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Occupation magazine - Activism

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Rally against loyalty oath: Israel becoming fascist
By Roi Mandel

Artists and intellectuals rallied in Tel Aviv on Sunday, shortly after the government passed the loyalty oath bill, under which non-Jewish prospective citizens will be obligated to pledge allegiance to Israel as a `Jewish and democratic state`.

The protestors read from the Declaration of Independence and warned that Israel was becoming a fascist state.

`Israel is deteriorating from the vision of a democratic state to a fascist state. Our children will either leave this terrible place, be put in jail or fight in the streets like in Iran,` Professor Yaron Ezrachi told the rally, which was held outside the Eretz Israel Museum.

`It is very easy to incite a nation such as ours, which fears for its security and is uncertain if its identity,` he continued. `(Shas chairman and Interior Minister) Eli Yishai should swear he is willing to accept the Supreme Court`s authority before asking us to pledge allegiance to a Jewish state.`

Author Yoram Kaniuk also leveled harsh criticism at Yishai, saying he `completely ignored 350,000 people who signed a petition against moving to Winter Time. If we dont take matters into our own hands, we will be destroyed.`

Standing next to a statue of Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel Aviv, Kaniuk said, `We must rebel against these laws.`

Professor Gabi Solomon said, `Here we are burying the Declaration of Independence,` and added cynically, `There is a reason for persecuting the Arabs; they are a fifth column and will stab us in the back. The fact that they haven`t done so in 62 years is irrelevant.`


`We will not be citizens of a fascist state purporting to be Israel`
Actress Hana Maron reads the Declaration of Independence - Photo Moti Milrod
photo gallery

10.10.10 - `We are citizens of the Israel which was depicted in the Declaration of Independence, a peace-seeking country based on the principles of equality and civil liberties. We do not intend to be the citizens of a state purporting to be Israel which stops being democratic and enbarks on becoming a fascist state,` proclaimed intellectuals, public figures, and Israel Prize laureates who gathered this afternoon for a protest rally against the `Loyalty Oath Bill` approved on the same day by the government. The rally was held on Tel Aviv`s Rothschild Boulevard, in front of the museum building where David Ben Gurion had read the Declaration of Independence in 1948.

Beneath the statue of Meir Dizengoff, first mayor of Tel Aviv, actress Hanna Meron read out from that Declaration of Independence: `The State of Israel will be based on based on Liberty, Justice and Peace, as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race or gender; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations`. She noted that, sixty-two years later, the reality of Israel is very different than what the country`s Declaration of Independence envisaged. At the end of the rally, a `Declaration of Independence from Fascism` was signed (see full text below).

Among participants in the initiative were Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avnery, Alex Ansky, Shery Ansky, Menachem Brinker, Ran Cohen, Ruth Cohen, Yaron Ezrachi, Zehava Galon, Galia Golan, Haim Guri, Sna`it Gisis, Yoram Kaniuk, Dani Karavan, Yehoshua Knaz, Elia Leibowitz, Alex Libak, Hanna Meron, Sammy Michael, Merav Michaeli, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Sefi Rachlevsky, Gabi Solomon, David Tartakower, Micha Ullman, and many others.

Following is the full text of the Declaration of Independence from Fascism:

A state which forcibly invades the hallowed realm of the individual citizen`s conscience, and which imposes punishment on those whose opinions and beliefs do not fit the authorities` opinions and the prescribed `character` of the state, stops being a democracy and embarks on becoming a fascist state.

Behind these stairs where we stand, the state of Israel was proclaimed. The state which increasingly takes Israel`s place a state which fills the country with a variety of racist legislation, promoted by the Knesset and the cabinet is excluding itself from the family of democratic nations. Therefore we, citizens of the Israel envisaged in the Declaration of Independence, hereby declare that will not be citizens of a country purporting to be Israel and which violates its basic commitment to the principles of equality, civil liberty and sincere aspiration for peace principles upon which the State of Israel was founded.

Contact: Sefi Rachlevsky 052-7078075

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