Episode 8: Zionism and Israel’s Nation-State Law
On July 19, 2018, the Knesset amended the Basic Laws, Israel’s fundamental law that serves as its de facto constitution. This addition strengthens Israel’s Jewish identity and legally codifies long-standing Israeli customs. Shabbat is to be a national day of rest. Hebrew is to be Israel’s official language. Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. So obviously consistent with Israel’s civic practices for many years, many people who learned about the Nation-State Law were surprised that these amendments were not already legally protected. And yet, the Nation-State Law has provoked criticism from the Diaspora. What does it really say, and what is behind the fuss? Professor Eugene Kontorovich joins Jonathan Silver to explain the rationale behind the Nation-State Law, discuss how it relates to fundamental Zionist purposes, and whether the its loudest critics are looking for an excuse to “break-up” with Israel. Kikar is brought to you by the Jewish Leadership Conference (JLC). To learn more about the JLC, visit www.jewishleadershipconference.org.