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Now Israel annexes all the Jews of the world

Can a law be both ridiculous and dangerous?

It certainly can. Witness the ongoing initiative of the Israeli government to enact a law that would define the State of Israel as “The Nation-State of the Jewish People”.

Ridiculous 1 – because what and who is the “Jewish people”? The Jews of the world are a mixed lot. Their only official definition in Israel is religious. In Israel, you are a Jew if your mother was a Jewess. This is a purely religious definition. In Jewish religion, your father does not count for this purpose (it is said, only half in jest, that you cannot ever be sure who your father is.) If a non-Jew wants to join the Jewish people in Israel, he or she has to convert to Judaism in a religious ceremony. Under Israeli law, one ceases to be a Jew if one adopts another religion. All these are purely religious definitions. Nothing national about it.

Ridiculous 2 – The Jews around the world belong to other nations. They are not being asked by the promoters of this law whether they want to belong to a people represented by the State of Israel. They are automatically adopted by a foreign state. In a way, this is another form of attempted annexation.

It is dangerous for several reasons. First of all, because it excludes the citizens of Israel who are not Jews – a million and a half Muslim and Christian Arabs and about 400,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union who were allowed in because they are somehow related to Jews.

Even more dangerous are the possibilities this law opens for the future. It is only a further short step from there to a law that would confer automatic citizenship on all Jews in the world, thus tripling the number of Jewish citizens of Greater Israel and creating a huge Jewish majority in an apartheid state between the sea and the river. The Jews in question will not be asked. From there, another short step would be to deprive all non-Jews in Israel of their citizenship.

The (Jewish) sky is the limit.

This article first appeared at Gush Shalom

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