Protester rally against the so-called 'Jewish state bill' at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The past few weeks have witnessed seemingly endless debate over a proposed Basic Law defining Israel as the Jewish nation-state. But this debate has focused almost exclusively on the bill’s rather anodyne content, thereby ignoring a far more serious problem: Quasi-constitutional legislation is supposed to reflect a broad societal consensus. It shouldn’t be rammed through with a razor-thin coalition majority.This might seem like an unreasonable quibble, given that the principle at stake has already been thoroughly gutted by the nation-state bill’s opponents. After all, many of these opponents vociferously defend the constitutional status of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, which was approved by a mere quarter of the 120-member Knesset (the vote was 32-21); the nation-state bill will certainly be approved by a far larger majority – at least 61 MKs.