Michael Zimmerman writing in the Jerusalem Post opines, “We see in the “Arab Spring” (or “Winter”) that elections have not been accompanied by minorities’ rights being protected, a central feature of real democracies. A fresh perspective respecting such rights, and political entities that reflect component elements, may be beneficial, if not for full peace, at least for improved prospects for regional balances of power and stability.”
Tucked away in his very interesting piece HERE he makes these assertions, “Israel, while a Jewish state, provides religious freedom for Christians, Muslims and other citizens and residents.”, and “Israel has since (1948) fought Muslim challenges repeatedly, and became a flourishing democratic state, albeit one systemically threatened and often symbol of hope to minorities.”
Let’s be clear; on most comparisons of democracy and religious freedom Israel comes out ahead of most other Middle Eastern countries. But that’s not the comparison being made, which is of Israel as a ‘western-style democracy’. Are ‘minorities’ rights being protected’ in Israel? Is there true freedom of religion in Israel? No, and No. Neither is it true that Israel has ‘fought Muslim challenges repeatedly’; the challenges until as recently as 1980’s was nationalist rather than religious. And is it really protecting the rights of the 20% plus Arab minority in Israel to call it a ‘Jewish state’? How does a Palestinian Christian Israeli feel when told she belongs to a ‘Jewish state’?