A Manual on How Not to Write a Constitution – By Alexander Yakobson

Alexander Yakobson in Defining Israel: A Forum on Recent Attempts to Determine Israel’s Character

[This essay is part of Defining Israel: A Forum on Recent Attempts to Determine Israel’s Character. The forum’s home page can be found here.]

A Manual on How Not to Write a Constitution

_MG_1214 copyThere is something strange about the debate on whether it is a good idea to enshrine Israel’s character as a Jewish state in a basic law: it regularly ignores the fact that this definition already appears in three existing basic laws. These refer to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.’’ Of course, the official definition of Israel as a Jewish state pre-dated the basic laws adopted in the 1980s and 1990s (Basic law: the Knesset; Basic law: Human Dignity and Freedom; and Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation); since the adoption of these laws, the definition of Israel as a Jewish state can also be regarded as constitutional.

Israel’s critics have long attacked this definition. In my view, this criticism is unjustified. Nor do I think there is anything necessarily wrong with the idea of “saying it again,” and confirming the Jewish character of the state in an additional basic law defining Israel’s character and guiding principles – topics that are typically dealt with in a constitution’s preamble or its opening articles.  Of course, such a law should be about the Israeli democracy as well as the Jewish state.

The Jewish State and the Basic Laws

In fact, if the required level of political consensus were there, it would be a good idea to adopt a constitution for the country as a single comprehensive document, rather than to continue with the series of separate basic laws that are supposed to serve as chapters of a future constitution. In such a constitution, the Jewish state and its main characteristics, such as the official status of Hebrew and ties with the Jewish diaspora, including the Law of Return — alongside with democracy and fundamental human and civil rights — would certainly find its place. Since, however, such a consensus is clearly lacking, it is better to adopt the attitude of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

As things stand now politically, and seem likely to stand in the near future, I agree with the view, expressed in Ruth Gavison’s report, that any attempt to tackle these issues by constitutional legislation is much more likely to prove harmful than beneficial. The specific bills that are now on the agenda, bills on Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish people, tabled by right-wing Knesset members, are, in all their versions, utterly unacceptable. They fail to maintain a proper balance between the two fundamental characteristics of the state — Jewish and democratic. This applies also to the somewhat moderated version of those bills presented by Prime Minister Netanyahu in his set of principles that are supposed to be the basis for a future legislation. This version is also the most relevant one to discuss, since the authors of the earlier and more radical versions have agreed to give their support to that of the Prime Minister.

The specific bills now on the agenda are in all their versions utterly unacceptable.

But first, briefly, on the term “Jewish state” and the objections to which it gives rise. Those who object to this term usually impose on it a wholly unnecessary undemocratic and illiberal interpretation, and then proceed to argue that it is inherently illiberal and undemocratic. But this very term, to which sinister clerical and ultra-nationalistic connotations are often ascribed, is the one that appears in the 1947 UN Partition Plan — the first occasion on which the international community endorsed the two-state solution for the national conflict between the two peoples in Mandatory Palestine. The “Jewish state” is what the international community decided in favor of in 1947 — “Israel” is merely the name given to the Jewish state by the Zionist leadership.

The UN resolution speaks of a “Jewish State” and “Arab State” alongside it — Jewish and Arab, respectively, in the sense that they were being established in order to accord to the two respective peoples in the land, the Jews and the Arabs, their national independence. Both nation states, the Jewish and the Arab, were required by the terms of the Partition Plan to guarantee equal rights, as well as freedom of religion, to all their citizens regardless of their religious and ethno-national affiliation. It is in this sense that the term “Jewish state” is used in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and this is how it is interpreted in the case-law of Israel’s Supreme Court.

Those who claim to support the right of both peoples in this land (neither of which has ever claimed the other group as part of its own peoplehood), to national self-determination, and, more generally, to accept this right as a fundamental universal principle, can have no legitimate quarrel with the concept of the “Jewish state” as such. They have no just grounds for opposing it, however much they may oppose the policies of this state, just as any state’s policies might be opposed, rightly or wrongly, without questioning its people’s right to self-determination. Israel’s critics cannot reject the Jewish state in principle — unless, that is, they perceive the right to self-determination is a club at the entrance to which hangs the sign “no Jews allowed.”

Nor do I accept the argument, sometimes made in this context, that, since the Jewish people’s right to self-determination has already been realized by Israel’s establishment in 1948, there is no longer any need, or room, for referring to this issue in the country’s constitutional legislation. Not only are there numerous examples of such statements in contemporary democratic constitutions, but, what is more important, in the real-life Middle East there is nothing banal or self-evident about the right of the Jewish people to a state. It is worth noting that the current American administration, and President Obama in particular, refers regularly, in talking about the two-state solution, to Israel as “the Jewish state of Israel”; apparently the administration regards the Jewish state not as a banal fact but rather as something that needs to be spelled out and defended.

In practice, of course, as often happens with ideological controversies, the term “Jewish state” is understood and used by different people, whether they oppose or support it, in different senses. Moreover, when universal principles are invoked by a side in a national conflict, the claim is often both reasonable, in its criticism of the other side, and lacking in good faith, as far as one’s own compliance with those principles is concerned. The Israeli right has a point when it argues that the Jewish people’s right to a state of their own is still, 67 years after the establishment of the state of Israel, far from banal, and as such needs to be explicitly affirmed and defended.

At the same time, the Israeli right does not come to this debate with clean hands. While all the versions of the proposed Jewish nation-state law speak of Israel as realizing the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, the proponents’ right to invoke this principle is dubious at best in the case of Netanyahu, and is clearly non-existent in the case of the more hard-line ideological right that explicitly rejects the idea of a two-state solution and hence, of Palestinian Arab independence. And while the supporters of the bills in question are right to reject suggestions that the very concept of a Jewish state is inherently undemocratic, their own right to make this argument is undermined by the content of the legislation they propose, since it is blatantly imbalanced in favor of the Jewish side of the equation at the expense of the democratic one.

Jewish State and Democracy in Supreme Court Case-law

This imbalance, it must be stressed, is mainly if not entirely rhetorical rather than legal. It is often claimed that the proposed legislation subordinates Israeli democracy to the Jewish character of the state, and therefore sanctions, at least potentially, violations of civil rights in the name of the state’s Jewishness. Legally, none of this is, to the best of my understanding, true. Whatever may be the intentions of the bills’ various proposers (beyond the wish to appear as champions and defenders of the Jewish state in the eyes of the Israeli public), this legislation, if adopted (something I hope will not happen) will not legally make democracy and civic equality any less protected by Israel’s constitutional law.

According to the case-law of the country’s Supreme Court, there is no contradiction between the Jewish and the democratic characteristics of the state; equality of citizens regardless of religion and national identity is a crucial element of democracy. A violation of this equality constitutes, as the Court has repeatedly ruled, a violation of both the values of Israel as a democratic state and, moreover, of its values as a Jewish state as well; it is thus (doubly) unconstitutional. Whatever meaning one may attribute to the “Jewish state’’ ideologically and politically, its meaning as a legal term that appears in the country’s laws is determined by the country’s judiciary, as is the case with all legal terms that may give rise to legal controversy.

This means that legally, no amount of rhetorical emphasis and over-emphasis of the Jewishness of the state (something in which the nation-state bills indulge with abandon) is capable of making kosher any violation of democratic norms. Proclaiming the state ten times more Jewish, as it were, will not make it, legally, one bit less democratic.

The initiators of the bills may complain that the Supreme Court has tilted the balance in favor of democracy in its case-law, and it now needs to be redressed in favor of the Jewish state. But any law that is passed by the Knesset will still be interpreted by the Supreme Court that has consistently rejected the idea that there is any contradiction between the two principles, and will no doubt continue to do so if the proposed laws are adopted.

In the more extreme version of the bill sponsored by Ze’ev Elkin, the article proclaiming that Israel is a nation state of the Jewish people contains a clause (article 1.c) according to which every provision of this law, and of any other basic law, shall be interpreted in light of this determination (that Israel is a Jewish state). This sounds outrageous, and is indeed outrageous. The message is unmistakable: the Jewish state is the only thing we really care about, while democracy is a stepdaughter from politically-incorrect fairy tales.

But legally speaking, this clause is an exercise in futility. Naturally, every Israeli law, basic and otherwise, and all things in heaven and earth, should be interpreted in light of the glorious fact that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. But the legal meaning and significance of this fact itself will still be a matter for the Supreme Court to interpret; and according to this interpretation, the Jewishness of the state neither requires, nor, in fact, allows, violations of civic equality and other democratic norms.

Proclaiming the state ten times more Jewish, as it were, will not make it, legally, one bit less democratic

The only way to make ethnic discrimination in the name of the Jewish state constitutional is to pass a basic law that says, in so many words: “it is permissible to discriminate against non-Jewish citizens in the name of the Jewish state.” Up to now, not even the far right has seen fit to propose such a thing. Since none of the proposed legislation explicitly claims that discrimination is constitutional, no particular judicial activism on the part of the Court is necessary to say that it is unconstitutional, especially given that the legislators who propose it still find it necessary, for whatever reason, to subscribe to the idea of democracy as well as to the Jewish state.

Of course, not every instance of discrimination can be proved in court, and not everything can be set aright by judicial orders. One should not delude oneself that judicial review is a panacea. But whenever discrimination between Israeli citizens on grounds of religion or ethnicity can be proved, to the satisfaction of the Israeli judiciary that, as is customary in countries where the rule of law obtains, is in charge of interpreting the law of the land, it is illegal under Israeli administrative and constitutional law and will remain illegal even if a blatantly imbalanced nation-state law is adopted. As on any other matter that comes before the courts some judges may be more liberal in deciding such cases, and others more conservative, though the more conservative ones are also, apparently, much too liberal for the initiators of this legislation.

Naturally, the Supreme Court and its rulings are not above public criticism. Although elected politicians have no influence on the way the judiciary interprets the laws, they do have, and properly so in my view, an influence on the composition of the courts via judicial appointments. But this influence under the Israeli system is limited, and is considerably weaker that in the United States, for example. In fact, the present composition of the Supreme Court is more conservative than it was when Aharon Barak was the President of the Court, even though “conservative” in this context does not reflect a lack of will to protect fundamental rights.

Those who hope, or fear, that the illiberal right may be able to take over the judiciary and shape it in its image, or to cut its powers, should bear in mind that the Israeli judiciary has maintained its independence, and has grown considerably more liberal and activist, during the decades since the coalition of right-wing and religious parties first came to power in 1977. It is also worth noting that the country’s Supreme Court currently enjoys (according to the Israeli Democracy Index 2014) the confidence of 62% of Israeli Jews (including most of those who describe themselves as belonging to the right), and 60% of Israeli Arabs. The Court enjoys far greater public confidence than the cabinet, the Knesset, and the political parties (not to mention the Orthodox religious establishment). This probably helps explain the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly stated that there will be no anti-Supreme Court legislation as long as he is Prime Minister. He may be reluctant to quarrel with the far right, but neither is he eager to take on more than 60% of the electorate.

Netanyahu’s Proposals

In Netanyahu’s version of the nation-state bill the provision that all laws should be interpreted in light of the Jewish character of the state is omitted. It also omits the attempt, made in Ze’ev Elkin’s version (article 4), to downgrade the status of Arabic as the country’s second official language: in Elkin’s bill Arabic was to be defined as enjoying an (unspecified) “special status” rather than “official status.” Whether this “special status” would in practice, as a matter of judicial interpretation, have amounted to something less than the present status of Arabic in Israel, is far from certain, but there is no doubt that at least symbolically this formulation presented an attempt to downgrade the language’s status.

The Prime Minister’s version does not deal with the question of language at all, which naturally means that the status of Hebrew as the country’s first official language is omitted as well. The Prime Minister evidently didn’t wish to support the downgrading of Arabic but also wanted to avoid confronting the far-right by elevating its present official status to a constitutional norm, and so decided to dodge the question altogether. Thus, absurdly, a law that is supposed to enshrine the Jewish character of Israel omits a provision that is the most routine and uncontroversial way to give expression to the national character of a state in a democratic constitution.

Another of the previous versions’ provisions omitted in that of Netanyahu is the attempt to downgrade, symbolically, democracy itself. Instead of the by-now canonic formula that Israel is a “Jewish and democratic state,” the earlier versions designated Israel as a Jewish (nation) state, tout court. A separate article then stated that the “State of Israel has a democratic regime.” This way, the essence of the state was defined as unambiguously Jewish, rather than doubly, Jewish-democratic, while democracy was demoted to the supposedly more modest place as merely a system of government. Of course the democratic system of government — and the values on which it is based — is the very essence of a democratic state.

At the same time, states also have a distinct national essence, or character, which probably explains why different democracies remain sufficiently different from each other and seek to preserve their separate national existence. Be that as it may, one thing is clear: while the whole world would be convinced that Israel is indeed demoting democracy if the Knesset were to adopt such a law, no Israeli court would dream of finding that a “Jewish state with a democratic system of government” is any less democratic than a “Jewish and democratic state.” In Netanyahu’s version, the “Jewish and democratic state” is, at any rate, back.

The Prime Minister’s version of the bill thus removes some of the egregious flaws contained in the versions submitted by right-wing members of the Knesset. Nevertheless, it remains a deeply flawed document. The problem, again, is not that it sanctions violations of democratic norms, and specifically of civic equality, as is often alleged. From the strictly legal point of view, this text is harmless. But a country’s constitution is meant to be much more than a legal document, and it is not meant to be merely harmless. The document was written not in the spirit of “how do I best express the country’s credo in a way that will do honor to the Jewish state and to Israeli democracy,” but of “how do I appear sufficiently nationalistic, with a whiff of religious traditionalism, and avoid being portrayed as a softy by the hardline right, without causing too much damage to the commonly accepted legal norms.”

One of the flawed provisions in Netanyahu’s version states that the “Hebrew law” (the properly-legal and juridical provisions of the Halacha, the Jewish religious law) “shall serve as the source of inspiration for the Knesset.” Again, strictly legally this is pretty meaningless: the Knesset is of course free to be or not to be thus “inspired” in every particular case, and whenever such an inspiration should lead to undemocratic legislation it can be quashed by the terms of this very law.

As a matter of principle, however, this provision is completely untenable. Some parts of the traditional Hebrew law can serve as an inspiration for a modern legislator, other parts clearly cannot; no sweeping endorsement of the Hebrew law in its entirety, even if only as a non-binding and rhetorical source of inspiration, is acceptable in a modern democracy. This is not a gesture of respect to tradition (such as exists in many democratic constitutions) but a transparent attempt to curry favor with the religious right.

Yet of all the numerous flaws in this proposal, not all of which can be mentioned here, by far the worst problem is that it conspicuously avoids mentioning the most fundamental principle of democracy that appears prominently in every democratic constitution (and in undemocratic constitutions as well) — full equality of citizens regardless of, inter alia, religion and ethno-national origin.

Netanyahu had stated in public that his version of the Jewish nation-state bill would guarantee, alongside the Jewish character of the state, democracy and full civic equality. Democracy is indeed there in his proposal. This in itself, alongside with the “principles of freedom, justice and peace, envisaged by the prophets of Israel” — a quotation from Israel’s Declaration of Independence — is quite sufficient to allow the Supreme Court to quash, in the future, any law that it will judge as contrary to democratic norms — first and foremost, to civic equality.

It should be noted that the real issue in the basic laws is the right to quash unconstitutional legislation; as for judicial review of executive actions, the Court does not need a basic law. It has, since the establishment of the state, enjoyed this right by virtue of its power to issue the Israeli version of the English “prerogative orders.”

But the sentence that deals specifically with the rights of citizens avoids mentioning the principle of equality in a context in which mentioning it is an absolute must in a modern constitution:

The State of Israel … upholds the individual rights of all its citizens according to any law. (2d)

The rights in question are firstly qualified as individual, and secondly, they are not defined as equal. The qualification is designed to exclude collective, and especially national, rights that might be demanded by the Arab minority. It is stingy, ungracious, and totally unnecessary. Arab politicians and activists do indeed, it should be noted, present demands that go far beyond defending and enhancing their rights as a national minority, and amount to turning Israel into a bi-national state.

The qualification is designed to exclude collective, and especially national, rights that might be demanded by the Arab minority

There is no justification for such demands, nor do they have any chance of being accepted by the political system. However, the usual provisions in constitutional texts that guarantee, without qualification, equal rights to all citizens do not imply any recognition of collective rights, and are nowhere taken to imply so. They appear prominently, for example, in the constitution of France — a country that denies the concept of collective rights as a matter of principle, regarding them as fundamentally un-republican. On the other hand, the state of Israel does in fact accord to its Arab citizens important collective rights as regards the preservation of their distinct identity, in the field of culture, language, and education (though not by way of a territorial autonomy).

The official status of Arabic in Israel may well be regarded as a national, rather than merely communal, collective right. This arrangement is appropriate in the case of Israeli Arabs who constitute a large native national minority; in fact, it exceeds what is required, for example, by the European Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. All these rights would of course remain unaffected by the proposed legislation — they would remain, as they are now, based on legislation but not entrenched constitutionally. There is thus no need at all to use restrictive language when speaking about rights of citizens.

A similar gratuitous petulance and nervous lack of self-confidence is displayed by the provision, adopted by Netanyahu from the right-wing versions, according to which the “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is uniquely that of the Jewish people” (Principle 2c). This right, in other words, belongs to “our” people and not to “your” people. What is the need for this?

If the basic law states, quite properly, that Israel realizes the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, this naturally means that it does not realize the right to self-determination of another people. A state may indeed represent the national self-determination of more than one people, but in order to do that it has to be a bi-national or multinational state, and the basic law, naturally, affirms the very opposite. This is not how one writes a constitution. A constitution is not about who shouldn’t enjoy what right — which is not to say that it bestows rights promiscuously.

A constitution may, for example, specify that the right to vote is given to those who have reached the age of 18, but it does not usually say that those who are only 17 have no right to vote and should keep quiet. The best way to express the idea that the authors of the bills wish to convey in this context (if one feels that, despite what has just been said, it still needs to be spelled out explicitly) is to say that the state of Israel realizes the right to self-determination of the Jewish people, whereas the national self-determination of the Palestinian people should be realized in a state alongside Israel, living in peace with it. Unsurprisingly, neither the right-wing members of the Knesset nor Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to adopt such a formula.

To return to the issue about the “individual rights of all its citizens” that, according to the bill, the state “upholds according to any law” — the provision that these rights should be equal is scandalously lacking. A constitution without equality? The idea is nothing if not original. However, the truth is that equality is there, albeit not openly. It is bashfully hiding behind a curtain. It is implied in the phrase “according to any law” — a lawyerly formula that is more appropriate in a contract for leasing a flat than in a nation’s credo.

“Any law,” as has already been pointed out by some of the more moderate supporters of the bill (the less moderate ones do not wish to be publicly associated with anything quite as radical as civic equality), means all the existing legislation, including the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom. This law, too, does not mention equality by name (due to opposition from the religious parties at the time of its adoption).

But the Supreme Court has long since ruled that discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnicity is a violation of human dignity, and hence, unconstitutional under this law. Consequently, the Prime Minister’s version of the bill does include, indirectly, the principle of equal rights for all citizens, after all, by means of a “link” to the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom which, in its turn, includes a “link” to the principle of equality. This, amazingly, is how the sponsors of Ayelet Shaked’s version of the bill chose to tackle the principle that all Israeli citizens have equal rights — as if they were swallowing castor oil. And Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to follow suit.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence – Jewish State and Democratic Values

Netanyahu’s version of the bill is a manual on how not to write a constitution; the right-wing bills, which it is supposed to supersede, are still worse. In a court of law such a text would be harmless, but it would be anything but harmless in the court of public opinion. In Israel, such a law purporting to buttress the Jewish and democratic state would serve to undermine democratic values in the eyes of those who believe in the Jewish state, and to discredit the Jewish state in the eyes of those who believe in democratic values. Outside the country, nothing could make all those who deny the legitimacy of the Jewish state happier than that it should adopt such a law.

Netanyahu’s version of the bill is a manual on how not to write a constitution

Reading these texts, one may be excused for wondering if there is a way to re-affirm that Israel is a Jewish state — a state that embodies the national independence of the Jewish people — that would honor this principle rather than disgrace it. While there are numerous examples of modern democratic constitutions that manage to maintain a proper balance between universal norms and national and cultural particularity, the most pertinent example is in fact national rather than international — Israel’s own Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration proclaims, at the conclusion of its historical part, the establishment of a “Jewish state in the land of Israel, to be called the state of Israel.” Then follows a passage dedicated to the character of this state and its basic principles. It starts by a provision crucial to the Jewish character of the state, that it “will be open to Jewish immigration.” Further, “it will be based on the principles of freedom, justice and peace envisaged by the prophets of Israel”; or, in other words, the state will be founded on essentially universal human values as they find expression in what the founding fathers (and one founding mother) of Israel regarded as the best of the Jewish tradition.

The principle of civic equality is then proclaimed in the most plain and straightforward language: the state “will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race [the usual way, at the time, to refer to ethnicity in constitutional and international documents] or sex.” And the Declaration further promised “freedom of religion, conscience,  language, education and culture; [the state] will safeguard the holy places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Even so, the authors of the Declaration did not think it sufficient to proclaim the principle of civic equality in general terms. They devoted a separate passage specifically to the Arab minority. In it, they appealed to “the sons of the Arab people [today we would say “sons and daughters”], inhabitants of the state of Israel.” The reference to the “Arab people” — rather than to “Arabic speakers” or to “Muslims, Christians and Druze” — is a clear acceptance that the minority in question possesses a distinct peoplehood of its own and is therefore a national minority.

The term “Arab people” in the text of the Declaration is parallel to the “Jewish people” in whose name the document speaks and whose independence it proclaims. The authors of the Declaration took for granted the continued existence within the body politic of two distinct national (not merely ethnic) identities, Jewish and Arab. It fully corresponded then, and still corresponds fully today, to the culture, the self-identification, and the political will of both populations; it is the basis for the legitimacy both of Israel’s character as a Jewish state (and not merely a state once established as Jewish) and of the status of the Arab population as a full-fledged national minority. This status should be explicitly confirmed in any constitutional text that defines the fundamental principles of the state. The status of Israel’s Arab community as a national minority and Israel’s Jewish national character are in fact two sides of the same coin.

The “sons of the Arab people” then are called upon in the Declaration “to preserve the peace and to take part in the building of the state on the basis of full and equal citizenship and of appropriate representation in all its institutions.” The message is clear: from the moment of its establishment, the state of Israel is theirs too. They are an integral part of the civic community that is the demos of the Israeli democracy. A Jewish state is not, and was never meant to be, purely or exclusively Jewish; in order to make it so, one would have to deprive the non-Jewish citizens of their citizenship and of the vote. A democratic nation state which includes a substantial minority population that preservers its distinct national identity is indeed a state of the majority people in the sense that it embodies their national independence and gives expression to their national and cultural identity (including, in not a few cases, a link with an ethno-national diaspora). But the state is not owned by the majority people alone, to the exclusion of the other citizens.

The Israeli Declaration of Independence was not written by people who were insufficiently committed to the Jewish state, bashful about avowing this commitment, or unaware of the need to defend it. This need was, in May 1948, no less pressing than it is today. The Arab population to which they were appealing with an offer of full and equal citizenship was, at that moment, a side in a bitter ethnic civil war raging throughout the country, and the country itself was on the very eve of an invasion by neighboring Arab armies. Nevertheless, the birth certificate of the state of Israel includes a firm and unequivocal commitment to fundamental democratic principles, first and foremost to civic equality. Is it really the case that the Jewish state today cannot afford to re-affirm what was said then?

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proposal for a basic law does not envisage a breach of anyone’s legal rights. It cannot, within Israel’s legal system, be interpreted as sanctioning ethno-national discrimination or some sort of a Jewish theocracy. It is, nevertheless, a deplorable document. It is written in a spirit of pettiness and narrow-minded nationalism. It is depressing to imagine such a constitutional text being studied by pupils in Israel’s public schools. It is a shame that anybody — not to mention a Prime Minister — should seek to formulate Israel’s credo as a nation in this way. It is a product of momentary political circumstances and narrow political considerations. One can only hope that circumstances will change, and the issue be dealt with in a very different spirit.

[Go to the next essay in the forum by Israel Bartal, “Who Needs the Nation-State Law? The State of the Jews, Fears, and Fear Mongering”]

[Go to the previous essay in the forum by David N. Myers, “The Triumph of the Majority and the Decline of Democracy”]