Israel Bill Would Put Judaism Above Democracy

Measure Touts Exclusive Jewish Claim to Land

haaretz

By Jonathan Lis (Haaretz)

Published May 27, 2013.
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An Israeli lawmaker on Monday submitted a highly controversial proposal that would make Judaism superior to democracy in the State of Israel, amending a previous bill that was tossed by the Knesset before the last general election.

Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud) presented his formulation for a new Israeli basic law, one that obligates the courts to prioritize the state’s Jewish identity in rulings that address issues of religion and state.

Levin decided to revive another bill, but has added to it a number of highly controversial provisions. Levin’s formulation grants - for the first time - legal status to the term “the land of Israel” and the (exclusive) Jewish affinity to it.

“The land of Israel is the historical birthplace of the Jewish people and the place of the establishment of the State of Israel,” the proposal states. No other nationalities or religions are mentioned in this context, which continues, “The right to realize national self-definition in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

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