…there are competing understandings of what it means to be a Jewish state, both in regard to relations with non-Jewish Israelis as well as concerning the place of Jewish religion and tradition in the legal system and in the public sphere. It is also impossible to ignore the fact that the discussion of the status of non-Jews in Israel takes place in the context of a longstanding conflict, in which the very legitimacy of the state is challenged. These should not be reasons for ignoring the need to create a common language between Jewish tradition and human rights. Even Jews who are wary of innovations in Jewish law must understand the challenge to Jewish tradition of a modern state based on democratic principles, and formulate an appropriate Jewish response.
Kalman Neuman, “Equal Under the Law?”, The Jewish Week (3 January 2014), 25.