"A Jewish and Democratic State"

Tom Segev is ok, and as far as Israeli intellectuals go, he’s a shining star. Like George Habash, we need to praise every little bit of positive movement on the part of progressive Israelis. Segev is one of the “New Historians” so despised by the Israeli rightwing for, well, telling the truth? Even this truth has been rather hedged lately as folks like Benny Morris have started to cave under overwhelming attacks from their fellow Jews.
What’s telling is how Segev keeps repeating this phrase over and over, tick-like, “Jewish and democratic state”. You can Google “Segev” and “Jewish and democratic state” and find that he says this phrase the same way clocks chime the hours. He can’t help it. He’s just programmed to say those words.
But as we think it over, we being sensible folks, doesn’t the argument of the recently-banned Balad Party in Israel (secular Left Arab party loosely allied with the Palestinian PFLP containing not only Arabs but some leftwing Jewish supporters) seem to make sense? Balad says it supports an Israel of all of its citizens, not just Jewish ubermenschen. I guess they got banned for that. All Arab parties must now sign a pledge saying that they support Israel as a Jewish state. As long as that is the case, if you are an Israeli Arab, why bother to vote?
If you’ve gotten this far, I should not have to point this out: A “Jewish and democratic state” is obviously…an oxymoron? Zionists please, prove me wrong here. I mean, it can be either a Jewish state or a democratic state, but it can’t be both at the same time, you know?
Segev is one smart guy; he must know this phrase is oxymoronic on some level. So why does he keep spouting nonsense? Zionism is a secular religion?
P.S. Ditto for all those “Islamic states” out there. You guys don’t get a pass!

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2 thoughts on “"A Jewish and Democratic State"”

  1. Jewish and democratic is possible only w/ some kind of ethnic cleansing. I’ve read one of Segev’s books, The Seventh Million, but that was a while ago and I’m not that up on what he’s doing or saying now. My guess: Either he’s advocating that sort of ethnic cleansing, or he’s pointing out the absurdity of the very concept.

  2. Segev really believes this stuff. Read his quotes that I linked to. So I guess he is advocating some kind of ethnic cleansing.
    That’s pretty harsh criticism, Mort. I’m not sure even I would go that far in print, but I’m afraid you are right.
    I never read The Seventh Million.
    His latest thing is that he says that Israelis no longer believe in peace. They think this thing is going to go on interminably. So he says the best that can be hoped for now is a sort of management of the conflict in such a way that minimizes the pain to both sides.

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