EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University professors Elie Rekhess and Eugene Kontorovich* are available to comment on Israel’s controversial ‘nation-state’ bill, which establishes Israel as the historic home of the Jewish people and puts Hebrew above Arabic as the official language. *Please note that due to travel, neither professor is available for local (Chicago) TV appearances.

Elie Rekhess, Crown Visiting Professor in Israel studies at Northwestern University, can be reached at [email protected].

Quote from Professor Rekhess
“The new basic law enshrining Israel as a Jewish nation state upsets the delicate balance between Israel’s nature as a Jewish and democratic state. It will undoubtedly damage and lead to a deterioration in the relations between Israel’s Jews and its 21 percent Arab minority, which views the law as purely discriminatory as it excludes the Arabs from the national collective. Arabs argue that they will now be deprived of equal rights due to the new basic law, which views Israel first and foremost as a Jewish state.”

Eugene Kontorovich is a professor of law at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. He specializes in constitutional law, federal courts and public international law. He can be reached at [email protected] or (mobile) 323-443-8591. 

Quote from Professor Kontorovich
“Israel’s Nation State Bill is similar to provisions in many western democratic constitutions, which provide for an official language and national character that reflects the majority of the population. Since Israel doesn’t have a formal constitution, it is imperative that the Jewish State has legislation that affirms the values and ethos it was founded upon.

“The Israeli bill is actually far weaker than constitutions of many European democracies, which unlike Israel even create an official national religion. The present bill does not violate any one’s individual rights or create any special privileges for Jews. The faux outrage against the bill is simply another attempt to single-out the Jewish State and hold her to a double standard. What’s good for the United Kingdom and Spain, should also be good for Israel.”

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