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The Jewishness of Israel: Meaning, Justification and Implications

November 5, 2014

132 Boalt Hall

Ruth Gavison
Professor of Human Rights Emerita, Hebrew University

This lecture is intended for UC Berkeley students and faculty. Please RSVP here

Israel is often described as a Jewish state and a democtatic state. Some argue that it cannot be both Jewish and democratic as this legitmiates discrimination against the Arab minority in Israel and strengthens theocratic tendencies in Israel. On the other hand, in the recent negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel demanded that a final status agreement include recognition that Israel is a Jewish state, to clarify that the two states are seen as granting self-determination to Jews and Palestinians respectively. Against this background, a new examination of the meaning and implications of the Jewishness of Israel is indeed required.

Prof. Ruth Gavison is the Haim Cohn Professor of Human Rights Emerita at Hebrew University, where she has taught since 1969. She helped found, and for many years led, ACRI, Israel's ACLU. She was awarded the Israel prize, the nation's highest honor, in 2011.

This lecture is part of the Religion, Law and State in Israel lecture series. It is sponsored by the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies and the Religion, Politics, and Globalization Program. The series is intended for UC Berkeley faculty and students. Please RSVP for this event here.