Target: Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister
Goal: Repeal anti-democratic and racist law favoring citizens who are Jewish
The Israeli government has passed a law which legally defines Israel as a Jewish state, which means that Jewish citizens will be prioritized and enjoy a better legal status than non-Jewish citizens. This law does not include any mention of religious minorities in Israel and does not guarantee them protection. At least 25% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish, and this new law will essentially make discrimination against them legal. Let Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, know that this law is unacceptable and that religious discrimination cannot be made legal.
This new law, which is called “The Nationality Law,” was proposed by Netanyahu himself after two Knesset Members proposed similar bills. The law still has to be approved by the Knesset, and is being rigorously promoted by the Prime Minister. The meaning of this law is that there will be an official legal distinction between Jewish citizens and non-Jewish citizens. This type of distinction is clearly anti-democratic and could be a gateway to very serious forms of discrimination.
Non-Jewish citizens of Israel, mainly Palestinians, already face discrimination in housing, education, representation, employment, and many other aspects of their lives. This law will essentially make this discrimination legal and will prevent minorities from fighting against it. Please let Netanyahu know that no country should be able to create different levels of citizenship based on religion, and that all Israeli citizens deserve equal rights.
Dear Mr. Netanyahu,
I am writing to you after hearing about the Nationality Law that you are attempting to pass in Israel. In a country that claims to honor democracy, there is no excuse for legalizing discrimination and establishing a different legal status for citizens based on religion. I am demanding that you do not pass this law, which will shape international public opinion about Israel and its commitment to minorities’ rights.
If the United States declared itself a Christian state with the mission of protecting its Christian citizens first and foremost, there would be a justified backlash from citizens of other religions. There is no way to run a democratic country if you only guarantee legal protection to some of your citizens, and discriminate based on religion. An inherent part of democracy is treating all citizens as equal, and there is no way of doing that if the state’s very definition is biased towards individuals of a certain religion.
At least 25% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish, whether you like it or not, and they deserve just as many rights as the Jewish citizens. If Israel wants to be considered a democracy, it cannot have laws that are inherently anti-democratic. I ask that you immediately withdraw this law proposal and stop threatening minorities’ rights in Israel.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Berthold Werner via Wikimedia Commons