Friday, March 16, 2007
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned the official newspaper of the Balad party that Shin Bet will counter any threat, even legal ones, to Israel's "Jewish and democratic character." The threat, in this case, is apparently various Arab proposals for a non-sectarian basis for the state. Olmert's warning will not only drive Israeli Arabs further into the margins, but should terrify anyone who is a friend of Israeli democracy. If the religious parties gain more clout, does calling for civil marriage threaten the state's Jewish character? In a democracy, certain activities are legal, and others are illegal. Security services have no business threatening people who are exercising their legal rights.