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Subject: Playground rules
battar    5/30/2009 3:20:14 PM
It seems that a couple of right wing politicians are trying to put forward laws that make it s criminal offence to mark independence day as a day of mourning and to require a pledge of alliegance from everyone who obtains citizenship. I don't like it, even though I wouldn't be too unhappy about the fact the second bill would leave a few ultra-orthodox Jews, and the Netori Carta sect, or cult, without citizenship. Alliegance to the state could mean many things, and to a Jewish state may mean a requirement to uphold certain peculiarities of Judaism that do not fit in with my lifestyle. For example, as a Jewish citizen of the Jewish state, marrying a non-Jew might be considered treason. The first law I mentioned smells like limiting freedonm of expression, and while I certainly don't agree with anyone who considers the creation of the state a disaster, I don't think I can, or should, regulate peoples beliefs with laws. I hold ceratain opinions which in some countries could get me arrested, I don't want to see Israel sliding down that slope. Incitement is another matter. That doesn't come under freedom of speech (you can't shout "fire" in a crowded theater). But we already have laws for that.
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Shirrush    *Sigh!*   5/31/2009 3:37:34 PM
As usual, you're missing the point by staying focused on your own secular-bourgeois navel. The reason why these proposals didn't pass first call at the Cabinet Council is their extreme asinity, not the fact that they might have side effects such as "limiting your freedom of expression" or foisting even more exclusion on the Haredi sects (which thrive on being marginals), to include of course their numerous but rather innocent children.
Mandating an oath of allegiance would be about as useful in order to ensure the citizens' loyalty, as would be patching a windshield in order to mend a punctured wheel.
This would cost the salaries and the time of specially appointed clerks or even, G_d forbid, judges, and there would be no assurance whatsoever that the candidate-citizen has meant the words s/he was made to utter. Thus, enforcing such a law would only make all of us look even dafter than we really are, and there are simpler means to attain this very same goal, which do not require any legislation nor public funds, such as e.g. keeping the Arutz 2 TV programming as it is.
As to the anti-Naqba provision, well, I can't say I disagree much with the intent. All the nation-states on this planet, to include even the most feminized nanny social-democracies of Western Europe, have laws against those abetting the enemy in time of war.
We should make abundantly clear to our Arab citizens, that identifying with the Palestinians actually means setting oneself as an enemy, and that, while their identity as Arabs is perfectly legitimate, wanting to be "Palestinians" is not. "Palestine" is another nation, one we're at war with. The way to do this is not, IMV, to legislate repressive, punitive laws as the foaming-mouth rightists suggest, but to create real incentive for Arabs to accept the fact that they are honorable members of the respected Arab minority in the only Jewish country in the world, that they'd better view themselves as first and foremost Israelis, and that no, theyre not the only legitimate owners of this land and their destiny is not to rule over the Infidels, but to coexist with them peacefully and constructively.
The only repression which is absolutely necessary in the Arab sector should be aimed at the Islamists terrorizing the population into an anti-Israeli consensus which is not in its best interest, to put it mildly, and to make use of vigorous law enforcement means in order to restore these people's freedom of thought and expression.
Also, more civic education hours and less Koranic studies in the Arab sector's school could be a good place to start. 
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Ezekiel    reconciliation is the answer   5/31/2009 4:19:20 PM
Until their is an internal reconciliation within a national framework between the secular community and religous community...what will be produced in terms of what political membership framework works within a Jewish nation will be superficial, facile and arbitrary....Lieberman is trying to put a bandaid over a deep laceration.
Israel must resort to its ancient laws to address the fundamental institution within a natio-state...this includes politcal membership.
To expect an arab to pledge allegience to a flag that has the star of David is deluded.
To expect an Arab to sing the national anthem with pride which speaks of the Jews 2000 yr return to desire is absurd.
To expect an Arab to accept a right of return that only applies to the Jewish demographic is willful ignorance.
The Jews are an ancient people that have a particularistic idenity (that doesn't mean closed but it has a high degree of exclusivity.) They being the first nation-state in existence have a god centeredness tjhat if denied completely will end up dissolving any guardianship through lack of cogency, historical perspective and unifying source of law.
The question is not whether to have zionism or democracy, but rather western democracy vs. jewish democracy.
I believe the Jews have the right ot self determination, the sovereign right to decide who is allowed in or out of this group. The Jews have had converts throughout history, never descriminated based on blood (why there are black jews, asian jews etc) but on the assumption of beliefs...The jews have always believed they as a community have a divine role to play in history (a nation of priests, people of the book)  and therefore based on this national purpose grounded in law they are far more exclusive then a USA that is 250 yrs founded on broader concepts of mankind. But this is who the Jews accepting the uniqueness, by a synthesis of the pragmatism found in western thought with the rich tradition of the Jewish dialectic there is no doubt that there are solutions  to israel's national ills
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jastayme3       6/1/2009 1:15:14 AM
"The Jews have had converts throughout history, never descriminated based on blood"
For the matter of that Abraham would count as a convert.
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battar    Better laws   6/1/2009 2:39:10 PM
Maybe we should have a law requiring every candidate for election to provide evidence that he isn't a narrow minded, self-serving imbecile. That would spare us the embarresment of having these laws touted round the foreign press in the first place.
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Ezekiel    Thinking inside the box   6/1/2009 3:38:53 PM
Israel should not be thinking of the grade of its leaders, but realize the system itself is what produces the calibre of leadership.
Coalition government, combined with a party system electorate breeds corruption/instability. Create actual constituencies based elections, and a system of checks and balances between the three branches of government and then you will see accountability and greater stability, which will inturn breed a better quality of managers.
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jastayme3       6/2/2009 2:33:01 PM

Maybe we should have a law requiring every candidate for election to provide evidence that he isn't a narrow minded, self-serving imbecile. That would spare us the embarresment of having these laws touted round the foreign press in the first place.

Having a law against being "narrow-minded" is thought police and thus makes the whole government narrow-minded. Having
a law against politicians being self-serving imbeciles is kind of laughable don't you think?
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