Monday, June 01, 2009

Yes, it surely does sound democratic.

In a follow up to a post at Stageleft (see this post) and my response, I thought I would follow up with an update because Stageleft won’t. First up, the so-called “publicly mourn the loss of your land or your home, or the loss of anyone else’s land or home, on National Israel Happy Day, you get to go to jail for three years” otherwised known as the proposed “Nabka Law”. Ynet News:

Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser has initiated an amendment in a new motion referred to as the "Nakba law", which was approved last by the Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs and angered Israel's Arabs and Left.

According to the initiative, backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, activities marking the "catastrophe" of Israel's establishment will not be banned, but institutions encouraging such activities will not receive government funding.

So if you want to publicly mourn the founding of the Israeli state in Israel the worst which will happen is that your ‘ceremonies’ will no longer be subsidized on the Israeli taxpayer’s shekel which seems an entirely reasonable position to me.

Second, the so-called ‘Loyalty Oath’. Ynet News:

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation rejected Yisrael Beiteinu's loyalty bill Sunday, entering a majority vote against it. The loyalty bill was meant to be an amendment to Israel's Citizenship Act, and stated that anyone seeking an Israeli citizenship would have to pledge their allegiance to the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Other sections of the amendment demanded the pledge be a prerequisite to getting an Israeli ID and that the interior minister would have the power to revoke the citizenship of those failing to comply. The bill was opposed by the Likud, Labor, Shas and Habayit Hayehudi members on the committee, with only Yisrael Beiteinu members voting in favor. "I hope these kinds of motions will never be heard in the government again," Minister of Minority Affairs Avishay Braverman, who voted against the amendment, said Sunday.

So the proposed legislation was put to a vote and shot down in the cabinet meeting, consequently, the government will not be sponsoring or proposing this piece of legislation in the Israel Knesset which sounds entirely democratic to me although I wait with baited breath Stageleft’s explanation as to this doesn’t mean the bar for democratic process.

One of the Israeli gems of a writer I read regularly is Yaacov Lozowick’s Ruminations. I see I don’t have him in my sidebar (note to self, add YLR) but he is a regular read in my feeder for some time. Yaacov Lozowick explains the legislative map any proposed bill must travel through to become law in Israel. It is well worth the few minutes of anyone’s time but it is his ruminations at the end which I want to highlight.
All of which leaves the question, why try in the first place if everyone knows it won't happen? Why give the Guardian and the Juan Coles of this world unnecessary grist for their mills? A fine subject for a different post, someday. Though I will note that no matter how childish the politicians-media-NGO activists are, the foreign reporters who eagerly take only part of the story and use it to damn Israel shouldn't be exonerated. They could tell the same story I've just told you, but scrupulously won't, ever.

And oddly enough, progressive bloggers won’t tell it either.

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