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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 27, 2018 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seated second from left, leading a Likud faction meeting in in Jerusalem, July 16, 2018. By Marcy Oster ing JewishAgency head Natan several parts of the legislation Sharansky said it would end that "American Jews would JERUSALEM (JTA)--Israel up "driving a wedge between struggle with." is debating legislation that Jews in Israel and in the Changing the status of the supporters say states the Diaspora." And thousands of Arabic language is being seen obvious. Critics, meanwhile, Israeli protesters, Jewish and as "discriminatory," accord- say the measure will divide Arab, marched through Tel ingtoSilverrnan.Arabsmake Israeli society and damage Aviv over the weekend to pro- up about 20 percent of Israel's its relationships with the test discriminatory aspects of population. rest of the democratic world, the legislation. Asection stating that Israel especially Jews in the United In the 11th hour before the is responsible for preserving States. Knesset was to vote on the the connection of Israel with Thepremiseoftheso-called legislation--it is expected to worldwide Jewry also has Nationality Law is simple: It pass--a leader of American drawn criticism. Critics fear enshrines in Israel's quasi- Jewry flew to Israel and spent it is worded in such a way as constitutional Basic Law that nearly two days discussing the to weaken the ability of Jews Israel is the nation-state ofthe bill and criticizing it face to in the Diaspora, and even in Jewishpeople.Butafterthatit face with Israeli lawmakers. Israel, to promote pluralism gets more complicated. Jerry Silverman, president inside the Jewish state or pe- Much of the bill, sponsored andCEOofthe Jewish Federa- tition the Supreme Court in by Prime Minister Benjamin tions of North America, told Israel to hear cases on issues Netanyahu's Likud party, JTA on Monday that the Na- that affect Diaspora Jewry, deals with obvious signs that tionality Law "took over the such as the establishment of Israel is a Jewish state, such agenda" of his trip. Prior to the egalitarian prayer section as affirming the symbols on leaving for Israel, he spoke to of the Western Wall. the flag and shield, setting the major Jewish organiza- Thewordingofaclausethat the Hebrew calendar as the tions about their concerns would have allowed for the country's official calendar, over the legislation. While he establishment of communi- recognizing Jewish holidays was not permitted to address ties based on one religion and days of remembrance, the Knesset joint commit- or nationality was changed and naming Jerusalem as tee working to massage the Sunday to instead reflect the capital, language of the legislation "national value in developing Other parts of the law, before it comes to the plenum Jewish communities and will however, have raised the foravotesometimethisweek, act to encourage, promote hackles of segments of Israeli Silverman said he sat in on the and establish them." Haaretz society and the Jewish Dias- meetingsandwas recognized said the clause nonetheless pora. These include clauses publicly as a representative of promotestheestablishmentof relegatingArabictoa"speciar' Diaspora Jewry. "Jewish-only communities." status instead of an official He said he discussed the The previous wording ofthe language, promoting the concerns of American Jewry clausewouldhave"emboldened establishment of Jewish corn- withmanylawmakersandkeyand given a lot of fuel to the munities throughout Israel members of the Knesset, as BDS movement," Silverman andaddressingthestate'srela- well as the Prime Minister's said, echoing the statements tionshipwithDiasporaJewry. Office. of many on social media and That the words "democracy" Silverman told JTA he is eveninthehallsoftheKnesset. and "equality" do not appear concerned that the legisla- Some, especially Arab Israelis once in the text havesounded tion, with its focus on the and their supporters, have alarm bells among its critics. Jewish aspects of Israel, will used the word "apartheid" to Israel's president, Reuven alienateyoungAmericanJews describe the provision. Rivlin, called the law a"weap- who are"so social-justice con- The author of the original on (for) our enemies." Outgo- scious today" He saidthereare Nationality Law nearly a de- Seeking Jewish Gestational Carrier MUST be able to provide proof of religion. If GC is married, must be married to non-Jewish spouse. Single, divorced or widowed is fine. Minimum of I prior full-term pregnancy. You should be 21-40 yrs old, & have a strong support system. Healthy, kind, communicative & understanding. Reproductive Possibilities is an agency that has helped to create families for over 2 decades, contact us to find out more & join us in a wonderful journey. You can call 1-888-363-9457 or email lisa@reproductivepossibilities.com Miriam Alster/Flash90 the Israeli parliament cade ago--Avraham Diskin, a political scientist and Hebrew University professor--rejects criticism of the legislation, which he calls "declarative" and "without a lot of practical" consequences. Diskin told JTA that it is "high time" for a Basic Law that specifically identifies Israel as a Jewish state, in addition to the many Israeli laws that mention Judaism and the Jewish character of the state. There are "many people around the world outside of Israel, mainly Arabs, who are not ready to accept allowing the Jews to have their own nation state," Diskin said. He added that in Israel, some challenge the notion of Is- rael as a Jewish state--Jews among them. Diskin said the law is most needed, however, because of the Israeli Supreme Court. He and other critics of the high court say it has ignored the Jewishness of the state, for example in cases of Palestin- ian residency rights in Israel, He said he does not oppose rights of foreign converts to the idea of a law stating that citizenship, land purchases Israel is the nation-state ofthe by the Jewish National Fund, Jewish people, but that such draft deferments to haredi a law should also ensure that Orthodox youth and the de- thestatewillhaveequalrights portation of illegal migrants, for all its citizens. Israel's Declaration of In- But Fuchs does not believe dependence repeatedly notes that Israel will look substan- the connections of the Jews to tially different after the pas- Israel and that Israel is being sage of the legislation and establishedasthenation-state disagrees with those who say of the Jewish people. Unlike it will turn the country into the Basic Law, however, the anapartheidstate.Thetipping Declaration of Independence point, he said, will be in close is not a legal document Supreme Court decisions, Diskinsaidthereisnothing where the "Jewish" element in the legislationthatviolates could take precedence over human rights or the rights of the "democratic'element. minorities. The legislation is set to Amir Fuchs, a researcher come up for a final vote be- at the Israel Democracy In- fore the end of the Knesset's stitute, said the legislation summer session on Sunday. resembles the preamble of The coalition has enough an as-yet unwritten Consti- votes for passage because tution, and that "there is no the haredi Orthodox parties [democratic] country in the are willing to support it. The world that has not specifi- haredi parties in the past cally enumerated the right of have opposed the legislation equality in its constitution." due to its nationalist nature. The legislation has "no clear But the addition of the word statement that the state will "religious" to a clause on the have equal rights for all its right to self-determination citizens," he told JTA. in part softened their stance. "This is what is missing. Silverman said that as a This is the problem," Fuchs sovereign state, Israel has the said. right to pass such legislation. He acknowledged that The Israeli and the American other Basic Laws deal with Jewishcommunityare"pretty Israel's democratic nature and young environments for the individual rights, including two major Jewish communi- the one on human dignity ties in the world. And we are and liberty. At least two other both going through growing Basic Laws refer to Israel as pains." both Jewish and democratic. Jewish organizations in the Fuchs, who heads the De- UnitedStateswillbewatching :: fending Democratic Values to see how the law is applied Program at the Israel Democ- practically, particularly in racy Institute, said there is no cases involving Diaspora need for the new legislation Jewry. since it is clear that Israel is "Israelhastobethenation- a Jewish nation-state based state for all Jews," Silverman on its symbols, language and said. "That cannot be limited holidays, among other things, in any way." Israeli Border Policewomen stationed at the Tomb of the Pat~'archs in Hebron. By United with Israel ated for further medical treatment. IsraeliBorderPoliceoperat- The Border Police com- ing in the city of Hebron on manders praised the troops Sunday night saved the life of for responding rapidly and anine-month-oldPalestinian professionally. baby. Not the first time The troops, stationed at "This is not the first the Tomb of the Patriarchs, time that Border Policemen heard shouts coming from a have provided medical treat- house situated near the holy ment to Palestinians in the site. They rushed to the scene areas they operate, and this to find an unconscious baby is in accordance with values boy whose face had turned the troops are educated on, blue and whose family was the values of human life and extremely distraught, helping your fellow human Thetroopsbegantoadmin- being," the police stated. istrate CPR as an Israeli medi- "Despite the complexity of cal team arrived at the scene, the missions and the areas in and the baby's breathing was which the Border Policemen finally restored, operate, the troops operate to The baby was then evacu- ensure the safetyandsecurity of a variety of populations with no distinction between religion, race or gender," the police added. This incident is by no means a unique instance of Israelis providing Palestinians with medical treatment. Israeli hospitals and medical teams have a long track record of treating Palestinian patients. Israel and the IDF regu- larly offer medical services and expertise to Palestinian care providers and patients, in many cases free of charge. In July 2015, the IDF estab- lished an entire reserves com- pany with the sole mission of providing medical care and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian population. IDF medical teams and Israeli civilian emergency units from communities in Judea and Samaria regularly treat local Arabs, often after car accidents, for a broad ar- ray of ailments and injuries. Walking to an IDF checkpoint or to the front gate of an Is- raeli community for medical treatment is common practice among Arabs living in the Palestinian Authority-admin- istered territories. During some months, Israeli medics treat more Palestinians than Israelis.