The fact is that present and past antisemitism is one more reason why a Jewish state, a religion and an ethnicity-centered state is befitting the 21th century, even though every western style democracy — and Israel belongs in this group — rejects the notion of a Christian state, an Aryan state or a white state.
Jews, unlike Catholics, are bound by their ethnicity and heritage over and above their religion. They have been rejected, discriminated against, robbed, demonized, raped and massacred. Too many in the old and the modern world have placed Jews at the top of the “most-hated” list. The world forced Jews into ghettos, death camps, and other unspeakable horrors in which the only logical way out was — and still is — to create their own Jewish state where they could be free to be Jewish without the fear of persecution. Israel, the Jewish state, is the only nation where the head of state is Jewish; the government is Jewish, the Supreme Court is mostly Jewish, the military chief of staff is Jewish and nobody blames it on a Jewish conspiracy.
If Israel is not categorized as a Jewish state, this would render Arab claims to a Muslim Palestine that extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River as being totally justified. As such, Jewish immigrants to Israel would be rightfully regarded as the new Crusaders, the Palestinian right of return would be unequivocal and Helen Thomas would most certainly be deemed a prophet.
Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza see Jews as foreign invaders who do not belong there. Had it been up to the Arabs, Jews would have been forbidden from settling in all of Palestine – including Israel proper. They protest when Jews build homes in Jerusalem, the ancient Jewish capital — with the claim that “it’s Palestinian land.” They define their dream of a future state not as being a Muslim or a Christian state, rather they characterize it as a non-Jewish state in which only Jews will be prohibited from residing. Over and over they reinforce the notion that the world is divided into two types of human beings, Jews and non-Jews.
It’s true that more than 20% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish. But that number, albeit not a small one, is nonetheless marginal. The state of Israel assumes a definitive Jewish character. The government is run by Jews as is the military. The social atmosphere, the media, the national holidays, and the democratic institutions are all immersed in Jewish tradition, values, and moral fiber.
Israel was a Jewish state since the times of Joshua. The Roman Empire destroyed it, renamed it, killed millions and enslaved the rest of its Jewish residents. The empire tried and failed to wipe the Jewish state off the map. It took 2,000 years for Jews to return and reclaim their ancestors’ land, and no one can wipe the Jewish state off the map simply by denying the reality of what Israel is all about.
Jews have a home. The only place in the world where they are not deemed foreigners, a minority, or special.
Nonetheless, character, demographic statistics and historical rights are all moot points: The real motive behind Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence on Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is that such acknowledgment is the sole element that has a chance of generating an end to the conflict. As long as the Palestinians regard Israel as another Palestinian state, one that happens to have Jewish residents, their dream of a Greater Palestine will not be extinguished and the volcano will remain active – ready to erupt at the first opportunity.