Many people are surprised to discover that Israel doesn’t have a formal constitution. Basic Laws, passed by the country’s parliament (known as the Knesset), serve as a working constitution for the courts and government. Last week, one third of Knesset members introduced a bill to recognize Israel as a Jewish state that would become the nation’s newest Basic Law if passed. It seems like a classic case of a solution seeking a problem, and I hope that the bill is defeated by a wide margin.
“Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People,” as the bill is known, would officially recognize Israel as a Jewish state and as the “national home of the Jewish people.” Regular readers know that I have no problem with this designation, provided that Arabs, Druze, Samaritans, Bedouins and other non-Jewish citizens of Israel continue to be granted the same rights and privileges as their Jewish neighbors.
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