Zionism: A political movement, to establish a political and geographic nation-state for the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland.
Passed last week by the Israeli Knesset was the thirteenth Basic Law. This latest law, called the Nation-State Law, recognizes Israel as the fulfillment of the Zionist dream declaring that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and “the actualization of the right of national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.” In Israel which has no constitution, Basic Laws in Israel have the same power as the constitution in America.
The Nation State law had been in development for seven years. It declares that Israel is the actualization of the historical and religious right of the Jewish people. It says Hebrew is the official language, but Arabic has a special status and must be treated the same as it was before the law was enacted. Saturdays and Jewish Holidays are the official days of rest in the state, however people of other faiths must be allowed to observe their holidays and days of rest. The law reaffirmed that all of the freedoms that were guaranteed to ALL Israelis no matter what their faith. It affirms that an undivided Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and asserts that Jewish settlement (without specifying where) is a national value, and promises to encourage and advance settlement efforts. Finally, it indicates that Israel will work to ensure the safety of Jews all across the diaspora as well as their historical and cultural heritage.
It is important to note that the law does not supersede the Israeli Declaration of Independence which the Israeli Supreme Court has classified as a guideline. The Declaration says in part that Israel:
“will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture”