Wednesday, August 22, 2012

[INTER 2103] Jewish and Democratic?

According to Avraham Burg, "Israel defines itself as 'Jewish and democratic state'." But Burg identifies a trend in Israel and says that
If this trend continues, all vestiges of democracy will one day disappear, and Israel will become just another Middle Eastern theocracy. It will not be possible to define Israel as a democracy when a Jewish minority rules over a Palestinian majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea — controlling millions of people without political rights or basic legal standing.
Even without this trend, however, does it make sense to define Israel as both a Jewish and a democratic state? If Israel is a state for the Jewish people, and there are people who are not Jewish living within its borders, then, by definition non-Jewish citizens are not equal to Jewish citizens. If so, in what sense can Israel be said to be a democratic state?

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