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Opinion

Readers React: The contentious debate over Israel’s nation-state law shows a vibrant democracy at work

Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on July 15.
(Ronen Zvulun / AP)

To the editor: As I read the Los Angeles Times’ report on Israel’s new nation-state law, I could imagine the forthcoming letters condemning Israel as an apartheid state.

This bill had to be passed by two votes in the middle of the night because there was so much opposition to it. Israel is a vibrant democracy. The Arabs have their own voting block of parties, and there is a huge opposition to the party in power as well.

In the surrounding Mideast nations, dissent is treated far less permissibly than it is in Israel. This needs to be pointed out every time news outlets report on criticism of Israel.

Paul Zimmelman, Marina del Rey

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To the editor: Israel’s new nation-state law makes continued United States full-bore support problematic.

The new law rejects democracy and the concept of equal rights for citizens — both bedrock principles of the U.S. government. With Israel’s new law violating those principles, how can the U.S. continue to shield Israel from accountability at the United Nations, or give Israel about $4 billion in military aid each year?

There is no reason for this law except to bolster Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s status with right-wing voters and to make it clear to the 20% of Israeli citizens who are not Jewish that they will remain second-class citizens.

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Jeff Warner, Los Angeles

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