‘A Jewish democracy’

‘A Jewish democracy’

The Feb. 27 editorial excoriating Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman and his espoused proposal for loyalty oaths includes a phrase that indicates that the Standard (like many others) does not understand the essence of the State of Israel. That phrase is “Israel is a democracy.” It is difficult to overestimate the damage that statement portends. Israel is not a democracy; it is a Jewish state with democratic principles, a Jewish democracy.

Without “Jewish,” Israel is not unique to the Jewish people; it is akin to the United States, Britain, and the other great democracies. Without “Jewish,” the state will very likely not survive as a Jewish haven. Citizens of Israel (and the world) must accept this and there is nothing wrong in mandating the loyalty of its citizens to the foundations of the state, the Jewish state.

This does mean that there need to be aspects of the society that are not democratic. What Lieberman proposes may not be agreeable and certainly can be opposed but the underlying motives should be clear to all: Israel is a Jewish state and steps need to be taken to assure that it remains a Jewish state.