Israel’s democracy deficit on crack

Last month, the Australian Book Review published a story about Israel’s eroding democracy. In the June edition, I responded in a published letter:

Dear Editor,

The state of Israeli democracy is indeed dire, as was eloquently explained by David N. Myers in his article in the May 2023 edition.

It is worth stressing that the Jewish state has never been a democracy for all its citizens but a self-described democracy for Jews alone. Ever since Israel’s birth in 1948, non-Jews within Israel have never been treated with equal rights. For those Palestinians residing in the West Bank and Gaza, now suffering under the longest occupation in modern times, the concept of Israeli democracy is a cruel joke.

A key question remains. The world knows that Israel is accelerating its path towards a fundamentalist Jewish ethno-state. Mass protests within Israel are unlikely to seriously challenge this trajectory. It is therefore up to the international community and civil society to respond accordingly. Just as the world finally turned against apartheid South Africa (Israel, notably, was a key defence and ideological ally of this nation until its end in 1994), it is time for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions to be applied against Israel. It would be a non-violent and wholly legitimate response to the unsustainable status quo.

Antony Loewenstein

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

Site by Common