Thanks to the far right, Israel’s government is declaring that Zionism is racism

Thanks to the far right, Israel’s government is declaring that Zionism is racism
By Business
May 02

Thanks to the far right, Israel’s government is declaring that Zionism is racism

In recent years, the far-right political movement has gained ground in many countries. Israel is no exception. In fact, the government of Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has found itself aligned with right-wing parties in Europe and the United States. This has led to a hardening of Israeli policies towards Palestinians and a redefinition of Zionism. The government now declares that Zionism is not just a political movement for Jewish self-determination but also a racial ideology. This has alarmed many Israelis who see it as a betrayal of their country’s founding principles.

The rise of the far-right in Israel

The far-right in Israel has existed for decades but has typically been on the fringes of Israeli politics. However, in recent years, the far-right has grown stronger, thanks in large part to the support of Prime Minister Netanyahu. He has courted far-right parties and politicians to stay in power, even if it means compromising on Israel’s democratic values.

For example, Netanyahu teamed up with the far-right Jewish Power Party in the April 2019 elections. This party openly advocates for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and the West Bank. Although Jewish Power did not win any seats in the Knesset, it was a shocking move by Netanyahu to endorse a party with such extreme views.

This strategy of aligning with the far-right has allowed Netanyahu to stay in power, but it has also shifted Israeli politics to the right and has emboldened the far-right to push for more extreme policies.

Rebranding Zionism

Zionism has traditionally been understood as a political movement for Jewish self-determination. It is the idea that Jews should have a homeland where they can live free from persecution. However, the current Israeli government has redefined Zionism to include a racial component.

In July 2018, the government passed the Nation-State Law, which declares that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.” The law also downgrades Arabic from an official language to a language with “special status.”

By making Jewishness the defining characteristic of the state, the government has effectively declared that non-Jewish citizens, especially Palestinians, are second-class citizens. This contradicts Israel’s democratic principles and has been criticized by many Israelis and Jews around the world.

Consequences for Palestinians

The rebranding of Zionism as a racial ideology has had serious consequences for Palestinians living in Israel and the occupied territories.

For example, the Nation-State Law explicitly states that “the state considers the development of Jewish settlement a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.” This has led to the illegal construction of settlements in the West Bank, which displaces Palestinians and makes it impossible for them to have a contiguous state.

The law also allows for the expulsion of Palestinian citizens from their homes if they are deemed not loyal to the state. This has happened in the town of Umm al-Hiran, where Israeli authorities demolished the homes of Palestinian citizens to make way for a Jewish settlement.

The fight for Israel’s soul

Many Israelis are concerned about the far-right’s growing influence in their country and its impact on Israel’s democracy and values.

Many Jewish organizations around the world have spoken out against the redefinition of Zionism as a racial ideology. They argue that Zionism must remain a political movement for Jewish self-determination and that Israel must remain a democracy for all its citizens, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.

The fight for Israel’s soul is ongoing, and it remains to be seen whether the far-right’s influence will continue to grow or whether Israelis will choose to reclaim their country’s democratic ideals.

The far-right’s growing influence in Israel has led to a redefinition of Zionism as a racial ideology. This has resulted in policies that discriminate against Palestinians and jeopardize Israel’s democratic principles. It is important for Israelis and Jews around the world to speak out against this dangerous trend and work towards a more inclusive and democratic Israel.

The fight for Israel’s soul is not just about the future of the Jewish state; it is also about the future of democracy and human rights in the Middle East.

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