Sunday, June 20, 2004

Quite a circus today in the President's house. Vaadat Chukah and various academic kibbitzers, including me, converged to discuss what I thought would be Israel as the State of the Jewish People but instead turned out to be Minority Rights in a Jewish State. It seems this was orchestrated by the Israel Democracy Institute to herald the arrival of their proposed Bill of Rights. Shamgar carried on at length about the (idiotic) Supreme Court decision to force Tel Aviv to change all its street signs to give equal prominence to Arabic. Shamgar is proving himself to be more and more a pompous windbag. Everybody had something to say but the only one really worth listening to was Ruth Gavison who said that the proposed constitution will not solve any substantive problems but will only determine where the power to decide various issues lies. She believes, as I do, that shifting power from the Knesset to the courts is a catastrophe. It prevents compromises that are acceptable to the broad center. I spoke to MK Reshef Chen of Shinui about my proposed Basic Law: Israel as the State of the Jewish People and he's basically on board. If I can get Ravitz on board, Mashiach will be that much closer. I spoke briefly to MK Yuli Tamir of Labor, who wrote her thesis on Liberal Nationalism, and we agreed to sit. Her input on this can be very important.

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