Nation-State Law: Another instance of media protesting instead of working

This protest, which like previous protests against governmental decisions is also being pushed into the spotlight by a majority of the media, is a delusional story.

By KALMAN LIEBSKIND / MAARIV
August 13, 2018 08:29
Nation-State Law: Another instance of media protesting instead of working

Tens of thousands protest in Tel Aviv along with the Druze against the recently passed Nation-State Law. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)

 
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Many political confrontations accompany our lives here every day. What do we not argue about? The complete state of Israel or the 1967 borders, opening or closing supermarkets on the Sabbath, yes or no to surrogacy, yes or no gas outline, yes or no infiltrators. There is almost no topic we have no argument about. I can at least testify that almost always, even when I am convinced that I am in the right, I can explain what the other side claims.

That is, until the Druze protest.

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Their demonstration against the law of nationality is an extraordinary wonder. This protest, which like previous protests against governmental decisions is also being pushed into the spotlight by a majority of the media, is a delusional story.

I have heard dozens of Druze in the past few weeks. Some of them I interviewed, others I heard being interviewed by others, and some I heard in private. I tried to understand from all of them where the problematic point in the nationality law is: what bothers them, or which section is problematic. I tried to understand what right they enjoy today that is taken away from them by this law. There is nothing. The entire debate in the media regarding the Druze issue is a debate born in the emotional realm alone. One got offended, the other was hurt, the third felt that he and his people were thrown under the bus, and the fourth felt left out.

We must not underestimate feelings and we must listen to those feeling insulted, but in the end, in such an important discussion, it is commended to merge seriousness and facts into the equation. These two factors are absent from all public discourse regarding the Druze.

Yes, we all embrace them. Yes, we all cherish them. Yes, we all see them as our brethren. But what the hell does that have to do with the Nation-State Law? Is there something written against the Druze? Is it written that they are now less worthy of a hug?

It is very emotional to see the photos from the military cemeteries and to remember the price paid by this community at war for the defense of the country, but with all due respect, when journalists give up the seriousness of the discussion and instead tell stories about "their Druze" — the one that learned with them, the one that served in the army with them, the one whose brother fell in battle — and do not even try to explain what change will take place for the Druze community due to the law, they are responsible for a shallow conversation.



This is how the journalists, the spokespeople of the IDF throughout the generations, the writers, the creaters, the plumbers and I don't know who else issued an embracing message to the community.

For 70 years, the Druze have lived peacefully with a country whose anthem explicitly speaks of a "Jewish soul" and does not mention any other soul.

For 70 years, they have been living with a country whose symbol, the Seven-Branch Menorah, is a Jewish symbol that takes us back to the Temple of the Jews, and not of anyone else.

For 70 years, they have gotten along with the blue and white flag, whose lines are taken from the Jewish whose lines are taken from the Jewish prayer shawl, and not from any other religion.

For 70 years, they have not thought that there is a problem with the Law of Return, a kind of selector that allows every Jew in the world to enter the club and even receive a welcome basket that they themselves fund, leaving their community aside.

With all this, they agreed without complaining, and it is precisely the Nation-State Law, which has none of these, that none of them can explain where its implications for them are. Can anyone make sense of this?

Say the argument about the language. Can you imagine the Supreme Court Justice Eliahu Mazza arguing against the law and explaining that "the Arabic language preceded the Hebrew language?" You read works by David Grossman stating that "Hebrew and Arabic are sister languages" and that "throughout history they were intertwined," and begin to understand the basis of why Abu Mazen convinces himself that he is here since the time of the Gharashi.

The law states that "Hebrew is the language of the state," noting as much with regard to the Arabic language, which has a "special status," and also hastens to reassure that "the provisions of this section do not derogate from the actual status of the Arabic language before the commencement of this basic law." Anyone who complains that the law is offensive to Arabs is mainly indicating their own problem with our culture, the Jews, here.

Forgive me, but why should the Jewish State not give preference to the Hebrew language? And since when are Hebrew and Arabic "sister languages" that "are intertwined throughout history"? Since the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun? Since the First Temple?

It may be worth noting that in the middle of the past century, the Arabs wanted to get all of us out of here, and that if they had won the Independence War and not us, there would not have been one Jew left to publish articles in Haaretz.

Alright, so those who stayed with us here are citizens who need equal rights, but where does the thought come from that their language and ours should have the same status? And why should only Arabic be a language equal to Hebrew, anyway? What about Russian? After all, there are more than a million citizens here, approximately the same as the number of Arabic speakers, whose mother tongue is Russian.

Now, the opposition proposes to legislate the Declaration of Independence as a law, which is beautiful. But Tzipi Livni, who has been waving this scroll on every stage for several weeks now, can be asked: where was this exciting initiative until now?

After all, she had already been in several administrations and in senior positions. If only she had wanted as much, and assuming that she is not raising this initiative now only to attack the government, she could have promoted this move on countless occasions.

She is not the only one. A long list of administrations that have served here for the past 70 years, from left to right, have not done so. You may ask yourself: why? And by the way, since we are on the topic of the desire not to exclude the Arab or Druze or Bedouin from our public discourse, how does this all lead to the Declaration of Independence? The document is signed by 37 Jews, without a single non-Jew. Those of the left, do you find it reasonable to legislate this document that came from a world with no Muslims, no Druze, no Circassians?

Are you sure that if they were given the opportunity, they would sign it as well? Because if we are already on the issue of equality, perhaps it would be correct to open the document for discussion, to integrate all the minorities and to allow them to participate in the drafting, too. If this is war on exclusion, then take it until the end.

In the past couple of weeks, it has been nearly impossible to hear difficult questions directed at the Druze community, although there are questions to be asked. Yes, there is a group that contributes to the state. So what? Settlers also contribute. People of Peace Now also contribute. Is this good basis for not making things difficult for them? We should not be surprised by end-of-season sales received from the media, who demonstrate for the mainstream direction. There are still some limits that cannot be crossed.

When the people call for a demonstration in the square, referring to a government minister as "Ayoob the traitor," this is something that should not pass quietly. When stones are thrown at Kara's house, it cannot end in a concise report.

Try to imagine what would have happend if, following an argument between right-wingers and MK Stav Shafir, stones were hurled at the MK's apartment. Do you think it would have gone without a week's debate on the violence and without the leadership of the settlers going throughout the generations into studios to condemn?Just like that video, which is speeding through the network and shows Druze with the flags of their community, they would take the bus on their way to the demonstration, applauding and singing, " Bibi is a traitor."

How did these cries suddenly become legitimate? How did Yuval Diskin get out clean after calling on the Druze to "go all the way" and attacked the Nation-State Law initiator Avi Dichter, and the next day a Druze took this recommendation seriously and stormed the stage on which Dichter spoke, calling him a "dog" and stopping before physically reaching the MK only due to the security personnel stopping him? How can the former head of the Shin Bet get away with this inciting behavior? Can anyone imagine what would have happened if the political roles of Diskin and Dichter were reversed?

Diskin is a good card against the prime minister, so he is not required to explain anything. Roni Daniel from Channel 2 stood on the stage in the square and said, "As a Jew, a nation persecuted for generations, suffering and suffering from racism and antisemitism, whose six million sons and daughters were exterminated in the Holocaust, the principle of full equality of rights in the State of Israel is a supreme principle." How the hell is the Holocaust related here now? Are we chasing the Druze? Is Diskin afraid that will happen?

When the goal is sanctified, all means are valid. When all the means are kosher, it is easy to sell us this demonstration as a big hug for the Druze, even if in reality, all of Netanyahu's rivals - those connected to the Druze issue and those who are not - are mixed up in the square.

As the media think their job begins and ends without disturbing the demonstration, it is no wonder that no one like Amal Assad can emerge even after the anti-Zionist text he published in which he asked the prime minister, "Where did you get the nerve to determine the country's belonging to the Jews?" It is no wonder that the new head of the opposition, Tzipi Livni, feels comfortable cooperating with him without protesting and commenting.

You listen to Amal Assad and ask yourself how insolent a person must be in order to get what he receives from the state and to claim an apartheid exists, and how stupid we must be to listen to a person like him - someone who has reached a senior position in the IDF and who served the military industry - and not to tell him that he himself is the best proof of the nonsense he speaks.

This is, of course, not only Assad. No one has the energy to listen to this apartheid nonsense anymore, nonsense that never requires proof or evidence and can be thrown into any interview or post on Facebook. In Israel, we have members of minorities serving as judges in all the courts. We are funding, through special branches, those that come to increase and not reduce Arab, Druze, and Bedouin education, respectively.

Our terrible "apartheid state" supports churches, mosques and sharia courts, as well as pays the salaries of their qadis. The laws of this terrible state say explicitly that in the civil service, "in all ranks and professions... the Arab population, including the Druze and the Circassians, shall be given proper expression...". Every government ministry is obliged to report once a year how many Arabs it integrated. This is not equality, it's affirmative action. This means that there are Jews who are looking for work and are left without it, even if the Arab who ran against them and won it has no better qualifications than themselves.

The current government, this apparently terrible apartheid government, decided three years ago to invest 15 billion NIS in the Arab sector, an investment that no administration has applied in education, infrastructure, sewage, transportation and public buildings. So yes, the Arabs do not have to say a special thank you. They are citizens as all other citizens are, and are entitled to individual rights like everyone else. But the matter of apartheid should be, given the data, shut down once and for all.

The Marker recently reported that since the implementation of the government's plan for the Arab sector, "the percentage of Arab communities connected to the sewage system has increased from 40% to 85%, the number of public transportation trips increased by 127%, the percentage of Arab students out of the total student population rose from 14% to 16%, and 88,000 Arab children now enjoy afternoon classes."

Ehud Olmert did not do that, and neither did Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak. So stop it already with these stories of practicality which are constantly being reintroduced by interested parties, whether these are politicians who know that no one will confront them with the facts, whether they are professors from all kinds of institutes for the cultivation of democracy, or retired judges such as Mazza, who explained to Ariyeh Golan on Reshet Bet that we are on our way to being an "apartheid state per excellence", no less.

I have one more comment. This fire was lit not only in the media and the opposition; even senior members of the government, those who thought they could cut off a small political coupon and did not estimate where it would come from, threw their match into the blaze.

It began with MK Naftali Bennet, who tweeted on Twitter about "our good brothers who stand with us shoulder to shoulder on the battlefield" and that "the legislation of the Nation-State Law has been very damaging to them and those whose fate is tied to the Jewish state." This continued with MK Moshe Kahlon, who did not mind a thousand meetings and discussions about this law, yet later announced that it was hastily enacted.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will do well if, unlike others, he does not bend or break. If I were in his place, I would print this law with several million copies and distribute it in the streets.

The Israeli citizens should read the text of the law and understand for themselves how brainwashed they are.

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