, non Zionist government will understand the dire consequences of their actions. And I pray that the all those who oppose the establishment of a non-Zionist government take the political actions necessary for making sure that such a government, lacking Zionist legitimacy, is very short lived.     



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