Duality As Vitality : Israel 's Democratic And Jewish Identity

1480 Words Sep 12th, 2016 6 Pages
Duality as Vitality: Israel’s Democratic and Jewish Identity
Israel is both a Jewish and Democratic state. The skeleton of the state is that of a binary philosophy: a dual identity which on the one hand is a democracy and also a Jewish state. A democracy is a state which respects the inalienable rights, such as freedom of expression and suffrage, and intrinsic dignity of every human being. A Jewish state is a state with a core Jewish cultural and national identity, which respects equality of religion for all and is not theocratic. The foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence and Israel’s Basic Laws, are unambiguous and unrelenting on the centrality of these two traits, and without them, Israel would be stripped of its core identity.
Israel has maintained the necessity of these two core principles since Israel declared its sovereignty. The democratic nature of Israel is stated in Israel’s founding document through which Israel came into being in 1948, the Proclamation of Independence. Explicit mention is made of the standing and rights of Israel’s Arab (and by extension, other non-Jewish) inhabitants, as the document promises them “full and equal citizenship and due representation.” The document, which essentially serves as Israel’s identifier, the codification of the purpose and nature of Israel, also reinforces the centrality of the Jewish nature of Israel, declaring that “the Jewish people ... are to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations,…

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