#International Affairs
US Sec of State John Kerry, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN

Israel’s demand for recognition as “the nation state of the Jewish people” has far-reaching implications.

Israel knows this will impact Jews worldwide. This petition aims to give a voice on the matter to Jews concerned for justice, human rights and international law.

These are some of the issues:

* Defining Israel as Jewish would mean total denial of Palestinians’ historic connection to the country they lost in 1948. The “Jewish state” demand means refusal ever to allow any return of the 1948 exiles, thus closing the door to any enduring future peace, justice and reconciliation.

* If Israel is a State of the whole Jewish people rather than of its own citizens, its non-Jews will officially be second class citizens.

* The leaders of Britain’s Jews once said that a Jewish state “must have the effect throughout the world of stamping the Jews as strangers in their native lands”. If Israel is the Jewish state, Jews will be further implicated in Israel's oppression of the Palestinians and its contravention of international law.

* Making “Israel” synonymous with “Jewish” will be used to silence critics and label them as “anti-semitic”.

* Enforcing international law and human rights will be harder if Israel can claim it is maintaining the recognised “State of the Jewish people” as a top priority.

* If this high-profile, protected and approved country can be based on ethnic-religious criteria rather than pluralism, tolerance and democracy, it will be a precedent for closed, authoritarian, fundamentalist regimes.

* This is not something that Jews can be proud of, nor one that most Israelis would find tolerable.

As a Jew I oppose Israel’s demand that it be internationally recognised as the "Jewish state" or the “Nation State of the Jewish people”.

I believe this will weaken peace, democracy and security worldwide, creating a dangerous precedent for states and conflicts based on ethnicity or religion rather than justice and human rights, and could be used to justify past and future ethnic cleansing and entrench a racially discriminatory two-tier legal system.

As a Jew I reject my automatic right to Israeli citizenship and refuse to be co-opted, just because I am a Jew, as a follower of a country that is not my own.

As a non-Israeli Jew I do not recognise Israel as my state, and find it abhorrent that the spare "homeland" which it is offering me comes at the expense of the entire Palestinian people, whose treatment tramples also on Jewish teachings of justice and universal humanity that are important to me.

I call on the world community to fight anti-semitism and racism wherever they occur and to open its doors and welcome everyone in need of refuge from persecution, whether or not they are Jewish.

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The Jews say NO to "Israel as Jewish State" petition to US Sec of State John Kerry, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN was written by Alex Pushkin and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.