A joint Jewish and Arab party to move forward in I/P

Former Zionist leader and speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg has a long, recent history of condemning the decline of Israel into a racist and discriminatory country.

Now he believes a new political party is needed to almost save Israel from itself:

The party Israel Equality (Shivyon Yisrael ) – with the acronym Shai in Hebrew, gift – will fight for a state that will be a total democracy; everything else will be either personal or on the community level. The party will wrestle with the sanctimonious internal contradiction of “a Jewish and democratic state,” which means a great deal of democracy for the Jews and too much Jewish nationalism for the Arabs. It will be the party of those who are committed to the supreme universal and Israeli cultural values of human dignity, the search for peace and a desire for freedom, justice and equality.

Those who vote for it and its candidates will accept the definition of Israel as “a state whose regime is democratic and egalitarian, and which belongs to all its citizens and communities. The state in which the Jewish people have chosen to renew their sovereignty and where they realize their right to self-determination.” The practical expression of this commitment will be a supreme effort to change the social balance of power, which is unjust, to give equal opportunities to the entire population in Israel, regardless of national background, ethnic origin, race, sex or sexual preference.

It’s a gamble and very hard to tell at this stage whether it’ll have any success or truly addresses the injustice towards Palestinians. But a cautious welcome is probably warranted.