Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Can an Israeli Arab cabinet minister sing Hatikvah?

The newly appointed Israeli Arab minister of Science, Culture and Sports, Raleb Majadle, will not sing Israel’s national anthem, Hatikva. Perhaps it will surprise some people that I don’t think this is a bad thing.

Majadle, a long-time member of the Labor Party, defended his decision, saying he does not believe that “enlightened and sane Jews” would request a Muslim to sing a song which speaks to the Jewish people. “The Arabs are not in a mood to sing right now,” the Arab minister commented.

“Of course I would not sing the anthem in its current form,” Majadle said. “But before we talk about symbols, I want to talk about equal education for my children. It’s more important that my son would be able to buy a house, live with dignity.” — Arutz Sheva

We have predictable reactions from both sides. The Right says that this shows that he’s disloyal, that any Arab would be disloyal, and that Israel should not have an Arab cabinet minister. The Left says that it’s undemocratic that the symbols of the state discriminate against one-fifth of its citizens, and that Israel should get a new national anthem.

Both types of reaction are wrong.

Continue reading 'Democracy and Hatikvah' at FresnoZionism.org

-- Vic Rosenthal

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