Nation-state bill is wrong solution to a real problem

We need a law reinstating the constitutional ground rules previous Basic Laws broke, not one that breaks them again.

By
December 2, 2014 13:57
jerusalem protest

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)

 
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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.

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