In July the Israeli Knesset voted in a preliminary reading to approve a law proposed by members of the Likud, the National Union, and Kadima – the center of the right side of the Zionist spectrum. The proposed law forbids the Jewish National Fund to lease its land to any person who is not the son of a Jewish mother or alternatively, a convert.
Sixty-four of the 120 members of Knesset supported the proposal; nineteen voted against it. One can cautiously state that a proposed law that gain such support – or rather, such a lack of resistance – at its preliminary stage will also pass in its first, second, and third reading, and thus become the law of the land.
The Jewish National Fund holds approximately 13% of the land in the State of Israel. Most of this land was transferred to it by the state itself, and not – as the JNF tirelessly and misleadingly claims – purchased lawfully. Most of this land was looted from the Arab population of Palestine. The Knesset is now electing to complete the task of looting and to ensure that as long as the State of Israel stands, this land will not be returned to its owners. And while its at it, the Knesset covers the entire country with an official stamp that reads “Apartheid”.
Israel has been an Apartheid state since the day it was born, but shame kept the facts undercover, as did a trepidation about “what people might say”. In his book The Claws of the Devil, Uzi Ornan skillfully described how the Knesset masked its discriminatory laws. Apparently, such trepidation is no longer with us. When a prime minister dares to say that he is not Israeli but Jewish, and thus admits that he leads the government of only 81% of the citizens, it would seem that such time has come.
But if the Knesset does not hasten to shake off this law, the State of Israel will have lost any right to demand loyalty from its Arab citizens. One cannot demand loyalty of someone who is explicitly disenfranchised, deprived of basic rights. Apparently, this does not particularly trouble the Knesset. It is another important step on the road to an ethnocracy, another grand step on the path out of the roster of democratic nations.
What hurts most is that this law will receive enthusiastic public support, more so even that it found in the Knesset. The mob – and it has long since ceased to be a nation – has never accepted Israel; it has always dreamed of Judah, cleansed of gentiles. Here is another state taken in that direction. Many words can be said – but what’s the point. Their world is split into Jews and gentiles; humans and beasts.
The time has come to cut any bond with this country, and with anything it represents. A line has been crossed here: this country can no longer be supported. Any person who sees human rights as important must carefully consider his actions after today – and those of us who live inside Israel should also consider emigration. This country can no longer be saved. One can only hope that the world will put an end to in soon – as it did to the original Apartheid regime.
(Written by Yossi Gurvitz, July 18 2007; translated by Dena Bugel-Shunra, 29 July 2007)