Livni says “Democracy is “is a system of values meant to exist harmoniously with my perception of Judaism, which fosters equality, for example, as a Jewish and democratic value.” What a circular argument. She wants the state to be Jewish-democratic” what ever that is. But Levin is right when he says “Livni’s objection is a denial of the fundamentals of Zionism and it reflects [her] misguided path.”
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who serves as chairwoman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, announced Wednesday that she would oppose a bill promoted by Likud and Habayit Hayehudi Knesset members that seeks to cement Israel’s Jewish character by law.
The bill, presented in late June by Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) and MK Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), aims to solidify Israel’s identity as Jewish first and democratic second, as part of the country’s Basic Laws.
The proposal states that Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people and that as such, the right to national self-determination in Israel is reserved solely for Jews. The bill further reaffirms the democratic nature of Israel’s government and stresses that Israel will continue to uphold the rights of all its citizens, regardless of their religion.
“I will promote the introduction to Israel’s Jewish-democratic constitution, but I will oppose any legislation that upsets that balance,” Livni wrote on her Facebook page.
“Some laws sound good but their results will be bad, just as some dishes spoil if you upset the proper balance between their ingredients.
“Who among us would not like to preserve Israel’s Jewish character? That is what Zionism is all about and that is also why I am striving to promote two national states – to preserve Israel’s [Jewish] character. This is why we need a constitution and this is why the Law of Return must be its first article in it. This is also why I will oppose any proposal that upsets the moral balance between Israel’s values as a Jewish and democratic state.
“There is more to democracy than just a system of government. As I said, I will oppose any legislation that upsets the proper balance of things, but I will promote Israel’s Jewish-democratic constitution. And it should be Jewish hyphen democratic.”
In response, Levin said, “This bill means to anchor the principles that serve as the foundation of the State of Israel. Minister Livni’s objection is a denial of the fundamentals of Zionism and it reflects [her] misguided path.”
“This is a vital bill, especially in light of the High Court’s post-Zionist rulings. It will ensure that Israel will be a Jewish country with a democratic government, and not just another democracy like all others,” he told Channel 10.
Yesh Atid also announced Wednesday that it would oppose the bill, endorsing instead legislation presented by party MK Ruth Calderon, which seeks to embed the Declaration of Independence as the Basic Law.