1. Yisrael Beiteinu and ‘loyalty to the state’
Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu claim that their policy of demanding that all Israeli citizens sign a pledge of “loyalty to the state” is not racist because while they have Israelis Arabs in mind with this proposal, it is not based on their ethnicity but their behavior – their suspected disloyalty. In this case, I wonder whether certain Jewish Israelis would also have a problem pledging their loyalty to the state. I am thinking in particular of those extremist West Bank settlers who insist that the democratically elected government of Israel has no authority over them because they answer only to God and His interpreters, their Rabbis. Would those residents of Hebron who attacked Israeli soldiers and their Rabbis who called Olmert and Barak enemies of Judaism be regarded as loyal to the State under Lieberman’s definition? And would those Charedim who regard Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Hazikaron as irrelevant to them be able to sign a loyalty pledge in good conscience?