October 28, 2010

THE GREAT EXISTENTIAL THREAT TO ISRAEL...:

Can Israel Be Jewish and Democratic? (DOUGLAS J. FEITH, 10/27/10, WSJ)

[T]he larger question of Israel's identity as a Jewish state does not hinge on the particulars of its Arab citizens' current status. Rather, it is whether democratic principles are necessarily violated when Israel asserts a Jewish identity based on the ethnic and religious heritage of its majority group. That is a matter of interest to everyone who thinks seriously about self-government.

Israel is by no means unique among democracies in considering itself the embodiment of the national existence of a specific people. In fact, most democracies see themselves that way. Most have laws and practices that specially recognize a particular people's history, language, culture, religion and group symbols, even though they also have minorities from other groups.

The United States is unusual in this regard. It is among the most liberal of democracies, in the sense that it is committed to the principle that laws should, in general, ignore group identities (ethnic, religious or regional) and treat citizens equally as individuals. Canada, Australia and New Zealand—likewise lands of new settlement—are among the other countries on this liberal end of the democratic spectrum.

The democracies of Europe and East Asia and those in the former republics of the Soviet Union, meanwhile, tend to cluster on the ethnic side of the spectrum. Numerous laws and institutions in those nations favor a country's principal ethnic group but are nevertheless accepted as compatible with democratic principles.


...lies in exactly that divergence from the Anglosphere in favor of the racialism/nationalism of those states that pursued extermination of the Jewish people on the basis that they are such a race.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2010 6:45 AM
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