What’s so important about Israel being a “Jewish State,” anyway?

posted at 1:21 pm on March 17, 2014 by Jeff Dunetz

The Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish State has become a hot issue over the past week. Much of the discussion centers on two questions; why did Netanyahu bring it up now, and why does Israel need recognition as a Jewish state anyway?

Despite what some commenters say, the demand that Israel be recognized as the Jewish State was not a Netanyahu invention. It actually predates the first “official” Israeli negotiations with the Palestinians during the Rabin administration in 1992.

Reversing policy the President outlined a year ago, Secretary of State Kerry said last week that Israel’s insistence the Palestinians officially recognize Israel as a Jewish state is a mistake, he added the issue should not be a critical factor in whether the current round of Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations succeed or fail.

Kerry pointed out United Nations Resolution 181, the original partition resolution passed by the UN in November 1947, called for dividing Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish states. He also pointed out that Yasser Arafat confirmed that he agreed Israel would be a Jewish state” in 1988 and in 2004.

Since Arafat did not commit his people to the Jewish state stance via some sort of written agreement with Israel, the dead terrorists words were meaningless. Instead of pointing out that Arafat recognized Israel, as a Jewish state, perhaps Kerry should be asking Abbas why he refuses recognized a demand that that Arafat agreed to when Yitzhak  Shamir and Ariel Sharon were Prime Ministers. But those weren’t the record of the demand, or a response to the demand.

In 2003 President Bush developed his roadmap to peace and Ariel Sharon was PM one of Israel’s objections to Bush’s document was:

In connection to both the introductory statements and the final settlement, declared references must be made to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.

When Ehud Olmert was Prime Minister he directed Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to make the demand in 2007 during negotiations. According to a transcript of the negotiations:

 TZIPI LIVNI: I just want to say something. …Our idea is to refer to two states for two peoples. Or two nation states, Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security with each state constituting the homeland for its people and the fulfillment of their national aspirations and self-determination…

AKRAM HANIYEH(Palestinian Negotiator) : This refers to the Israeli people?

LIVNI: [Visibly angered.] I think that we can use another session – about what it means to be a Jew and that it is more than just a religion. But if you want to take us back to 1947 — it won’t help. Each state constituting the homeland for its people and the fulfillment of their national aspirations and self-determination in their own territory. Israel the state of the Jewish people – and I would like to emphasize the meaning of “its people” is the Jewish people — with Jerusalem the united and undivided capital of Israel and of the Jewish people for 3007 years… [The Palestinian team protests.] You asked for it. [AHMED QUEREI: We said East Jerusalem!] …and Palestine for the Palestinian people. We did not want to say that there is a “Palestinian people” but we’ve accepted your right to self-determination.

The demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state isn’t new for Netanyahu either. In June 2009, Netanyahu made the demand in his first public speech as Prime Minister about the peace process:

 I want to make it clear that we don’t want to govern the Palestinians. We want to live in peace with them. We want them to govern themselves, absent a handful of powers that could endanger the state of Israel. And for this there has to be a clear goal. The goal has to be an end to conflict. There will have to be compromises by Israelis and Palestinians alike. We’re ready to do our share. We hope the Palestinians will do their share, as well. If we resume negotiations, as we plan to do, then I think that the Palestinians will have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state; will have to also enable Israel to have the means to defend itself. 

In October 2010, Netanyahu made recognition of Israel as Jewish State a pre-condition for an extension of the “settlement” freeze. As reported by Al Jazeera, the answer was a resounding no:

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has offered to renew a partial settlement construction freeze in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state…Netanyahu’s proposal met with swift rejection from senior Palestinian officials.

Netanyahu reiterated his demand in a speech to the U.S. Congress in May 2011:

If the benefits of peace with the Palestinians are so clear, why has peace eluded us?   Because all six Israeli Prime Ministers since the signing of Oslo accords agreed to establish a Palestinian state. Myself included.  So why has peace not been achieved?  Because so far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state, if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it. (…)You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about.

Abbas’ hardline refusal to recognize Israel is part of the stated strategy to destroy Israel. The “right of return” is a plan to flood the Jewish State with the original refugees, their kids, their second cousins on their mother’s side, etc. Being a democracy, if Israel allows herself to be flooded with those 1948 refugees’ along with descendants of those 1948 refugees, she will cease to be the Jewish State. Instead Israel will be just another Muslim country in the Middle East.

This point was even recognized in the Democratic Party platform until 2012. The Jerusalem plank was take out and eventually returned. There were three other pro-Israel planks taken out and not returned. One was

“The parties should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.

The recognition of the Jewishness of Israel is recognition of the Jewish people’s historic attachment to the land and to it’s holy places. Any Palestinian recognition needs to include recognition that Israel is the continuation of thousands of years of Jewish history and therefore Israel has a right to exist.

As recently reported by Palestinian Media Watch:

On numerous occasions when archeological finds with Jewish symbols and Hebrew texts were uncovered that illustrate aspects of Jewish history in Israel, the PA hastened to tell Palestinians that Israel invented the story, distorted it or even planted the finds. When Israeli archeologists last year displayed gold artifacts with Jewish symbols, such as a menorah and a shofar, found 50 meters from the Western Wall in Jerusalem, former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei immediately denied its authenticity on official PA TV: “I think all this is a forgery, forgery of the truth. It’s all an attempt to make claims. They did not find anything.” (Official PA TV, September 11, 2013).

Today, Palestinian children are taught that the Jewish connection to the land is a fraud.  For a long term peace that recognition of the lands Jewishness must be immediately integrated Palestinian children’s education and public discourse. Without this recognition of Israel as a Jewish State, the cessation of the conflict and recognition of “Israel” is only temporary.

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kerry is such an idiot. par for this admin though.

dmacleo on March 17, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Obama Foreign Policy in one sentence:

The SCOAMF treats our friends as enemies and our enemies as friends.

PolAgnostic on March 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

A state should make its own determination…not outside forces. If Israel wants to be a Jewish state, it has as much right to be as Iran has to be an ‘Islamic Republic.’

A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism

Resist We Much on March 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Right of return discussion

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2014 at 1:30 PM

The actions of this administration are positively BIBLICAL.

HomeoftheBrave on March 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Kerry:

The memory of boarding the train to Dachau in Warsaw is seared….seared into my memory..

BobMbx on March 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Ummm….everything.
Eretz Yisrael existence as a JEWISH nation with a JEWISH character guarantees that-heaven forbid-another Hitler waltzes on the scene w/ evil intentions toward the Jewish people…the Jewish people will STILL have a home!

But Twerp, aren’t you currently identifying as Catholic?
Why should you care anymore?

St. Edith Stein-my patron saint-also identified as Catholic.
She was a Carmelite nun-but that fact didn’t prevent the Nazis from sending her to the gas chamber in 1942.
Never again.
Never again.
NEVER AGAIN!

annoyinglittletwerp on March 17, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Oh Lid,…..you’re just a racist,…;-)

Offhanded on March 17, 2014 at 1:33 PM

BobMbx on March 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

The trains leaving Warsaw(the ghetto anyway) didn’t head to Dachau. They left for Auschwitz and Treblinka.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Kerry:

The memory of boarding the train to Dachau in Warsaw is seared….seared into my memory..

BobMbx on March 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Was it Christmas time in Dachau?

NotCoach on March 17, 2014 at 1:37 PM

The actions of this administration are positively BIBLICAL.

HomeoftheBrave on March 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Ain’t that the truth!

GWB on March 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Barky’s administration wouldn’t even utter the name “Jerusalem”, which is Israel’s capital. There were a few days when some reporters in the White House press corpse were asking whoever was the America-hating mouthpiece of the Indonesian retard what the name of Israel’s capital was and the spokesturd refused to say the name. Just refused. … Although, Clapper did manage to get a good “Al Quds” in during Congressional testimony, which showed where this criminal administration is on recognizing Israel as a jewish State, itself. I doubt 3% of Americans even have a clue that Al Quds is the arab name for Jerusalem … even though one of the main Iranian units is the Al Quds Force.

Netanyahu is making demands of the Palestinians that Barky and his America-hating, anti-Western administration of dumbsh!ts would not even commit to, themselves. On top of that, the word of the PA, hamas, or any of the other arab groups isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. The palis haven’t kept even a single agreement they ever signed onto or verbally committed to. I don’t know why Netanyahu even entertains the idea of “negotiating” with people who operate in nothing but bad faith – pure, evil, bad faith (just as Barky does … funny that).

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

The trains leaving Warsaw(the ghetto anyway) didn’t head to Dachau. They left for Auschwitz and Treblinka.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Shut up, you winger. Christmas time in Cambodia Dachau is seared into Kerry’s memory!! Why are you attacking a war hero holocaust survivor??

NotCoach on March 17, 2014 at 1:46 PM

You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about.

Always was, always shall be. Kerry and any other US politician is doomed to foolish failure with this issue unless they face this simple fact.

ncinca on March 17, 2014 at 1:47 PM

kerry is such an idiot. par for this admin though.

dmacleo on March 17, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Ah, but being a high profile idiot on the Left can move you up to important positions, if you are found to be useful.

hawkeye54 on March 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Diplomatic recognition is just a means to ensure regular communication. The US recognized Russia, Japan and Nazi Germany which did not avert wars hot and cold.

I wouldn’t trust the Palestinians any more if they recognized Israel as a Jewish State than that if they didn’t. But as this is just Kerry’s and Obama’s way to fast forward the piece process and augment their dubious resumes, they can both shove it – diplomatically speaking.

Seth Halpern on March 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Ultimately it seems like we have an Anti-Isaeli Administration and two party leadership in this country that wants to trade “land for peace” like Chamberlain did with Hitler.

How did that work out exactly?

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22587081/ns/politics-white_house/t/bush-calls-end-occupation-arab-lands/

Bush (43) calls for end of ‘occupation’ of Arab lands

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1991-10-31/news/9102140141_1_israeli-arab-israeli-and-arab-peace-conference

Bush`s (41) most direct reference to U.S. policy favoring Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories was an ambiguous declaration that “territorial compromise is essential for peace.“

PappyD61 on March 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM

No more time should be spent by anyone on this issue. Just let Israel destroy the fake palestinian people.

nobar on March 17, 2014 at 1:50 PM

You Jewish liberals must be so proud putting B. Hussein Obungler, Hillary Benghazi Lewinsky, and Lurch “dude where’s my yacht” Kerry in charge of things. Great job there.

Whitey Ford on March 17, 2014 at 1:52 PM

And for the record, Mammy and Pappy and most of us here in Possum Holler are proudly “Jew Lovers”.

Long Live Israel.

History is littered with the rotted corpses of those nations that oppose these great people. Let’s hope our own doesn’t have the same fatal destiny.

PappyD61 on March 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

….Smart Power!

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 1:55 PM

The trains leaving Warsaw(the ghetto anyway) didn’t head to Dachau. They left for Auschwitz and Treblinka.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Did they have any going to Cambodia?
Maybe that’s the one Kerry was on…..

dentarthurdent on March 17, 2014 at 1:57 PM

OT – found dead

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Helen Thomas pretty much summed up this administration’s views about the Jews. And if you don’t think it filled with Jew-haters then you haven’t been paying attention.

Rabbi David Nesenoff of RabbiLive.com, on the White House grounds for a May 27, 2010, American Jewish Heritage Celebration Day questioned Thomas as she was leaving the White House via the North Lawn driveway. When asked for comments on Israel, she replied: “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” and “Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Poland…” When asked where Israeli Jews should go, she replied they could “go home” to Poland or Germany or “America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?”

Again, these are the views of the American anti-Semites including Power, Hagel, and the lazy stupid rat-eared SOB.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Who would have thought we’d look back and think Arafat was the voice of reason…

nextgen_repub on March 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Always was, always shall be. Kerry and any other US politician is doomed to foolish failure with this issue unless they face this simple fact.

ncinca on March 17, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Facts!?! Who needs facts?
Emotion is where it’s at bro….
Libtards have no interest in these things you call facts.

dentarthurdent on March 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

“America is not be a Christian Nation, and Israel should not be a Jewish State”

Just waiting for the Botoxed One to utter these words. He is such a putz.

NOMOBO on March 17, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Read Caroline Glick’s new book: “The Israel Solution” She answers this question perfectly. In the end it is all about the Arabs trying to wipe away facts and history of Israel so they can claim all of the Jewish land of Israel

georgealbert on March 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Kerry:

The memory of boarding the train to Dachau in Warsaw is seared….seared into my memory..

BobMbx on March 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Sadly, Kerry should have more of an emotional and intellectual connection with the Holocaust considering members of his own Jewish family were killed by the Nazis in concentration camps.

Resist We Much on March 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM

dentarthurdent on March 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

I’m a sis, not a bro (no offense taken, no way for you to know), and I appreciate your comment.

ncinca on March 17, 2014 at 2:07 PM

As a reminder Arafat seemed to kind of acknowledge Israel verbally but not in Arabic and, as mentioned, not in writing.

Israel’s right to exist goes hand in hand with the PLO removing the total destruction of Israel from their charter. That hasn’t happened and won’t happen. The barbarians consider the existence of Israel as negating the validity of Islam. They believe God passed the mantle of God’s Chosen from Jewish religion to Islam.

TerryW on March 17, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I’m a sis, not a bro (no offense taken, no way for you to know), and I appreciate your comment.

ncinca on March 17, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I wasn’t even thinking about that – just using typical libtard-speak.

dentarthurdent on March 17, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Kerry pointed out United Nations Resolution 181, the original partition resolution passed by the UN in November 1947, called for dividing Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish states. He also pointed out that Yasser Arafat confirmed that he agreed Israel would be a Jewish state” in 1988 and in 2004.

Memo: Secretary Kerry

Arafat’s dead, dude. And, any statements made by him had a shorter shelf-life than a promise from Dear Leader.

Besides, once Iran announces that they’ve got a nuke… the beating around the burning bush will come to an abrupt halt.

CPT. Charles on March 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Israel’s biggest problem is an Arab citizenship that does not see themselves as citizens.

Of Muslim Arab citizens of Israel:
43% are “Palestinian Arab”
15% are “Arab Israeli”
4% are “Muslim Israeli”

Of Christian Arab citizens of Israel:
24% are “Arab Palestinian”
24% are “Arab Israeli”
24% are “Christian Israeli”

Of the Druze, 94+% are “Druze Israeli”

http://grisham.newsvine.com/_news/2011/06/27/6959864-israeli-and-palestinian-conflict-a-different-slant-on-the-story

According to a 2008 national resilience survey conducted by Dr. Yussuf Hassan of the Tel Aviv University, 43% of Israel’s Muslims defined themselves as “Palestinian-Arabs,” 15% as “Arab-Israelis” and four percent as “Muslim-Israelis.” In the Christian Arab community, 24% defined themselves as “Arab-Palestinians”, 24% as “Arab-Israelis,” and 24% as “Christian-Israelis.” Over 94% of Druze youngsters saw themselves as “Druze-Israelis.”

Perhaps they should be stripped of citizenship if it means so little to them.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Obama really wants to destroy Israel. This is his best bet.

Techster64 on March 17, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Obama asks if you have his back when he has none of our allies’ back. Not. A. Single. One.

If you are Israeli or Ukrainian or even Taiwanese, you are pretty screwed until January 2017. Even then if another progressive fascist wins it is all over but the crying.

jukin3 on March 17, 2014 at 2:33 PM

I think Obama and those in his administration must have missed a history lesson or two. Of course, dare I say, this shows their racist beliefs.

COgirl on March 17, 2014 at 2:35 PM

If you are Israeli or Ukrainian or even Taiwanese, you are pretty screwed until January 2017. Even then if another progressive fascist wins it is all over but the crying.

jukin3 on March 17, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Another Star Trek original series episode appears headed for reality – the Comms and Yangs – and nobody knows the real words to the Declaration of Independence any more….

dentarthurdent on March 17, 2014 at 2:39 PM

PappyD61 on March 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Zechariah 12:3-4

Brock Robamney on March 17, 2014 at 2:45 PM

To think the Dimbulbs actually ran this mental midget as their presidential candidate. Yeef

PJ Emeritus on March 17, 2014 at 2:55 PM

If we were to, for sake of argument, grant even the slightest innocuousness of a secular position on the part of the administration it’s still amazing that sovereignty won’t even factor in that.

anuts on March 17, 2014 at 2:59 PM

To think the Dimbulbs actually ran this mental midget as their presidential candidate. Yeef

PJ Emeritus on March 17, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Yeah, thank God they ran their Einstein candidate in 2008 :)…

jimver on March 17, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Kerry:
The memory of boarding the train to Dachau in Warsaw is seared….seared into my memory..
BobMbx on March 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Sadly, Kerry should have more of an emotional and intellectual connection with the Holocaust considering members of his own Jewish family were killed by the Nazis in concentration camps.
Resist We Much on March 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Of course…where do y’all think he met J-engis Khan?

anuts on March 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Kerry:
The memory of boarding the train to Dachau in Warsaw is seared….seared into my memory..
BobMbx on March 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Sadly, Kerry should have more of an emotional and intellectual connection with the Holocaust considering members of his own Jewish family were killed by the Nazis in concentration camps.
Resist We Much on March 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Of course…where do y’all think he met J-engis Khan?

anuts on March 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

The original family name before they emigrated from Austria was Kohn.

slickwillie2001 on March 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

The “right of return”

Yep. That’s why the Jewish state thing matters to the Pallies. It’s just a transparent ruse to destroy Israel. And it is no wonder that PBHO and Kerry are willing to play along with Abbas.

MJBrutus on March 17, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Incrementalism.

These people are either evil or unbelievably gullible.

Mimzey on March 17, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Jooooo haters

Philly on March 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Incrementalism.
These people are either evil or unbelievably gullible.
Mimzey on March 17, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I think a strong component of delusion is present too. They are so impressed with themselves and their words that they genuinely believe others are too.

anuts on March 17, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Was Arafat a member of Hamas? And who controls Hamas? Attitudes change.

djaymick on March 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I will bless those that bless thee, and curse those that curse thee. Remember when it was said the sun never sets on the British empire, that is until they betrayed the Jews! now it’s hard put for the sun to rise on what’s left. G-DS word will not be mocked. America under other administrations was the lone protector of Israel and we prospered, now Obama stabbing Israel in the back is turning us into a third world country.

jainphx on March 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

On top of that, the word of the PA, hamas, or any of the other arab groups isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. The palis haven’t kept even a single agreement they ever signed onto or verbally committed to. I don’t know why Netanyahu even entertains the idea of “negotiating” with people who operate in nothing but bad faith – pure, evil, bad faith (just as Barky does … funny that).

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Someone needs to explain to Our Glorious Leader the Muslim concept of taqqiah (sp?), or the Holy Lie, which allows Muslims to lie if it might lead them to victory.

Oh, wait: Obama was brought up by a Muslim step-father, in a Muslim school, in a Muslim country…
Never mind.

ReggieA on March 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Someone needs to explain to Our Glorious Leader the Muslim concept of taqqiah (sp?), or the Holy Lie, which allows Muslims to lie if it might lead them to victory.

Oh, wait: Obama was brought up by a Muslim step-father, in a Muslim school, in a Muslim country…
Never mind.

ReggieA on March 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Western politicians can never acknowledge the facts of taqqiyah or hudna, because it would mean there can be no hope of diplomatic relations with muzzies, or treaties, or agreements, contracts, etc, etc.

It would put them out of a job.

slickwillie2001 on March 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM

The 2 parties do not need to recognize each other’s narratives. But they need to recognize each other’s rights for this conflict to finally be over.

I personally think the whole “Palestinian people” narrative is bunk. There is no such “people”, but an identity formed a few decades ago. They copied word for word the Zionist theories and even tactics, and applied it in a clumsy, barbaric and cynical fashion as Arabs are known for (if this statement is a little confusing just look at the butchery happening in Syria and elsewhere).

I can preach to my favourite choir the above paragraph until I’m blue in the face, but it won’t help resolve the conflict. I’m saying “ok, fine. you want to call yourself ‘Palestinian’? no problem. You say you have a ‘right’ to this land? OK sure. But you have to say the same about me.”

And this is what this “Jewish state” issue is about. The word formulation can be something else, but essentially this is about the Arabs discontinuing their claim to the so-called “right of return”.
If Abbas doesn’t like the formulation of “Jewish state” then come up with some other wording which will rescind this ridiculous “right of return” claim.

Kerry, I hear you saying the above requirement is not necessary and Israel should drop it. What have you told (in public, no less) to the “Palestinians” that is not realistic and should be dropped? What alternative proposals have you made?

This is probably the worst case of unbalanced broker-ism by the Americans I have ever seen with respect to Israel.

This conflict will not end in the coming years, maybe decades. Unless of course the world’s Big Boss takes a moral stand and tell the “Palestinians” and the whole Muslim world to take a hike on the subject.

That will, of course, never happen.

AlexB on March 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

This is probably the worst case of unbalanced broker-ism by the Americans I have ever seen with respect to Israel.

This conflict will not end in the coming years, maybe decades. Unless of course the world’s Big Boss takes a moral stand and tell the “Palestinians” and the whole Muslim world to take a hike on the subject.

That will, of course, never happen.

AlexB on March 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Completely agreed.

jimver on March 17, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Americans should be demanding that all national “minorities” officially recognize America as an American state – with no “press one for English” nonsense. That would be a rational focus on priorities.

David Blue on March 17, 2014 at 9:58 PM