Sunday, October 17, 2010 v 21.0

Israel’s Loyalty Crisis
©2010 By David Talbot

On October 10, 2010, the Israeli Cabinet, under the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met to discuss a proposal to require non-Jewish Israeli immigrants to take a loyalty oath to the Jewish State, as part of the immigration process. The proposal passed 22-9 and now goes to the full Knesset (Israeli Parliament) for consideration.

As one might expect, liberal groups around the world broke out in righteous indignation at the thought of requiring a loyalty oath as part of becoming a new citizen of a country, any country.

But wait a minute, my wife became a citizen of the United States in 1965 after fleeing Cuba, along with her mom and sister. I was at the ceremony where she became an American. I distinctly recall her and 60 or 70 others being told to raise their right hand and swear to support and defend…..etc.

After administering the Oath, each and every person there was required, one at a time, to state: “I do swear.” Some of the individuals taking the oath were so emotional they stated those words through tears of joy. And all of us in attendance cheered each one.

When I enlisted in the Army, I swore allegiance to the United States of America. When I was promoted to Warrant Officer, and then Commissioned Officer, I swore allegiance again, and again.

Why would liberal groups be so upset with what should be a “no-brainer”?

Here’s the answer: It’s only non-Jewish immigrants who will be required to take the oath, if it becomes law. And, being the conservative Orthodox Jew that I am, I hate to say it, but I’m on the liberal’s side of this issue.

If there are terrorists in the immigrant group, trying to get into Israel, you think a simple oath will be any deterrent to their nefarious plans? I don’t either. So why go through this exercise? It’s pure politics! Netanyahu’s coalition needs to be assured that he will be tough with Arabs, the United States, and the UN.

There is an simple solution to this problem. The Israelis should amend the legislation and require every immigrant, regardless of former nationality, to take the Loyalty Oath. The Loyalty Oath legislation as it’s currently drafted, is not in the best interests of all Israelis.

Anyway, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?


David Talbot

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