New York, NY, November 24, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed concern that the political debate in Israel over the proposed Nation-State legislation is undermining the well-established foundational principle of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
ADL cautioned against the continued politicization of this issue on both sides, and called the proposed Knesset legislation “well-meaning but unnecessary.”
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
It is troubling that the foundational principle of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, a principle that has been so clear and natural since the country’s founding, has increasingly become a highly charged politicized issue.
Israel’s Jewish and democratic character, one that defines Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and grants equal rights and protections to all citizens regardless of religion, is clearly expressed in the Declaration of Independence and other significant legal documents and judicial decisions.
The current debate over the proposed Nation-State law has undermined the settled nature of this essential element of Israel’s national identity. Attempts to further codify this concept in the Basic Laws are well-meaning but unnecessary. It is troubling that some have sought to use the political process to promote an extreme agenda which could be viewed as an attempt to subsume Israel’s democratic character in favor of its Jewish one.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.