A Democratic Constitution for Israel
Adalah, a legal organization dedicated to upholding the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, has proposed a draft constitution for the country (Yes, Israel has never had a constitution) to address some of the radical inequalities and exclusions upon which the state is based.
The full text of the new constitution, which would eliminate the eclusively Jewish character of the state of Israel and accomodate the return of Palestinain refugees from 1948 with relatives currently in Israel, can be found here.
According to Marwan Dwiary, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, the proposed constitution is based on "the concept of a democratic, bilingual, multicultural state" and draws on universal principles and international conventions on
human rights, the experiences of nations and the constitutions of various
[W]e decided to propose a democratic constitution, which respects the
freedoms of the individual and the rights of all groups in equal measure, gives
the proper weight to the historical injustices committed against Arab citizens
of Israel, and deals seriously with the social and economic rights of all. If
"The Democratic Constitution" succeeds to underscore the enormous gap between
it and the other proposals, and to create an objective public debate and
dialogue on the nature of rights and freedoms in the country, then we will have
taken an important step forward in the issues of racial equality, freedoms and
The new constitution would also invalidate the discriminatory Law of Return, which grants automatic citizenship to people with at least one Jewish grandparent, four generations back, even if they have no connection to Israel otherwise. INstead, it proposes that citizenship will be granted to those who come to Israel for humanitarian reasons, regardless of their religion.
Finally, the tide is turning. Ok maybe not turning, but at least there are small little ripples being made against this insanity Israel (and Saeb Erekat and his gang) would have the world believe is possible (namely, the two-state solution)... but that is the subject of another post, soon I hope (if you haven't already, read Ali Abunimah's book One Country.