Aug. 15, 2018
For decades, the increasing radicalism of the political Left in the West has been swept under the rug.
Over the past month, Israel’s political Left has adopted a political strategy in line with the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in turn, has taken a page from Trump’s playbook.
On July 19, Israel’s 120-member parliament, the Knesset, passed a law called the Nation State Law. The law was conceived and passed as what is called a Basic Law. Israel has no written constitution. Basic Laws have over the years received a status largely comparable to constitutional amendments. Although not legally required, Netanyahu insisted that the law pass with a majority of 61 votes. In the event, it passed with 62 in favor, 55 opposed.
Substantively, the Jewish Nation State Law is a nothingburger. It is an aggregation of previously passed laws and statutes. It defines Israel as the Jewish nation state, which it has been since its founding.
It says that Hatikva, which has been Israel’s national anthem for 70 years, is Israel’s national anthem.
It says Israel’s flag is Israel flag, and that Israel’s national symbol is Israel’s national symbol. It says unified Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. It says that Hebrew is Israel’s official language.
And so on and so forth.
Indeed, the law itself is so unoriginal and unremarkable, this writer argued that the law was superfluous.
But it works out that this nothingburger was a stroke of political genius. It exposed the radicalization of Israel’s political Left like nothing else has ever done.