66. Citizenship Law discriminatory

In your December 18 editorial, you stated that "Zionism is not racism." The question is not so much whether Zionism is racism than whether Israel is a racist state.

Take, for instance, the issue of citizenship. Unlike the United States, every country does not grant citizenship by birth to an infant born on its soil, but it definitely does if his parents are citizens. Israel, however, is the only country that I know of in which citizenship is not granted by birth to an infant whose parents are citizens. As a Jewish state, Israel devised a system to legalize discrimination against its non-Jewish citizens. For Jews, citizenship is granted by "return", and can be granted only by "return"; furthermore, only Jews can be granted citizenship by "return" even if actually there is no return involved. For non-Jews, citizenship is determined by "residence". Thus under Israeli law, any Jew in the world has the right to "return" after an "absence" of 2,000 years, but the displaced Palestinians of 1948, after a real absence of only 43 years, are denied the same right, precisely because they are not Jews. This is racism.

Another example is the question of annexation. Referring to the peace talks, Shamir said that "the mission of Israel's negotiators is to achieve peace without giving up land." If this is the case, why not annexing the land? The problem is that annexing will turn Israel from a Jewish state into a "bi-national" state. [A code word used by Israel (that the media finds acceptable unlike the code words used by David Duke) indicating that accepting a huge number of Goyim, i.e., non-Jews, will alter the exclusive Jewish character of the State. If this is not racism what is? Having said that, one question remains: If Shamir doesn't want to give up the land and doesn't want to annex it with its population, what is his final solution to the problem of almost two million of its inhabitants, since circumstances similar to those of 1948 that permitted the massacres perpetrated by Irgun and LEHI in Deir Yasin and by the Haganah at Dueima to instill fear in the Palestinians and force them to flee are not likely to arise again?]

January 9, 1992