Israel’s Arabic Purge?

This, from a recent article in the Forward:

In a move that is being condemned for its effect on the already fragile relations between Israel and its Arab minority, right-wing lawmakers are trying to strip Arabic of its status alongside Hebrew as an official language of the state.

Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, Hebrew and Arabic have been its sole official languages. Later this month, however, a bill to relegate Arabic to the status of “secondary language” and elevate Hebrew to sole “primary language” will have its preliminary reading in the Knesset.

The proponents of the bill…say it is an important move to preserve the Jewish character of the country.

Hmmmm, the last time I checked, Israel’s Declaration of Independence had this to say about the status of it’s citizens:

(The State of Israel) will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.

Here are the Knesset sponsors of the bill, along with their email addresses, in case you’d like to give them some feedback on their efforts to diminish the standing of their state’s own citizens:

Otniel Schneller (Kadima): oschneller@knesset.gov.il

Yakov Margi (Shas): ymargi@knesset.gov.il

Limor Livnat (Likud): llivnat@knesset.gov.il

Yuli Edelstein (Likud): yedelstein@knesset.gov.il

One Reply to “Israel’s Arabic Purge?”

  1. Umm, wouldn’t the technicality here be that there are Arabic prophets from Israel (or what would become the modern country of Israel)? Err, prophets that Judaism and Islam have in common (or rather prophets that Islam appropriated from Judaism)?

    Please excuse me if I’m completely misguided or wrong in this approach. I’m not exactly an expert on theology, but this seemed a bit too obvious to me not to nitpick the Knesset with the wording of Israel’s constitution (which I haven’t read, I’m just going by what you quoted).

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