“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America…”
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Beautiful words! The US Constitution has been for me a timeless example of good and just government. Unfortunately, I do not belong to such a “We The People.”
In the place I come from, there is no Constitution.
In the place I come from, different kinds of people have different rights and responsibilities. Usually, people with many rights have few responsibilities. Some of the people must serve in the army on pain of imprisonment; others are exempted. Of those exempted, some belong to the elite and enjoy unusual benefits; others belong to minorities with very few rights.
In a recent case, the Supreme Court of my country, sitting down to its most special meeting of thirteen of our most prominent judges, decided to forbid marriage between a citizen from one part of my country with a person from a territory occupied by my country.
In the place I come from, my religion was decided for me by the State and is coded into the internal passport required by my government. Trying to officially change my religion could be a useless lifelong struggle.
In the place I come from, I can marry a Christian in a church; but the ceremony will not be recognized by the state and my children will be bastards and denied many rights because my parents were Jews. There are no civil ceremonies and one must get married in the temple belonging to the religion indicated on the internal passport.
I come from Israel.
Can Israel justify discrimination using Scripture? Hardly so. Perhaps the most beautiful text denouncing discrimination is Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one…” You may say that Israel does not recognize the New Testament and thus is not bound by its message. But the whole of Isaiah 58 is a reminder that God requires charity and respect for all people, especially the less fortunate. It is clear that the State of Israel is not the same as the spiritual Kingdom of Israel promised to believers regardless of their ethnic background.
It is time for you, American citizens, carriers – at least in name – of the Human Rights Torch, to decide if you will stand by the sublime ideals institutionalized by your ancestors or if you will continue to support a society which does not abide by such ideals and de facto violates them every day. History teaches that discriminating regimes do not last, the list is too long for such an article, hence I’ll mention only Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and the white regime in South Africa. Israel, unless it adopts a Constitution promising equal rights and responsibilities to all its citizens, regardless of religion, race and gender, will cease to exist. It is time for you, American citizens, to decide if your nation will follow Israel into the dustbin of history or will remember that “We the People” must set an example for others to follow.