Israel and International Human Rights
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HUMAN RIGHTS, Vol. 3, pp. 247-257, Frederick P. Forsythe, ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2009
20 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2009
Date Written: December 11, 2009
Israel was established as a Jewish democracy. The relationship between state and religion, therefore, is critical when one analyzes the protection of human rights in the country. It is argued that human rights cannot be effectively secured unless a clear separation between state and religion is enacted. It is further argued that the safeguard of equal rights and liberties for all citizens notwithstanding nationality, religion, race or colour is a critical issue, in particular when it comes to the rights of the Israeli-Palestinians.
This Entry consists of five sections: (1) The Jewish Democracy and (2) Human Rights Legislation lay the foundations for understanding human rights in Israel. Sections (3) about the Israeli-Palestinians (many Arabs in Israel prefer to be called Palestinians; in referring to this minority I use the terms “Palestinian” and “Arab” interchangeably), and (4) State and Religion probe the two major human rights concerns in Israel. Then section (5) will shed light on important human rights precedents aimed to secure fundamental rights and liberties of all Israeli citizens.
Keywords: Israel, human rights, state and religion, Palestinians
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