ACOM- Action and Communication about the Middle East

Dear Friends:

As you know, the Law of Nation State of Israel was approved yesterday ending the great media commotion that has occurred in recent weeks. The only reason for such disproportionate diffusion is that it is an Israeli issue that is always a target of criticism, because objectively the law does not bring any drastic change regarding the reality of Israel since its creation.

The criticisms of this law and any other, when they are honest, are perfectly respectable, given that freedom of expression is one of the greatest values ​​of Western society. But media misrepresentation and intoxication must not be left unanswered on our part, because it would be neglecting the legitimate and necessary action that civil society and the groups that articulate it perform.

That is why we are sending you this very brief reflection on the main points and the translation of the law approved by the Israeli Parliament.

False controversy 1: It is claimed that the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish People. This definition was already reflected in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and in the terms of the Mandate of Palestine unanimously approved by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922. The term is so new that it was used a century ago to substantiate the creation of Israel, finally voted by the UN 25 years later.

False controversy 2: Hebrew is declared as the official language at the national level. Until now the Arab had co-official status, but the truth is that only Hebrew is the common language of communication among all Israelis of all ethnicities, most of whom do not speak Arabic. A special status is reserved for Arabic, language of the main minority of the country, which may continue to use it as a vehicular language in education, commerce and where they consider it appropriate to do so, as in so many other places in the world.

False controversy 3: The law declares that the capital of the state is Jerusalem, a city that has been the capital since the same year in which Israel declared its independence. There is the Parliament, the Office of the Prime Minister, and the main governmental institutions.

False controversy 4: The law declares that the flag of Israel, used since the creation of the state, is effectively the official flag of Israel. To argue that the Jewish state’s flag has a Jewish symbol is so highly irrational that it only evidences the unreasonableness that prevails in the media regarding this whole issue. False controversy 5: The law promotes the establishment of new neighborhoods with Jewish immigrants arriving in Israel from all corners of the world, as has been happening for more than a century. The reception of these immigrants and refugees who settle in the least populated areas of the country is part of the essence of a solidary state such as Israel. This is how in 1909 the present city of Tel Aviv was born, originally a small settlement of pioneers in some dunes on the outskirts of Jaffa. In conclusion, criticisms of this law by those who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, find excuses to demonize any of their initiatives and deal with obvious double standards to that state in front of others, not They can have any value.


Basic Law: Israel as Nation State of the Jewish People

1 – Basic principles

A. The land of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.

B. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.

C. The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is exclusive to the Jewish people.

2 – The symbols of the state

A. The name of the state is “Israel.”

B. The state flag is white with two blue stripes near the edges and a blue Star of David in the center.

C. The emblem of the state is a seven-armed menorah with olive leaves on both sides and the word “Israel” underneath.

D. The state anthem is “Hatikvah”.

E. Details regarding the state symbols will be determined by law.

3 – The state capital Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.

4 – Language

A. The language of the state is Hebrew.

B. The Arabic language has a special status in the state; The regulation of the use of Arabic in state institutions or by them will be established in the law.

C. This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law becomes effective.

5 – Collection of the exiles

The state will be open for Jewish immigration and the collection of exiles

6 – Connection with the Jewish people

A. The state will endeavor to ensure the safety of members of the Jewish people in trouble or in captivity due to their status as Jews or their citizenship

.B. The state will act within the diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and the members of the Jewish people.

C. The state must act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people among the Jews in the Diaspora.

7 – Jewish settlement

The state sees the development of the Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.

8 – Official calendar

The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and together with it the Gregorian calendar will be used as the official calendar. The use of the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will be determined by law.

9 – Independence Day and commemorative days

A. Independence Day is the official national holiday of the state.

B. Memorial Day in memory of the Fallen in the Wars of Israel and the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and Heroism are official commemorative days of the State.

10 – Days of rest and Saturday

The Sabbath and the holidays of Israel are the established days of rest in the state; Non-Jews have the right to maintain days of rest on their Saturdays and festivals; The details of this problem will be determined by law.

11 – Immutability

This Basic Law shall not be modified, unless another Basic Law approved by the majority of the members of the Knesset.


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