Israeli newsreader

Lucy Aharish, a 25 year old Arab Muslim from Nazareth, is the new anchor for Israel’s popular Channel 10 news show.

This follows the appointment of Raleb Majedele, as Israel’s first Muslim cabinet minister, in charge of science and information.

Both very welcome developments, to be sure. But does the advancement of Israel’s Arab minority also highlight a contradiction between Israel being a democracy and a Jewish state? Majdele stands for the Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, but refuses to sing it, as its lyrics eulogise a ‘nefesh yehudi’, a Jewish soul.

Is it time to change the words to a ‘nefesh Israeli’, an Israeli soul – which would include all Israeli citizens, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim so Majedele could sing it as well? Or even abolish the Law of Return which gives automatic citizenship to all Jews, and make Israel a modern, Hebrew, secular state? (NOT the same as merging Israel/Palestine into a bi-national state)

This is a debate that is moving from the fringes of the Israeli left into the mainstream of Israeli politics, although you wouldn’t know it from the British media coverage of Israel/Palestine.

Just a few thoughts…..

Hat tip: Tom Gross