New Israel Fund puts out call against the proposed loyalty oath

October 8, 2010
Richard Kuper


Dear Friends:

“The [loyalty oath] proposal would harm relations with Israel’s Arabs and damage the country’s international reputation.” – Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, Likud

This is an infuriating, irresponsible decision which will only fuel the fires of de-legitimization against Israel worldwide.” – Minister for Minority Affairs Avishai Braverman, Labor

“….insulting, harmful, and is not enough to cement Israel’s status as a Jewish democratic state…will cause more harm than good, and stems from the need to please radical coalitional elements.” – Former Jewish Agency head Ze’ev Bielski, Kadima

Two centrist Israeli cabinet ministers and the former head of the Jewish Agency, along with dozens of other mainstream Israeli leaders, are condemning Prime Minister Netanyahu’s backing of a new amendment to the Citizenship Act, which demands that new citizens pledge loyalty to a “Jewish, democratic state.”

This loyalty oath would severely jeopardize Israel’s very standing as a state of all its citizens—a fundamental precept of any liberal democracy. We must act now to stand up for Israel and its democratic future.

NO democracy requires a loyalty oath based on religious identity. NO multicultural society can survive by insisting that ethnic minorities pledge fealty to the majority culture, as opposed to the state itself.

Israel is the sovereign expression of the right of self-determination of the Jewish people AND a democracy dedicated to the full equality of all its citizens and communities.

Israel cannot afford to be anything less than a state of all its citizens.

You joined us and thousands of other North Americans to protest the Rotem bill, which would allow the ultra-Orthodox to define who is a Jew. Make no mistake: instituting a loyalty oath to a “Jewish state” is the next dangerous step in allowing a coalition of ultra-nationalists and ultra-Orthodox with a stranglehold on the Netanyahu government to define who is Jewish, who is Israeli, who is “loyal.”

The New Israel Fund and its family of organizations will be fighting this measure together. Please join us today and let Prime Minister Netanyahu know that Israel’s status as a liberal democracy is again at risk. Urge him to withdraw support for the Citizenship Act Amendment now.  There is no time to lose.


Daniel's Signature

Daniel Sokatch

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