IN THE MEDIA
Letter: Israel Law is Not Racist
Aug 6, 2018 | Jamie Hyams
West Australian – 1 August 2018
The report, Israel backs “racist” state law (World, 21-22/7) focuses on those who believe the law is racist.
In reality, while controversial, it merely codifies some of Israel’s current laws, relating to issues such as Israel being the nation-state of the Jewish people, the flag and the national anthem as a basic law.While it elevates Hebrew to the official language, it specifically does not downgrade Arabic’s status.
There are other basic laws that guarantee minority rights. Israel’s non-Jews still have all the rights of its Jewish citizens, and far more democratic rights than Arab citizens of any other Middle East country.
All other Middle Eastern countries are specified in their constitutions or equivalent as Arabic or Islamic or both. In the Palestinian Authority, which demands that no Jews can live in any future Palestinian state, it’s both. In addition, many European and Asian countries have laws giving preferred status to the dominant ethnicity or language.
However, for some, anything Israel does to confirm its Jewish identity is racist, regardless whether others states act similarly.
Perhaps those who effectively deny only the Jewish people the right to a national homeland should consider their own prejudices.
Jamie Hyams, Senior Policy Analyst, AIJAC