ADL Calls Proposed Jewish Nation-State Legislation “Unnecessary”

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 was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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Junot Diaz