Critics Call Israel's Nation-State Law 'Provocative And Racist'

Sunday, 22 Jul, 2018

Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat Thursday condemned the Israel's adopting of the so-called "Jewish Nation- State" law passed by the Knesset.

A spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan called on the worldwide community "to react to this injustice happening in front of the entire world's eyes" after the Israeli Knesset passed the "nation-state" law on Thursday, angering members of the country's Arab minority.

The law also speaks of Israel as the historic homeland of the Jews and bestows upon them the "unique" right to self-determination there.

Critics say it effectively makes Israeli Arabs, who make up a fifth of the nine-million population, second-class citizens.

Opponents of the new bill say it marginalises the country's Arab minority of around 20 percent and also downgrades Arabic language from official to "special" standing. The law which was adopted by Israel's parliament on Thursday defines the establishment of Jewish communities as being in the national interest. The real version was much harsher, much more openly racist and much more discriminatory against non-Jews who reside in Israel.

The Irish lower house of Parliament is about to vote on a bill which would prohibit the import and sale of goods from illegally occupied settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Given the draconian nature of the bill, it is hardly surprising that it has invited widespread opprobrium, including from Qatar's Foreign Ministry which has expressed strong condemnation.

"This is not a decision I expected from the Likud leadership", he said.

The law was passed because the "current leaders of Israel are extremists", said Sabbah, adding he hopes at one point new Israeli leaders will change the law to one that "treats all citizens of the state equally".

The issue is the latest source of tension between Israel and Turkey, one of the Jewish state s few key Muslim partners.

Basharat concluded by saying that, through the new legislation, Israel "has officially ended the peace process and given up on the possibility of reaching a political solution [with the Palestinians] based on global law". If laws like the nation-state bill are barely passed today, what will pass in the Knesset in five, 10, 15 years?

The sponsor of the law, Avi Dichter from Netanyahu's Likud party, has said it aims to defend Israel's "status as a Jewish and democratic state".

"The 'nation-state" bill is the exact definition of Apartheid...

Yousef Bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen stressed that this law is racist and illegitimate.

Sweilam called for the legislation to be overturned, noting that global law "rejects the establishment of any political regime based on race or ethnicity".