Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Israel adopts divisive Jewish nation-state law

Israel adopts divisive Jewish nation-state law Israel adopts divisive Jewish nation-state law
Gerardo Duncan | 21 July, 2018, 14:00

The Knesset today passed the Nationality law, which identifies Israel as a Jewish nation, establishes Hebrew as its sole official language while giving Arabic special standing, declares Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and sets the Hebrew calendar as the official calendar of the state.

One Arab lawmaker termed it as a "death of democracy", according to the Reuters report.

The approval of the controversial bill is another bid to cement the occupation of Palestinian territories and wriggle out from recognizing Palestinian rights, the statement added.

A vote of 62-55 was passed after months of political argument. He argues that the Palestinians' refusal to do so is the biggest obstacle to peace, saying it demonstrates that the Palestinians do not genuinely recognise Israel's right to exist.

Adalah, a legal centre for Arabs living in Israel, called the law "illegitimate" and "colonial".

The pan-Arab body warned that the bill will ignite discrimination and more attacks against Palestinians within the green line.

Thousands of Israeli protesters, Jewish and Arab, marched through Tel Aviv over the weekend to protest discriminatory aspects of the legislation. "By defining sovereignty and democratic self-rule as belonging exclusively to the Jewish people - wherever they live around the world - Israel has made discrimination a constitutional value and has professed its commitment to favoring Jewish supremacy as the bedrock of its institutions".

"This is racist legislation by a radical right-wing government that is creating radical laws, and is planting the seeds to create an apartheid state", said physician Bassam Bisharah, 71, a resident of Ma'alot Tarshiha, a municipality in northern Israel created by linking a Jewish and an Arab town.

The law will apply to areas known as the "Green Line", where almost 20 percent of the population is Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as to territories occupied in 1967, such as Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which were annexed to the territory of the State of Israel by law.

In addition, she said that the USA administration's blind bias in favor of Israel and its total disdain for global law have emboldened Israel to persist with such unlawful and immoral policies.

Even after the changes, critics said the new law will deepen a sense of alienation within the Arab minority.

Israel's Palestinian population comprises mainly the descendants of those who remained on their land since 1948, the time of the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

In Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said on Thursday that the law formally legalizes "Israeli racism" and constitutes "a unsafe attack on the Palestinian [nation] and its historic right to its land".

Arab Israelis say it simply confirms what they have always claimed - that in Israel they are second class citizens; the only difference now is that that inferior status - justified on ethnic and religious grounds - is enshrined in law.

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