this week Israel’s Knesset passed the first reading of the Jewish Nation-state
bill. In so doing it made it clear,
beyond any doubt, that Israel is now officially an apartheid state. Israel has, of course, always declared itself
to be a Jewish state, despite having a 20% non-Jewish minority. But now this has become a Basic Law, which is
the equivalent of a constitutional law in a country with no constitution.
the same time the status of the Arab language, which up till now has been a
second official language of Israel, although in practice very few signs are in
both Hebrew and Arabic, has now been relegated to a language with a ‘special
is of course what happened in South Africa where Afrikaans was the official
is a state without a nationality – something that is quite unique in any modern
state. Instead nationalities are based
on religion, a pre-French revolution concept, and being a Jewish state the Jewish
‘nationality’ was the first and most important.
|A good example of how the Jewish state treats non-jews|
it is worse than that because Israel is a state not of its own citizens – Jewish
and non-Jewish – but a state of the ‘Jewish people’ a mythical concept which is
based on race not religion.
the following article by Jonathan Cook which is extremely good.
|Apartheid flags flies outside Knesset|
Knesset has passed its first vote on a new bill defining Israel as ‘a national
home of the Jewish people’
Jazeera – 11 May 2017
legislation to cement the definition of Israel as a state belonging exclusively
to Jews around the world is a “declaration of war” on Palestinian citizens of
Israel, the minority’s leaders warned this week.
which defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people”, passed its
first vote in the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, after it received unanimous
backing from a government committee on Sunday.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to get the measure on to the statute
books within 60 days.
|Fraudster Netanyahu speaks on 4th May 2017 in favour of Israel Apartheid Bill|
provisions, the legislation – popularly known as the Jewish Nation-State Bill –
revokes the status of Arabic as an official language, even though it is the
mother tongue of one in five citizens. Israel’s population includes a large
minority of 1.7 million Palestinians.
affirms that world Jewry has a “unique” right to national self-determination in
Israel, and calls for the government to further strengthen ties to Jewish
communities outside Israel.
increases the powers of so-called “admissions committees” that block
Palestinian citizens from living in hundreds of communities that control most
of Israel’s land.
addition, critics are concerned that the legislation is intended to stymie
prospects of reviving peace talks with the Palestinian leadership in the
occupied territories. US President Donald Trump is due in the region later this
month in what is widely assumed to be an attempt to kick-start a long-stalled
however, has already indicated that he will insist on a precondition that
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
The new bill effectively sets out the terms of the state Abbas is expected to
said this week that all Zionist parties in parliament would be expected to
support the legislation. “The bill establishes the fact that the State of
Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people in our historic homeland,” he
told supporters of his Likud party.
“There is no contradiction at all between this bill and equal rights for all
citizens of Israel.” However,
leaders of Israel’s large Palestinian minority strenuously disagreed.
Odeh, head of the Palestinian-dominated Joint List party in the Israeli
parliament, warned that the legislation would ensure “the tyranny of the
majority over the minority”.
bill, Hebrew alone will be an official language, with Arabic accorded only
“special status”. Palestinian citizens already complain that most public
services and official documents are not provided in Arabic.
is to portray institutional racism in Israel as entirely normal, and make sure
the apartheid reality here is irreversible,” Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian member
of the Israeli parliament, told Al Jazeera.
part of the right’s magical thinking – they are in denial that there is an
indigenous people here still living in their homeland. We are not about to
disappear because of this law.”
strictly legal terms, the Jewish Nation-State Bill offers limited changes.
Since its founding in 1948, Israel has defined itself as a state of the Jewish
people rather than of all the country’s citizens, including its Palestinian
of Return of 1950 allows only Jews to immigrate to Israel and receive
citizenship. Adalah, a legal rights group, has documented
dozens of laws that explicitly discriminate against Palestinian citizens.
new legislation is significant for reasons beyond its immediate legal
least, it gives Israel’s self-definition as the nation-state of the Jewish
people something akin to constitutional standing, observed Ali Haider, a human
rights lawyer and former co-director of Sikkuy, an organisation lobbying for
equal citizenship rights.
if passed, will join a handful of Basic Laws intended to provide the foundation
for any future constitution. Such laws take precedence over ordinary laws and
are much harder to repeal.
a very dangerous step because it makes explicit in a Basic Law that all Jews,
even those who are not citizens, have superior rights in Israel to those
citizens who are Palestinian,” he told Al Jazeera.
alternative draft of the new law that promised equal rights to all citizens was
effectively blocked by the government in January when it came up for
said the new version would provide the constitutional foundation to justify a
tide of other laws intended to marginalise Palestinian citizens and erode their
rights as citizens.
Expulsion Law passed last year gives Israeli parliament the power to expel Palestinian MPs if they make political
statements the Jewish majority disapprove of. Another bill before the
parliament, the Muezzin Law, silences the Muslim call to prayer.
are almost certain to be challenged in Israel’s supreme court. “The judges will
be much more reluctant to intervene if the Jewish Nation-State Bill is in
force,” Haider said. “They will feel under pressure to ignore basic democratic
principles and give priority to Israel’s Jewish character.”
that there would be little opposition from the Jewish public. A survey by the
Israel Democracy Institute last December found
that more than half of Israeli Jews wanted any citizen who rejected Israel’s
definition as a Jewish state stripped of basic rights.
key goal of the bill for the Netanyahu government is its likely impact on any
moves to revive peace talks with the Palestinians. Abbas and Donald Trump
met last week.
government no longer pays even lip service to the idea that it might agree to a
Palestinian state. Most debates in the Israeli cabinet focus instead on
intensifying settlement building and preparations for annexing areas of the
noted that since Netanyahu came to power in 2009, he has worked tirelessly to
persuade Washington to accept a new precondition for talks: that the
Palestinian leadership must first recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
bill would place Abbas in a tricky position, allowing him to enter talks with
Israel only if he first agrees to sacrifice the rights both of Israel’s
Palestinian citizens to equal citizenship and of millions of Palestinian
refugees to return to their former homes.
is aimed not only at Abbas but at Trump,” said Zoabi. “It gives him a map
instructing him exactly what can be negotiated over and what the terms of a
solution must look like.”
Dichter, a member of Netanyahu’s party who drafted the bill, indicated the diplomatic
use it would be put to.
the Israeli website Ynet: “The Palestinian aspiration to eliminate the Jewish
people’s nation-state is no longer secret”. He added that Israel must make
“demands of its enemies to recognize it as the nation-state of the Jewish
echoed Dichter, saying this week that the bill was “the clearest answer to all
those who are trying to deny the deep connection between the people of Israel
and its land”.
probably not coincidental that the Nation-State Bill is being fast-tracked as
far-right ministers in Netanyahu’s government have drafted separate legislation
to apply Israeli laws in the West Bank.
settlers and their supporters in government to annex the West Bank by stealth.
al-Halabi, a Palestinian journalist writing for the Israeli website 972, warned
this week that on the back of the Nation-State Bill the government would seek
to redraw Israel’s borders to include parts or all of the West Bank.
resulting “apartheid regime” would then “create… ‘justified crimes’ against the
Palestinian people, such as population transfer or removal,” he wrote.
editorial agreed that Netanyahu was laying the groundwork for annexing the West
Bank without conferring rights on its Palestinian population.
law, it said, was intended as “the constitutional cornerstone for apartheid” in
Israel and the occupied territories, allowing Israel to “maintain control over…
a Palestinian majority living under its rule”.