Israel Is Not Comparable to "Advanced Western Democracies"

By Dallal, Shaw J. | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 1990 | Go to article overview

Israel Is Not Comparable to "Advanced Western Democracies"


Dallal, Shaw J., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


The Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1989 relating to Israel and the occupied territories is replete with contradictions. These contradictions stem from two opposite and irreconcilable findings: One is that "Israel's Arab citizens have...not shared fully in the rights granted to Jewish citizens." The second is that "Israel is a democracy...whose citizens have a range of civil and other rights generally comparable to those in advanced Western democracies."

If the State Department's finding that Israel's Arab citizens do not have equal rights with their Jewish counterparts is correct, it is hard to accept its finding that Israel is comparable to advanced Western democracies. The Department of State has observed that "Israel welcomes Jewish immigrants...to whom it gives automatic citizenship and residence rights," while it denies such citizenship and residence rights to Palestinians living in refugee camps in the West Bank and in Gaza who were born in Israel, and whose very lands Israel has expropriated and holds "in trust for the Jewish people."

The Department of State's finding that Israel gives automatic citizenship and residence rights to Jewish immigrants is related to "a series of basic laws" of the state of Israel, which define "the responsibilities of government institutions."

The first such law is Israel's 1950 law of return, which allows any person "born to a Jewish mother," or one "who converts to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion," to immigrate to Israel.

The second basic law is Israel's 1952 citizenship law, which allows Jewish immigrants to Israel to acquire Israeli citizenship automatically upon their arrival.

The third is Israel's registration law, which classifies Israel's citizens as either of "Jewish nationality," or of "Arab nationality." Israel has no Israeli nationality. Citizenship and nationality are not equivalent in Israel.

The fourth basic law is Israel's status law, which gives Israel's citizens with "Jewish nationality" certain rights and privileges which are denied to Israel's citizens with "Arab nationality." Several of these rights and privileges have been enumerated in this year's and in prior years' reports. Chief among these rights is the ownership or use of the very land which was expropriated from the Palestinians.

It is these laws which compelled the UN in 1975 to describe Zionism as a "form of racism and racial discrimination" in view of the 1965 UN resolution 2106, which defined racism as "any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin." The denial of citizenship to Palestinians reported by the State Department is based on descent and is thus patently racist. The Department of State does a grave disservice to "advanced Western democracies" by suggesting that Israel, with its legalized racist structure, can be favorably compared to them.

The Report contains several objective observations about Israel's human rights violations in Israel and in the occupied territories which should be noted. The "emergency regulations," which have been in force since 1948, have been enforced primarily against Israelis with Arab nationality, permitting their mail "to be stopped, opened, and even destroyed on security grounds." In 1979, Israel enacted a law, applied mostly against Israel's Palestinian Arab citizens, allowing "rapping of telephones for security reasons. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Israel Is Not Comparable to "Advanced Western Democracies"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.