The Ethnic State

It is official national policy that the state of Israel exists as an ethnic Jewish homeland. The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, occurring on 14 May 1948, harkened back to Theodore Herzl and the First Zionist Congress, who “proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in what it claimed to be its own country,” a right that “was supported by the British government in the Balfour Declaration” and “reaffirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Palestine and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.” 

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel asserted that the Holocaust necessitated “re-establishing in Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the community of nations.” The declaration claimed that the UN General Assembly resolution of November 29, 1947, called “for the establishment of a Jewish State in Israel” and that “recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.” 

This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State. Thus members and representatives of the Jews of Palestine and of the Zionist movement upon the end of the British Mandate, by virtue of “natural and historic right” and based on the United Nations resolution [h]ereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel to be known as the State of Israel.

It is contention of many that those who criticize this arrangment are anti-Semitic. But consider what your reaction would be if our government asserted that the United States of America was the homeland for Christian people or white people. To be sure, the United States is considered by many to be the true homeland of white Christian people. Recently, Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly, in a discussion with presidential candidate and current member of the Senate John McCain, accused the “far left” of wanting to “break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I.” Hey, I want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure of the United States! Does that mean I hate white people, men, and Christians? Am I a “self-hating white man”?

In Palestine, a place where people of different faiths and ethnicities have co-existed, a Jewish state was established that made every other non-Jew a second class citizen—that made every non-Jew a cultural, political, and religious outsider. That’s not democracy. 

If the United States were to become a Christian state, I would, for many reasons, including the fact that, on principle, I oppose theocratic rule, oppose such a move. I regard any state declared by those in power to be the state of a particular religious group to be an unjust political and legal arrangement. Not only would I oppose it, but I would struggle to change it. I can hear the voices accusing me of being “anti-Christian” and “anti-American.” I am neither. I am pro-people. 

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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