The Right's Assault on Liberty in Israel

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Carlo Strenger on a very illiberal Knesset:

Dichter has proposed a Basic Law that would define Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People. Veteran political scientist and former head of the foreign ministry Shlomo Avineri has strongly criticized this law. Among others he has pointed out that Paragraph 7 of the proposed law is basically empty, as it has no concrete content. It states: "The state will act to strengthen the bond between Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora".

This law will lead to the precise of opposite of its intentions. Not only will passing this law not do anything to strengthen the bond between Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora; it is likely to further alienate most Diaspora Jews, who already feel that the present government has pushed Israel beyond the brink of what is acceptable for them.


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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