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ADL Head Slams Loyalty Oath For Arab Israelis
thejewishweek.com ^ | May 27, 2009 | Joshua Mitnick

Posted on 05/27/2009 7:56:52 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe

Tel Aviv — A major American Jewish leader has slammed as discriminatory and undemocratic two bills from the party of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that are stoking Arab-Jewish tensions.

A panel of government ministers is scheduled on Sunday to vote on introducing a bill to institute a loyalty oath as a precondition for citizenship, a proposal that helped Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party to an unprecedented third place finish in recent elections.

The second bill is slated for a full cabinet vote and would outlaw public expressions of grief over the Palestinian displacement in 1948 — known as Nakba, or catastrophe in Arabic — on Israel’s Independence Day holiday.

Entitled “Loyalty Oath – A Condition for Citizenship,” the draft legislation proposes requiring citizens to declare “loyalty to the state of Israel as a state that is Jewish, Zionist, and democratic, to its symbols and values” and promise to fulfill national service requirements.

“I have a lot of problems with the proposed language because by including a pledge to Zionism it smacks of discrimination,” said Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director. “It’s odious. Zionism is something you should aspire to, but it shouldn’t be something that you get punished for if you don’t.”

Foxman noted that the oath would also create problems for fervently Orthodox Jews who don’t recognize Israel’s Zionist character.

“Americans are not comfortable with loyalty oaths — this goes back to our experience with McCarthy,” he said. Foxman said a loyalty oath is acceptable if it’s inclusive.

Arab civil rights leaders say the laws threaten to disenfranchise Israel’s one-fifth minority, and have appealed for an international campaign to lobby against passage, including diaspora Jewry.

The bills are the latest development in a deterioration of ties reflected in a recent Haifa University survey that indicated both a growth in refusal among the Arab minority to accept Israel as a Jewish state and a rise in Holocaust denial.

Yisrael Beitenu officials portrayed Arabs who mark the Palestinian Nakba as disloyal and likened them to Hamas’ leadership in Gaza.

“Both of them are calling for the immediate destruction of the State of Israel,” said Tsach Saar, a spokesman for Knesset Member Alex Miller, who sponsored the bill.

“I don’t know any democratic country that would allow the existence of such an absurdity,” Saar said. “We are raising the issue of how the people in Israel are grappling with the phenomenon of a lack of loyalty to the state alongside the enjoyment of equal rights.”

The spokesman predicted that the Nakba law, which was floated in the past but never came to a Knesset vote, would pass a cabinet vote on Sunday by a small margin and move to the parliament.

The legislation, which proposes a three-year jail term for public expressions of mourning on Independence Day, was approved this week by a cabinet subcommittee on legislation, but the ruling is being appealed by members of the Labor Party to the full cabinet.

“[The Nakba law] is totally contrary to the spirit of democracy that Israel represents,” Foxman said. “It limits freedom of speech and freedom of expression.”

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel condemned the initial approval given to the Nakba bill by the cabinet.

“Marking the Nakba does not threaten the safety of the State of Israel, but is rather a legitimate and fundamental human right of any person, group or people, expressing grief at the face of a disaster they experienced,” said ACRI President Sami Michael in a statement.

The bill, the statement continued, reflects disturbing trends in Israel, which “extend far beyond the issue of the legitimate rights of the Arab minority. It crushes the moral boundaries we have set for ourselves and points to the surest way to brutal oppression of everyone’s freedom of speech.”

Arab civil rights leaders in Israel said the proposals are fanning domestic nationalist turmoil that could spark violence like the riots between Arab and Jewish residents of Acre on Yom Kippur last year. Jafar Farah, director of the Mossawa Center, an advocacy group for Arab citizens of Israel, said his organization has embarked on a campaign to enlist international support, including American Jews, to lobby against the two laws.

“There is anger in the Palestinian Arab community in Israel. We will not accept our marginalization. The definition of Israel as a Jewish state excludes us,” he said. “Every other day there is anti-Arab legislation proposed. They will ask us to dance on one leg, but we will not dance. We will remember the Nakba. If someone wants to complicate the Middle East by confronting the Arab community, we will protect our rights peacefully. “ Mohamad Darawshe, the co-chairman of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, a group that promotes Jewish-Arab coexistence and equality, said there’s a sense of escalation in the Arab community and that their status as citizens is under fire.

“There’s a sense that Arab citizens are on shaky ground. The possibility of maintaining status as citizens and residents in what we consider our homeland is being challenged. That is creating a great sense of uneasiness in the Arab community,” he said.

Yisrael Beitenu’s recent election slogan — “without loyalty there is no citizenship” — appealed to Israeli Jews upset by expressions of solidarity by Arab citizens with Palestinians in Gaza during a three-week war with Hamas.

Arabs complain that national symbols like the Israeli flag, with its Star of David, and the “Hatikvah” anthem don’t represent them.

The rift between Arab and Jewish Israelis has been growing in recent years, according to the Haifa University public opinion survey, which found a surge in Arab Israeli rejection of some of the main narratives of the Jewish state.

According to the poll, which was overseen by Professor Sammy Smoohah, the head of the university’s social sciences faculty, 40.5 percent of participants said they don’t believe the Holocaust occurred, up from 28 percent. Meanwhile, 41 percent recognized Israel’s right to be a Jewish and democratic state compared to 66 percent in 2003. Even more troubling: some 13 percent of Israeli Arabs said they support the use of violence to improve their lives, almost triple the percentage from 2003.

Yisrael Beitenu Knesset Member David Rotem, the sponsor of the loyalty oath law and the chair of the parliament’s constitution and law committee, told Israel’s Arutz Sheva news service the poll is evidence of the “bottomless hatred toward the Jewish people of a large part of Arab Israelis. .... We must wake up and smell the coffee and take action immediately.”

Smoohah warned against an alarmist response. While the rise in Holocaust denial is disturbing, he said, it does not necessarily point to a radicalization among Arab Israelis.

“I think it’s something to be condemned. It has to be corrected, but it shouldn’t be overplayed,” he said. He said that relations between the Jewish establishment and the country’s one-fifth minority have experienced ups and downs over three decades and that the survey’s findings regarding support of violence don’t necessarily point to a meltdown.

Smoohah added that Holocaust denial among Arab Israelis is not driven by ideology, but rather by rising political tensions.

“This means that the Arabs are very much embittered, they are under stress and they have strong grievances that the state has to take care of,” he said. “It’s a political statement. It’s a way to protest and say that, ‘We are in very bad condition. ...The Shoah gives the Jewish people the license to victimhood, and if you are the victim, you deny us the status of the victim. We are also the victim.”


TOPICS: Israel
KEYWORDS: avigdorlieberman; israel

1 posted on 05/27/2009 7:56:52 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
The Shoah gives the Jewish people the license to victimhood, and if you are the victim, you deny us the status of the victim.

LOL! You can't be the victim, I want to be the victim! No, I want to be the victim! Fools.

2 posted on 05/27/2009 8:04:37 PM PDT by killjoy (Life sucks, wear a helmet.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Leftists like Abe "Twentieth Century" Foxman don't believe in unique nationhood. No one is forcing Arabs and self-hating Far Leftists and the Neturei Karta to remain in Israel. If they don't like Zionism, they're free to move to a country where they don't have to commit to it. That's the point with the loyalty oath. Israel was founded on a set of principles and either one identifies with them or gets the hell out of Dodge.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

3 posted on 05/27/2009 8:12:38 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Were there Jews who supported Hitler in the 1933 election thinking “aww, gosh he can’t possibly be serious, he’s just saying all this stuff about us to win vote”?

I’m Jewish btw.


4 posted on 05/27/2009 8:19:02 PM PDT by GOPGuide
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To: goldstategop

Were there Jews who supported Hitler in the 1933 election thinking “aww, gosh he can’t possibly be serious, he’s just saying all this stuff about us to win votes”?

I’m Jewish btw.


5 posted on 05/27/2009 8:19:58 PM PDT by GOPGuide
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To: Tailgunner Joe

The ADL has joined my list of organisations - the NY Times is another - which are almost invariably wrong, whatever position they take. It’s a safe bet that if you believe the opposite of everything they say you will be right.


6 posted on 05/27/2009 11:19:37 PM PDT by TrueKnightGalahad (When you're racing...it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

““Americans are not comfortable with loyalty oaths — this goes back to our experience with McCarthy,” he said. Foxman said a loyalty oath is acceptable if it’s inclusive.”

Sounds inclusive to me...if you want to be Israeli, then say so. There are plenty of Arab states for the others.

As to McCarthy, I still don’t see what his problem was. He identified people that wanted the United States blown off the map and said that wasn’t good for the country.

Finally, any chance we could get a loyalty oath movement started in the US...the debate on that would be FUN to watch.


7 posted on 05/28/2009 2:46:52 AM PDT by BobL (Drop a comment: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2180357/posts)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

He's probably right, but it's none of his business.

8 posted on 05/28/2009 5:14:46 AM PDT by SJackson (in the fight against terrorism, no middle ground, half-measures leave you half-exposed, D. Cheney)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

“It’s odious”

Foxman is odious

First I agree with the loyalty oath. It is interesting that Foxman, nor any one else, talks about the fact that Lieberman wants a loyalty oath for Haredi Jews too. Probably because they all hate Haredis anyway and it undermines their ‘discriminating against Arabs/apartheid state meme.

I don’t agree with the second law which limits free speech. Israel already overly limits free speech with its ban on the Kach Party and post Rabin assassination laws.


9 posted on 05/28/2009 5:46:52 AM PDT by dervish (I'm the President see me bow (at 0:50) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S60U-hl35Gw)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...
Foxman again.
Entitled "Loyalty Oath -- A Condition for Citizenship," the draft legislation proposes requiring citizens to declare "loyalty to the state of Israel as a state that is Jewish, Zionist, and democratic, to its symbols and values" and promise to fulfill national service requirements.

10 posted on 05/28/2009 8:27:02 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Tailgunner Joe; SJackson

The ADL is a liberal organization that celebrates PC-reedcuation Hannukah and PAssover. They aren’t Jewish in any serious sense, so it is no surprise that they oppose any attempt to actually save Israel from demographic death. At least they are consistant in opposing nationalism anti-Third Worldism, and nationa-state survival. Not that white nationalists wil pay attention.


11 posted on 05/28/2009 10:26:52 AM PDT by rmlew ( The SAVE and GIVE acts are institutioning Corvee. Where's the outtrage!)
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To: rmlew

Were there Jews who supported Hitler in the 1933 election thinking “aww, gosh he can’t possibly be serious, he’s just saying all this stuff about us to win votes”?

I’m Jewish btw.


12 posted on 05/28/2009 11:18:23 AM PDT by GOPGuide
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To: dervish; GOPGuide; rmlew; SJackson; ml/nj; All
Foxman is odious.

Most of the time he is. Under Foxman's "leadership," the ADL has largely abandoned the main purpose for which it was established: fighting antisemitism. Foxman is compelled to seek out unrelated (and sometimes antagonistic) causes in order to create an impression among his leftist buddies, especially those in the MSM, that he's doing something useful.

13 posted on 05/28/2009 12:06:12 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: rmlew
Not that I generally agree with Foxman and the ADL, but what are “PC-reeducation Hannukah and Passover”?
14 posted on 05/28/2009 12:08:41 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: GOPGuide
Were there Jews who supported Hitler in the 1933 election...

There is no documentation whatsoever supporting the myth that any significant number Jews in Germany supported Hitler in the 1933 election.

15 posted on 05/28/2009 12:12:24 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: Tailgunner Joe
“Americans are not comfortable with loyalty oaths — this goes back to our experience with McCarthy,” he said.

Sounds like he meant left-wing extremists have problems with loyalty oaths to the US.

Ironic since FDR signed the Smith Act in 1940 which is what led to the prosecution of communist traitors.

16 posted on 05/28/2009 12:16:21 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: GOPGuide
Were there Jews who supported Hitler in the 1933 election thinking “aww, gosh he can’t possibly be serious, he’s just saying all this stuff about us to win votes”?

There's no indication that Jews voted for Hitler, that's an FR myth. Most Jews were trying desparately to get out of the country, the majority successful but unable to get out of Europe.

17 posted on 05/28/2009 12:45:42 PM PDT by SJackson (in the fight against terrorism, no middle ground, half-measures leave you half-exposed, D. Cheney)
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To: SJackson

Thanks, I was thinking if they did vote for AH this would explain our suicidal tendencies.


18 posted on 05/28/2009 3:27:48 PM PDT by GOPGuide
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To: justiceseeker93

He’s just one of those Jewish leaders who can’t get past the last war totally missing the current one against Islamofascism.

He is also anti-Christian.


19 posted on 05/28/2009 4:09:30 PM PDT by dervish (I'm the President see me bow (at 0:50) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S60U-hl35Gw)
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To: Tailgunner Joe; justiceseeker93

One more point. ADL are hypocrites on the free speech issue since they support laws criminalizing Holocaust denial.


20 posted on 05/28/2009 4:26:24 PM PDT by dervish (I'm the President see me bow (at 0:50) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S60U-hl35Gw)
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To: dervish; SJackson; ml/nj; MeanWestTexan; ExTexasRedhead; All
ADL are hypocrites on the free speech issue since they support laws criminalizing Holocaust denial.

They are also invariably supportive of "hate crimes" legislation in the US, which - as a general rule - isn't necessary since the "crime" has always been a crime and hate is already an exacerbating factor in determining the sentence under current law.

And, BTW, Foxman is not an Israeli citizen, so he has no business butting into the internal Israeli debate on Arab loyalty oaths, etc.

21 posted on 05/28/2009 6:28:18 PM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: justiceseeker93
Foxman is not an Israeli citizen, so he has no business butting into the internal Israeli debate on Arab loyalty oaths, etc.

On this, I disagree. First, if you think about our jury system we do not allow people who are personally involved in a case to participate because it is feared that they will be too emotionally involved to decide rationally. And so the argument could be made that since we (in the diaspora) are not in the middle of this every day of our lives, that we can view these things more rationally. (The counter example of Foxman et al. notwithstanding!) Second, the Israelis do, or should have, the power to decide these things for themselves. All that anyone outside wants is that their ideas be considered. Third, my experience is that when an Israeli likes what he hears from the diaspora, he visits us to pander for additional support. (Right now I'm thinking of Shlomo Riskin coming over here to speak at gatherings supporting the orange side in the dispute about the Gaza withdrawal. I still have my orange bracelet that he gave out!) And fourth, those of us who are Jewish, at least, are potential citizens and so we have a stake in a viable Israel.

ML/NJ

22 posted on 05/29/2009 5:02:29 AM PDT by ml/nj
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