Monday, March 28, 2011

A Punch in the Face to Israeli Security

The passage of the Israeli citizenship bill earlier today is a threat to the national security of the State of Israel.

The passage of the bill exacerbates tensions between Jews and Arabs, setting the conditions for polarization and radicalization which threaten Israeli citizens. It will likely be used for propaganda value, successfully, by Islamist terrorist organizations who seek Israel's destruction. It damages ties between the Israeli national police (Shin Bet) and Arab citizens of Israel. For this reason, the Shin Bet has opposed the bill. These unnecessary tensions endanger the lives and well-being of Israelis, and present serious long-term concerns about their safety.

The Citizenship Bill delegitimizes Israel, its democratic foundations, and its relationship with the West. Every basic notion of public relations is violated by this punch in the face to Israeli security. This bill will be a tough sell for American pro-Israel organizations across the political spectrum. It will not be their fault, nor the fault of the international community, for failing to understand as democratic a bill which strips citizens of their rights and creates a perception of systematic oppression of the Israeli Arab minority. The passage of this bill represents a complete and total hasbara failure, and a severe threat to the way Israel is perceived in the international community. Given the rising tension on the Gaza border, this threat has immediate implications for the safety of Israelis.

The citizenship bill is a dangerous provocation and a serious security liability to the State of Israel. Legitimate attempts to repeal or annul it are consistent with the preservation of the security of the Israeli state.

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