1 — Basic principles
- The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.
- The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
2 — The symbols of the state
- The name of the state is “Israel.”
- The state flag is white with two blue stripes near the edges and a blue Star of David in the center.
- The state emblem is a seven-branched menorah with olive leaves on both sides and the word “Israel” beneath it.
- The state anthem is “Hatikvah.”
- Details regarding state symbols will be determined by the law.
3 — The capital of the state
Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.
4 — Language
- The state’s language is Hebrew.
- The Arabic language has a special status in the state; Regulating the use of Arabic in state institutions or by them will be set in law.
- This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.
5 — Ingathering of the exiles
The state will be open for Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles
6 — Connection to the Jewish people
- The state will strive to ensure the safety of the members of the Jewish people in trouble or in captivity due to the fact of their Jewishness or their citizenship.
- The state shall act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people.
- The state shall act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people among Jews in the Diaspora.
7 — Jewish settlement
- The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.
8 — Official calendar
The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the Gregorian calendar will be used as an official calendar. Use of the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will be determined by law.
9 — Independence Day and memorial days
- Independence Day is the official national holiday of the state.
- Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel’s Wars and Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day are official memorial days of the State.
10 — Days of rest and sabbath
The Sabbath and the festivals of Israel are the established days of rest in the state; Non-Jews have a right to maintain days of rest on their Sabbaths and festivals; Details of this issue will be determined by law.
11 — Immutability
This Basic Law shall not be amended, unless by another Basic Law passed by a majority of Knesset members.
The Basic Laws of Israel (Hebrew: חוקי היסוד, ħuqey ha-yesod) are the constitutional laws of the State of Israel, and can only be changed by a supermajority vote in the Knesset. Many of these are based on the individual liberties outlined in the Israeli Declaration of Independence. The Basic Laws deal with the formation and role of the principal institutions of the state, and with the relations between the state’s authorities. They also protect the country’s civil rights, although some of these rights were earlier protected at common law by the Supreme Court of Israel. The Basic Laws are intended to be draft chapters of the future Israeli constitution, postponed since 1950, and act as a de facto constitution until their future incorporation into a formal, unitary, written constitution. Israel as of 2017 functions according to an uncodified constitution consisting of both material constitutional law, based upon cases and precedents, common law, and the provisions of these formal statutes.
Thing I like about the law
Basic Principles, 1 A and B
We as Jews should be able to have a state in our own historical homeland.
Israel looks to protect Jews around the world, regardless of their citizenship. Think of the Entebbe raid
Areas of concern
Can only Jews decide about the direction of the State of Israel? What happened to democracy?
What if the road to peace involved some sharing of Jerusalem in a way we can’t even imagine yet?
Arabic is (or was) an official language of Israel. Making official papers available to 20% of the population in the language they speak, does not feel like a huge inconvenience. But this is secondary.
The State of Israel is open to Jewish immigration is fine, but other people move to Israel as well, and yet there is no provision for anyone else coming to Israel.
Development of Jewish settlements. The idea that there might be settlements that are exclusively Jewish seems like a problem
I think that Shabbat and festivals as days of rest are beautiful. My problem is when the state ordains these days. Separation of Church and State does