A Reminder: Israel is a Jewish State
By Dr. Haim Shine
Jan 8, 2015
The State of Israel is the only national home we have. In other words, it is a Jewish state.
The Jewish people's patience seemed endless over the 2,000 years of exile. They never lost hope that one day they would be able to see their ultimate goal realized. The price for waiting was excruciating. The Jews have never let go of the land of Israel, but the land has never let go of the Jews, and it is because of the land that we were able to weather the long journey from Diaspora to redemption.
The First Zionist Congress in Basel (1897), the Balfour Declaration (1917), and the Declaration of Independence (1948) serve as milestones on the Jews' path to statehood, where they would realize the rightful claim on their homeland.
Yet, concepts need to be clarified every so often. Our fundamental values have been allowed to collect dust and fade, be it because of neglect or because of someone's malice intent. They now need to be grounded, so that they are once again crystal clear.
Israeli society is in the midst of an ongoing debate, although it has been simmering beneath the surface. It is about existential issues.
A small, yet very influential, cadre of Israelis - on the Supreme Court, in the media, and in the left-wing academia - are on one side of this debate. The other side comprises the silent Israeli majority.
The first group says Israel is not an ethnocentric democracy. This may be a noble and very attractive ideal, but it has inflicted significant damage on the Jewish character of our state and compromised its various functions.
The highest court of the land has treated the Basic Laws as a de facto constitution - a move that has no legal precedent in any other country.
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