Why not a national Israeli Identity?

Our national state was created to fulfill the national aspirations of our people, here and in foreign lands. The national identity of the state, the national identity of its citizens and the ethnic identity of our people living in the Diaspora is one and the same – it is the Hebrew identity. This identity specifies us, unifies us, and ties us to our common historical and cultural roots.

The process of the creation of the Hebrew State has begun more than a century ago, so that our people, who have suffered from persecutions, discriminations and pogroms in the Diaspora, will be able to become masters of our fate, through national leaders, national institutions, and national army. Our people from the Diaspora were full partners in the creation of the state, and in effect, they constitute most of its population, which they joined and continue to join in waves of repatriation. They represent the majority of our people, since only the minority of our people lives in our national state.

Indeed, the Hebrew identity is millenary. It is the identity of the millions of our people in our state and is also the identity of the millions of our people living abroad who have the right to “return home” to the Hebrew State, according to the repatriation law. Indeed, the Hebrew State, for its own benefit of ensuring stability and democracy, has to be the state of all its citizens by conferring on all of them its national identity14). In order to assure the continuation of the existence of the Hebrew State, these above two axioms should be combined. It is well understood that in a democratic national state of all its citizens, the repatriation law is valid only when and because the national identity of the state and the ethnic identity of the people living in the Diaspora coincide. In our case, this identity is the Hebrew identity, and the naturalization of the ethnic Hebrews in the Hebrew State is “repatriation”15) and not “immigration”. The invention of an Israeli national identity will mean cutting ourselves off from our historical and cultural roots, which are the common denominator that ties the citizens of the Hebrew State to our people in the Diaspora (because the ethnic identity of our people in the Diaspora is not and cannot be an Israeli identity), can even mean the denial of the right of the Hebrew people to a national state of their own, and even the denial of being a nation.

The idea of a national Israeli identity serves the interests of those who deny the very existence of our people and the right of our national state to exist. Former MK Azmi Bishara, the same one who laid a wreath of flowers at the tomb of Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shkaki, said in several interviews to the Arab media, that his wish is that our state (i.e. Israel) will be a state of all its citizens, but without being the national state of our people and with the repatriation law for our people in the Diaspora abolished. In the same breath he denies our existence as a nation, and expresses his belief that the state will become, at the end of such a trend, an Arab state (which eventually will integrate into “Palestine” or “The Greater Syria”), as a result of demographic processes (as a result of putting a stop to repatriation). Supporting a national Israeli identity means supporting the aspirations of Bishara as well as of others of our enemies.

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14)     The opposition of the political parties, from both left and right wings, to the concept that our national state should be, like any normal democratic state, the state of all its citizens which confers its national identity on all its citizens, is pure segregationist racism, is shameful, is even more than an offense – it  is a stupidity which hurts the vital stability of our country and endangers the continuation of its very existence. back

15)     Most of the national states have, indeed, adequate laws, which allow the repatriation of those whose ethnic identity corresponds to the national identity of the state. So, for example, Germany allows the “return home” of the Swabians, the ethnic Germans living for centuries in Romania, as well as of ethnic Germans living near the Volga River in Russia, and in effect of all ethnic Germans from their Diaspora. back

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