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Tags: Israel | Palestinians | nation-state | Arabic

Dershowitz: Israeli Nation-State Bill Doesn't Abolish Arabic

By    |   Wednesday, 03 December 2014 12:57 PM

The proposed nation-state law in Israel, which would make Israel an official Jewish state, will not abolish Arabic as an official language, when all is said and done, renowned legal expert Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax.

"No bill is going to pass without [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's] support," Dershowitz, professor emeritus from Harvard Law School, told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Wednesday. 

The so-called nation-state bill, if passed, would make Israel an official Jewish state, which would mean that Jewish law would be the inspiration behind Israeli law and Hebrew would be made the official language, making Arabic the secondary language.

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The bill has already faced a couple revisions in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, and Netanyahu's administration proposed a version Sunday, which is supposed to be a compromise. The bill prompted protests Sunday night, the Jewish Journal reported.

Netanyahu has said that "the Jewish people have achieved their state determination in a democratic state that guarantees equal rights for all of its people, all of its citizens regardless of race, religion, or sex," Dershowitz said.

"I can virtually guarantee you that any law that passes the Knesset will not abolish Arabic as an official language," he added.

"First of all, the vast majority of Israelis are secular — Israel is a far more secular country than the United States — and the secular Jews would never permit Jewish law to be a source of secular law," he said. "They demand the separation of church and state."

According to Dershowitz, "Israel's a democracy, it's now having elections. The end result will be simply a parallel to [Israel's] Declaration of Independence."

"The Declaration of Independence itself declares Israel essentially — the democratic nation state of the Jewish people with equal rights for all. That's what will happen," he said.

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By comparison, Dershowitz told Newsmax that "the Palestine constitution provides that Palestine will be an Islamic state under Sharia law with no rights for Jews and few rights for Christians."

Dr. Mitchell Bard, executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, told Newsmax that "this is really being over-hyped."

Bard also contends that "at this point it's probably moot now that the Knesset has voted to dissolve and to have elections during the election campaign."

He argued that the debate over the nation-state bill is really one of "political rhetoric, but isn't going to come to a law."

"A lot of it had to do with putting Israel in a position with [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas and the other Arab states to try to force them to acknowledge the reality that Israel is in fact the Jewish state," he said.

"By codifying this in addition to the other things that it was planning to do, Netanyahu hoped to force Abbas or any other Arab leader who would make peace to accept that Israel is in fact a Jewish state," he said.

Dershowitz contends that it's merely a response to the tensions Israel has felt in its ongoing battle with the Palestinians.

"Is the law needed? No, I don't think the law is needed, the Declaration of Independence says it all, but in a democracy, people ask for things in response to realities," he said.

"It's Abbas who started this whole thing," he added.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The proposed nation-state law in Israel, which would make Israel an official Jewish state, will not abolish Arabic as an official language, when all is said and done, legal expert Alan Dershowitz tells "America's Forum."
Israel, Palestinians, nation-state, Arabic
702
2014-57-03
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 12:57 PM
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