To the Editor:
Peter Beinart sees an absence of democracy in the occupied territories, and contrasts that with the situation in Israel proper. The contrast is an illusion.
Israeli law treats Jewish and non-Jewish citizens differently in important areas like the process of obtaining citizenship, state spending on education and infrastructure, who can live and build in East Jerusalem, and who is required to serve in the military. Israel is, after all, a Jewish state.
But such a state cannot be a democracy. Sooner or later, Israelis will have to choose between ethnic privilege or a state that recognizes the equality of all of its citizens before the law. As an American Jew, I hope that they will choose democracy.
New York, March 19, 2012