Israel adopts controversial law on Jewish nation state

Thursday 19 July 2018

A new law defines clearer than before that Israel is a nation of the Jewish people. The law has several controversial formulations provoking the Arab minority in the country.

It will have been hard for eight hours in the Israeli parliament, Knesset on Wednesday night, writes BBC and Reuters.

“Democracy is dead”

After the poll, furious Arab politicians must have shouted and torn pieces of documents.

– I announce with shock and disappointment that democracy is dead.

That said the Arab parliamentarian Ahmed Tibi after the vote.

62 parliamentarians voted for the new law, 55 voted against and two abstained.

The law states that Hebrew is the country’s national language.

Previously, Arabic had the same status as Hebrew. Arabic now gets lower status.

“A National State of the Jewish People”

The new law defines Israel as “a nation of the Jewish people” and includes controversial formulations.

According to Reuters, the law states that only Jews have national self-sufficiency in Israel.

“Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in the country,” the BBC said.
«Important for future generations»

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrates the decision in Knesset and says it is important for many generations in the future.

“A clear majority wants to ensure that our country has a Jewish character for generations ahead of time,” Netanyahu said.

“We want to ensure democratic rights for all citizens. But the majority also have rights and the majority decide, Netanyahu said.

Dropped the most controversial

Several of the most controversial proposals in the new law were halted.

In the original proposal, there was, among other things, a clause to establish areas in which only Jews can live.

The proposal was dropped when both the President and the Attorney General responded, Reuters writes.

Some Arab parliamentarians believe that these most controversial proposals have been removed, the new law is racially motivated.

– Second class citizens

The Arab minority in Israel accounts for about 20 percent of the population of nine million.

Arabs living within the borders of Israel are descendants of the population who lived in the area when Israel received its national state in 1948.

The Arab population believes that they have been seen and treated as second-class citizens throughout the years.

According to the law, the Arabs have the same rights as Jews, m, one in practical life experiences many Arabs discrimination, writes Reuters.

Furious in Arab city

The news agency Reuters has talked with residents in the Arab-dominated city of Tarsiha north of Israel. There are many anguish after what happened in Knesset on Wednesday night.

“I think this is a racist law from a right government who wants to plant some seeds to create an apartheid state,” says 71-year-old Bassam Bisharah.

The news agency finds similar opinions in the village yanuh where there are many drusers.

– The motive for the new law is discrimination. They want to get rid of us Arabs, “says Yousef Faraj.