Jewish Nation-State, not this law

Alexander Yakobson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


I fully support the idea of Israel as a nation-state of the Jewish people and strongly oppose the Nation-State Law. The Jewish state is justified based on the principle of the right of peoples to national self-determination, and the law is wrong because it fails to respect the principle of civic equality. There are numerous flaws in it, but they are all subordinate to, and symbolized by, the refusal to say that the Jewish state is committed to equal rights for all its citizens. Contrary to what is often claimed, the law does not legally subordinate democracy to the Jewish state or legalize discrimination between citizens. But a constitution-in Israel, the series of Basic Laws-is not just a legal document. It is a nation's credo. Refusing to enshrine civic equality in the law that enshrines the Jewish character of the state is a grave matter-without parallel in any democratic constitution.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020

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