On 10 October 2010, the Israeli government proposed a bill obligating non-Jewish naturalized citizens to swear loyalty to a "Jewish and democratic state." The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) deplores this attempt to demand recognition of Israel as a Jewish state -- a state whose existence is premised on the removal of the indigenous people of Palestine.
In response to this bill, members of the Zionist "Left" in Israel issued a "declaration of independence from fascism." Announced at a rally in Tel Aviv, the Middle East's most ethnically cleansed city (indigenous population: four percent), the declaration asserts that the proposed law "violates [Israel's] basic commitment to the principles of equality, civil liberty and sincere aspiration for peace -- principles upon which the State of Israel was founded."
The Zionist "Left" is distancing itself from this policy, but the proposed oath is entirely consistent with Israel's racist foundations and continued ethnic cleansing -- all of which the Zionist "Left" has played a central role in perpetrating and whitewashing.
Today, "Left" Zionists, no less than their right-wing counterparts, view Palestinians as a "demographic threat" to Jewish supremacy. Like the "Right," they insist that Palestinians ratify their own unequal status by recognizing 1948 Palestine ("Israel") as a "Jewish state." Ironically, this Zionist racism, violence and apartheid serve to deliver a segregation of Jews that parallels traditional European anti-Semitism.
The problem, then, is not alleged betrayal of Israeli "principles" at the hands of right-wing "extremists," but Zionism itself -- both "Left" and "Right." For Israeli Jews who reject Israel's racist foundations, we stand with you.
We ask others not only to join us in opposing the loyalty oath, but to reject the Zionist principles upon which it rests. Concretely, that means supporting Palestinian demands for an end to military occupation, implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land and equal rights for all throughout Palestine.