Republic of Ashkenatza
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|Fun Undzer Yiddishkeyt |
(English: For Our Yiddishkeit)
|Official language(s)||English, Yiddish|
|Date founded||November 11, 2004|
|Number of citizens||11|
|Number of active citizens||4 (As of October 2008)|
|Current leader||Guy Zalmonov|
The Republic of Ashkenatza is a micronation founded in August 2008 as an experiment in creating a Secular Jewish micronation along Yiddish and Ashkenazi Culture. It was felt an overt name such as Ashkenatza would help stress the essentially Eastern European flavour of the nation, thereby alleviating any impression of an Israeli micronation Ashkenatza would cause. Ashkenatza was quickly joined by the remaining old guard of the former Zatriarchate of Matbaa, and developed rapidly- its existence only being released to the Micronational Community at large after the Constitution of 2008 was ratified and a Government formed.
The Republic is a Parliamentary Democracy consisting of one legislative assembly, the Knesset, in the capital, Kolmenitzkiy. All legislation is debated in the Knesset, yet all Constitutional Amendments require a 75% majority of the Knesset's vote to be signed into law. Government departments in Ashkenatza are highly autonomous, and are funded, run, and administered almost semi-independently of the Knesset- their role being to draft legislation for the Knesset to amend, debate, and vote on. Consisting some one hundred seats, the Knesset's seats are divided according to political parties' winnings in general elections, which are held every three months. Coalition governments are often formed as per the traditionaly large number of Political parties in Ashkenatza. The Head of State of Ashkenatza is the Nohsi (roughly translating from the Yiddish as leader or elector) and has the power to veto and delay bills, as well as being honorary marshal of the Armed Forces. Political parties currently operating in Ashkenatza (at the time of writing) include: Dray Bagrif Partei (Three Principles Party) Ashkenatzer Aristotelisher Partei (Aristotelian Party) Di Algemeyner Bund (Ashkenatzi United Bund) The first Nohsi was His Excellency Laz Krakowski, of a Dray Bagrif-Algemeyner Bund coalition.
Ashkenatza's cultural development is highlighted in the life of the Eastern European Shtetl. Provincial names such as Litovina and Volhyria are generally variations on regions of the Jewish Pale of Settlement of the Russian Empire. Yiddish is also made extensive use of, being the language of the National Anthem (Zog Nit Keynmol, by Hirsh Glick) and of the State Motto. The Latin Scripted Yiddish system is used as a header on all official government documents and the government's desire for Ashkenatza to run as a secular, Yiddish State is highlighted in the use of the word Yiddishkeyt in the State Motto. Numerous cultural monuments in Ashkenatza are named after real-life Ashkenazi authors and politicians such as Sholem Aleichem, I.L Peretz, and Vladimir Medem. Ashkenatza's cultural development is administered by the Sholem Aleichem National Library, which oversees the development of a fictional history and the media, cartographical, and public relations side of the Ashkenatzi Republic. In keeping with cultural development, all citizens of Ashkenatza take Ashkenazi Jewish names as usernames- other ethnic Jewish communities such as Sephardim, Mizrahim, Falashim, Temanim, and Bukhorim are also represented in the rich tapestry of Ashkenatzi Jewish culture.
The Ashkenatzi State Flag was adopted in September 2008, and is of the 2:3 ratio. White and scarlet, the white bands symbolise purity of thought and will, and the snow which blankets the forests and plains of the Ashkenatzi nation, and the scarlet symbolises the struggle for independence and the fertile black earth soils of Ashkenatza's farmlands. The symbol in the middle of the flag is the Hebrew and Yiddish letter Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew and Yiddish alphabets and the first letter in spelling the name Ashkenatza in Hebrew script. The Aleph is a commonly used symbol and has come to be a somewhat unofficial logo for all things Ashkenatzi.
Ashkenatza's appearance on the micronational stage in August 2008 was during a time of great confusion for the Anglophone Micronational community- the death of Lovely, the Grand Commonwealth, the MCS-GSO divide and the imminent closure of the Micronational News Network MNN made it very difficult to recruit new citizens, leaving Ashkenatza's citizen base a very particular one, mainly old Matbaics and Babkhans. Ashkenatza's first intermicronational step was claiming land on Benacia, immediately drawing its foreign relations closer to Shireroth, and balancing the Ashkenatzi-Babkhan closeness which had been forming. Babkhan economic and military support to Ashkenatza was highly important, as was contact with Ashkenatza's neighbour Tellia, who shared similar concerns about possible Amokolian belligerence to the North. There had, however, been disagreements with Tellia regarding land expansions, and although Tellia eventually capitulated to Ashkenatzi ownership over the Southern Litovina area, Ashkenatza guaranteed the constitutional rights of ethnic Tellian citizens living there. Almost immediately, after the threat of war became very real, the Central Benacian Relations Conference, overseen by Shireroth and held in Romero, the capital of Tellia, agreed on a peaceful land expansion to share unclaimed inner Benacia, which allowed expansions for Amokolia, Ashkenatza, Tellia, and Ashkenatza's friendly western neighbour, Batavia. Still, the threat of war lingered and Tellia and Ashkenatza remained militarily very close, supported by Babkha- with whom, however, alliance negotiations were not incredibly successful- and the interventionist foreign policy pursued by Rozenthal, coupled with aggressive military buildup ensured Ashkenatza gained a 'causus belli' on any nation mistreating its Jewish citizens. How the widening rift between monarchist and socialist micronations in the Micras Sector will affect Ashkenatzi politics remains to be seen, but the tenuous coalition of the socialist Bundist Party and social liberal Dray Bagrif Partei under the leadership of Nohsi Laz Krakowski steered an easy going course intermicronationally for the first few months of the nation's existence.
The national currency of Ashkenatza is the Shekl, divided into one hundred rubl. As per the failure of the MX2 intermicronational banking system, Ashkenatza makes use of the micronational PhpBank software by Sander Dielemann for all transactions- which at the moment does not facilitate easily for intermicronational trade. Ashkenatza's economy currently sees one billion Shekl in circulation, which are paid on a monthly salary level to government employees and on a budget level for all government departments. Unemployed citizens receive benefit, and there is very little business taxation currently so as to facilitate the development of a free market economy. How the socialist principles of the Bundist party and its like will affect market trade in Ashkenatza remains to be seen. Ashkenatza's raw materials are chiefly mined iron ore and gold, though arable land and cattle pastures also contribute a significant amount of the micronation's GDP. Several companies are now functioning in Ashkenatza- and a great deal of early government expenditure has gone into a Transport and Communications Package, as well as military rearmament.
The Ashkenatzi Military Forces currently serve a defensive purpose, though substantial efforts have been made into Ashkenatzi heavy armourment and aircraft design. Unusually, helium zeppelins are favoured for observation purposes and sometimes even for air combat, and the Shalitov Armourments Bureau in Ashkenatza has developed a wide range of armoured vehicles, self-propelled artillery and tanks for the Ashkenatzi Armed Forces' (Mil'khome Byuro) use. Ashkenatza also makes use of a complex armoured train system across the nation, for troop transport and advanced communication. Some discussion regarding use of former Matbaic aircraft, the 'Dipou' fighter jet models, has started- and Babkhan military liason officers and advisors helped around late 2008 to build the core of the Ashkenatzi Armed Forces. Currently, Ashkenatza operates only a limited naval presence, its main military commitment being focused on the land-based Teyl fun Bregmeyletzen (Territorial Defence Forces) and air-based Militerisher-Fliik Teyl.