Who is a Hebrew? What is The Hebrew State?

        The Hebrew nation has its roots in the ancient Hebrew tribes, in the biblical Hebrew patriarch Abraham, in Moses the Hebrew and the Hebrew slave he saved, in the Hebrew states of Israel, Judea, Tyre and Sidon1), in the Hebrew kings who ruled these states and in the numerous Hebrew people who lived there and were forcedly deported from their land into exile.

After two thousand years, the Hebrew people has returned to its Hebrew homeland, language, nationality, and on 30 November, 1947, a day after the UN decision, the headlines of “Yediot Acharonot” proclaimed: “A Hebrew State” “A Hebrew National State”.

The Hebrew national state2) and the Hebrew national culture are the sole warrant for the continuation of our national existence.

The Hebrew national state should be the state of all its citizens, and each citizen has Hebrew nationality, is a Hebrew3) national, and, in the context of the Hebrew nation preserves his ethnic, cultural, and religious specifics, acknowledging that in our state there is, indeed, an ethnic, cultural, and religious pluralism.

The Hebrews in our state are of various geographical and ethnic origins. Examples of geographical origins: Hebrews of Romanian origin like former MK Abraham Poraz, Hebrews of Moroccan origin like MK Meir Sheetrit, Hebrews of Irish origin like the late president Chaim Herzog, etc. Examples of ethnic origins: Hebrews of ethnic Druze origin like MK Sallach Tariff, Hebrews of ethnic Arab origin like the singer Haya Samir, Hebrews of Bedouin origin like Colonel Hassan Al-Haib, Hebrews of Russian origin like ex-minister Raphael Eithan and the actress Irena Selezniova etc. The existence of the Hebrew national state can be assured only on the basis of the following principles, taken as a whole:  A. Like every national state, the Hebrew national state projects its nationality upon all its citizens without discrimination, and therefore every person has a Hebrew national identity from the moment of receiving the citizenship of the Hebrew national state. From here it stems that each of its citizens has Hebrew nationality, the Hebrew State is his state and he has to be loyal to it, the Hebrew flag is his flag, the Hebrew anthem is his anthem4), the Hebrew army is his army, the state’s laws are his laws. The Hebrew State is the state of all its citizens and all its citizens are Hebrew in exactly the same way as the Netherlands is the state of all its citizens and all of its citizens are Dutch. The signification of citizenship is, first of all, national appurtenance5), and in the Hebrew national state, as in all national states, all its citizens are by definition Hebrew, without referring to any sections of the population by the pejorative, discriminatory name of minorities (“Bnei Meyutim”).  The attitude towards all the citizens would be egalitarian, without taking into account their relative proportion in the state’s population from any aspect (ethnic, religious, etc.).    B.  The state’s citizenship and nationality is accorded to any permanent resident of the national Hebrew state, without any ethnic or religious discrimination , and to any repatriate according to  the repatriation law (“Hok Hashvuth”)6) for ethnic Hebrews. Citizenship may be annulled, according to law, in the case of any subject whose deeds or declarations contradict the previous section A in this chapter.    C.  From the point of view of the Hebrew State and the Hebrew communities in the world, the following persons are considered Hebrews:

  •   All the citizens of the Hebrew State have Hebrew nationality.
  •   A citizen of another state is an ethnic Hebrew if he conforms to one of the following criteria (which should be mentioned in the repatriation law):

1.      At least one of his parents (mother or father) is an ethnic Hebrew7)

2.      Has direct family ties (marriage or child adoption) with an ethnic Hebrew8)

The ethnic-based appurtenance sets the number of Hebrews in the world at more than thirty million people supporting a process of multiplication and addition, in contrast to the religious based appurtenance which reduces the number of the “Jews” to about twelve million people, whose number is continuously decreasing, since the religious based appurtenance excludes and drives away the many who are unable or unwilling to adapt to the religious criteria. In the USA alone, over a million-and-a-half are disqualified because only the father is a “Jew”, millions of others because they are atheists estranged from the religious institutions, or because they affiliated to another faith.

In our state, a quarter of a million ethnic Hebrews, mostly from the former USSR (but also from Romania, Poland, Latin America etc.), are disqualified and call themselves “Lo Rashumnikim”, (“unregistered’niks”, in a free translation), because of the refusal of the Internal Affairs Ministry to register their national identity on religious grounds. On this subject, as in similar others, the secular political parties swallow the insult and do nothing (or, like the “Meretz” party, make noisy protests to swindle their electorate, and form governmental coalitions with fundamentalist ultra-orthodox parties).

The Hebrew State, like every national state, projects its national identity onto all its citizens, including two groups of its population, the ultra-orthodox Mosaics9) and the ethnic Arabs, in which there still exist elements that are hostile to our very existence as a nation and deny our right to a national state.

For the ultra-orthodox, who from the ethnic aspect are Hebrews, the denial of our existence as a nation is under a religious ideology pretext. The reality is that the ultra-orthodox (except for the “Neturei Kartha” sect) have accustomed themselves to the existence of the Hebrew State, especially in connection to the state budgets and  the national flag is already waving over their educational institutions (even if only for reasons of necessity). But their rabbis, who fear the loss of their control in those issues in which the state institutions are the legal alternatives, continue to express themselves against the national state and its institutions. It should be made clear to the ultra-orthodox and their rabbis: Only full citizenship exists, which on the whole includes, national identity, civil rights and benefits (voting rights, child and old age allowances, free education, national security etc.) as well as obligations (military service, education in the state civil educational system etc.), so that declarations that deny the existence of the state or the nation may lead to denial of the offender’s citizenship.

Ethnic Druze, Bedouin and Kirgiz integrate themselves into the Hebrew State and consider it their state, consider the Hebrew flag their flag, the Hebrew army their army. This situation is true for a growing number of ethnic Arabs who seek to integrate into the state and even volunteer (!) for military service. But in order to be a state of all its citizens, the integration of the ethnic Arabs should be by official state initiative and not by private enterprise. The Hebrew State should officially declare the awarding of its national identity to all its citizens of all ethnicities, enabling them to preserve their specific ethnicities to the fullest extent (culture, folklore, names etc.), while remaining, citizens of the Hebrew State, as equal Hebrew nationals10) entitled to equal benefits and obligations arising from their citizenship. Any open or hidden form of discrimination against “non-Jewish” citizens will be totally annulled, and The Hebrew State will be a state of all its citizens, and will see in all of them full, equal members of the Hebrew people. Offences on ethnic grounds will be considered especially grave and will be dealt with as such. For example, in cases of segregation in education, as introduced, in Jaffa by the former mayor of Tel Aviv–Jaffa, Ronnie Milo, who forbade the entry of ethnic Arab children into the municipal Hebrew kindergartens, or in case of a chauvinistic, racist attitude as reflected in the declaration of the Labor party representative in the Haifa municipal council, which discredited lawyer Rassan Abu Varda as being unworthy to fulfill his appointment as the head of the education department of Haifa because of his ethnic Arab origin, the offenders should be severely punished and not allowed to remain in public posts.

On the other hand, citizens of our state who will declare that their nationality is not Hebrew, or that they are Palestinian Arabs or Syrian Arabs, as did some members in the delegation of Arab ethnic citizens of our state who visited Lebanon and Syria, their citizenship may be legally canceled. Should they express their identification and support for, or even act in favor of, the enemies of the state, ,as did Ahmed Tibi, Hashem Mahmeed, Azmi Bishara etc., the state should act as any constitutional state and put the deeds of any such delinquents to the test of the judiciary.

Next Chapter – What is Judaism?

Previous Chapter – The National State


1)         The Greeks named the population of Tyre and Sidon Phoenicians, but they were, from the ethnic point of view, Hebrews; their language was Hebrew and the so called religious differences, apart from being irrelevant to national appurtenance, were a distortion of facts by the biblical priests. back

2)         There are national states like France, the Netherlands etc.,.there are bi-national states like Belgium, there are multinational states like the Russian Federation, there are emigration states like the USA, Canada, Australia. Our state is a Hebrew national state as the Netherlands, for example, is a Dutch national state. back

3)         As all the French citizens have French nationality, they are French nationals. The French are from different origins: e.g. ethnic Ukrainian French as the former PM Pierre Beregovoi, ethnic Hebrew French as Simmone Veil or Laurent Fabius, ethnic Romanian French as Emil Cioran, etc. back

4)         The Hebrew national state, all of whose citizens are Hebrews, should have a Hebrew national anthem. “Hatikvah”, which speaks of the Jewish soul, will, however, remain an important historical document. back

5)         All its passports  mention “Nationality” and not “Citizenship”, since the notions superpose.back

6)         Read the paragraphs “Against the “Canaanism” and “Why not Israeli Nationality”. back

7)         William Cohen  and   Madeleine Albright  are Hebrew,   as were  Benjamin D’Israeli,  Leon Blum  etc. The painter  Mark Chagall was Hebrew,  and even he was  buried in a French Catholic cemetery,  at his own request.  A person’s belief is his personal matter, and does not have any national or ethnic meaning. back

8)        A person tied by marriage or adoption to a Hebrew has his fate tied to the Hebrews fate. back

9)         Read the chapter “Who is Mosaic?” back

10)         As the ethnic Germans in Alsace, France, are French nationals. There is no Alsatian who declares that he is a French citizen and at the same time that he is a national German (for the information of former MK Massalha, who spoke in the Knesset about the right of the ethnic Arabs to be citizens of the state but also Palestinian Arab nationals, having the right to “fight” for “national aspirations”). Only a Palestinian subject is a Palestinian national. back




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