The Israeli Knesset is poised to vote on legislation that would legalize Israeli settlement construction that is illegal under Israeli law and located on land that even the Israeli government recognizes as privately owned by Palestinians. APN’s backgrounder on the bill is here. Key points to understand:
- This legislation removes even the façade that Israel as a nation respects the “rule of law” when it comes to the activities of settlers.
- Passage of this legislation will send a message to the settlers that there are literally no limits on what they can do in terms of construction in the occupied territories.
- Passage of this legislation will send a message to the Israeli public and the world that Israel no longer respects the “rule of law” – a cornerstone of democracy, under which laws apply equally to all – but instead ascribes openly to “rule by law” – the foundation of authoritarianism, under which laws are imposed selectively and tailored to serve the interests and limit the rights of specific groups.
American Jews who support Israel – not merely its existence but its existence as a democracy that reflects the progressive Jewish values articulated by its founders in its Declaration of Independence – should be appalled at the prospect of Israel adopting this brazenly undemocratic legislation.