Israeli Supreme Court upholds law allowing housing discrimination against Palestinians

Israel/Palestine
on 84 Comments

Yesterday, Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed a petition by Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel effectually facilitating the Judaization of more Palestinian owned land inside Israel. According to Adalah, the court’s decision holding up Israel’s Admissions Committees Law, “entrenches racial segregation; 434 small communities in Israel, or 43% of all residential areas, will be allowed to close their doors to Palestinian Arab citizens of the state.” Much of the land in question was originally confiscated from Palestinian refugees, and the court’s decision will result in the continued concentration and containment of the Palestinian population in Israel.

In March 2011, the Knesset passed two racist laws, the “Nakba Law” and the “Admissions Committees Law”, the latter granting legal legitimacy to “admission committees” in small towns, many agricultural, with fewer than 400 families in the Naqab and the Galilee to “have the full discretion to accept or reject individuals who wish to live in these towns.” The committees consisting of town residents include a member of the Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Organization, or other “quasi” government representative are able, in practice, to “filter out Arab Palestinian applicants and others from marginalized groups,“.

On March 30, 2011 Adalah filed a petition to the Supreme court of Israel demanding the cancellation of the racist law arguing:

The petitioners argued that the law allows admission committees to reject any person on the basis of his or her national belonging, sexual preference, and even on health grounds. It would also allow an admission committee to reject an Arab applicant because his or her culture different from that of the majority of persons living in a community town.

The Admission Committees Law violates Israeli domestic law and international law, which prohibit discrimination against any person who does not belong to the dominant group in society, by legitimizing the exclusion of entire groups on the basis that he or she is not suited to the “social/cultural fabric” of a community town. Specifically, the law is contrary to the Israeli Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom and violates basic constitutional rights, as well as the rights to privacy and to freedom to choose one’s place of residence without arbitrary restriction.

Following the court’s decision upholding the law, Suhab Bishara, the attorney for the petitioners and director of the Land and Planning Unit at Adalah issued a statement through the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) saying, “The Court’s recent decisions confirm that Palestinian citizens of Israel have no constitutional guarantees or protections of their housing rights. The Court has approved the policy of Israeli  government institutions to exclude Arabs from Jewish-only communities that are built on state land or to evict them in order to establish new Jewish communities in their place. The state claims that the communities are for the ‘general public,’ but it is clear in both policy and law that Arab citizens of Israel are not included in that definition.”

When the law was first passed in 2011 Human Rights Watch Middle East Director Sarah Leah Whitson stated the Admissions Committees Law “sanctioned discrimination”, essentially authorizing Jewish-majority communities to reject Palestinian citizens of Israel applicants for residency status, and chastised Israeli politicians “Israeli parliamentarians should be working hard to end glaring inequality, not pushing through discriminatory laws to control who can live where”.  Whitson echoed that harsh response in a comment on the court’s dismissal of Adalah’s petition: “Israel’s Supreme Court today missed a chance to overturn a law whose sponsors sought to enable Jewish communities to prevent Palestinian-Israeli citizens from living among them. The majority said it needed to wait for the law to be implemented, but a law aimed at facilitating ethnic discrimination should be treated as unlawful on its face.”

Here’s yesterday’s press release from Adalah:

(Haifa, Israel) Today, 17 September 2014, in a 5 to 4 decision, an expanded panel of the Israeli Supreme Court decided to dismiss a petition brought by Adalah three years ago against the “Admissions Committees Law”. The law allows for hundreds of Israeli Jewish communities in the Naqab (Negev) in the south and in the Galilee in the north to reject applicants for housing based on the criteria of “social suitability” and the “social and cultural fabric” of the town.

The law allows the possibility of rejecting applicants who are Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, as well as other marginalized groups, solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, or other identity. The court’s decision effectively legalizes the principle of segregation in housing between Arab and Jewish citizens, and permits the practice of racism against Arab citizens in about 434 communities, or 43% of all towns in Israel. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) also filed a petition against this law.

In response, Adalah stated that the Court’s decision, “gives the green light for 434 communities to exist based on the principle of segregated housing. This law is one of the most racist pieces of legislation enacted in recent years, the primary objective of which is to marginalize Arab citizens and prevent them from accessing housing on ‘state land’ in many communities. The court’s decision upholds one of the most dangerous laws in Israel.”

Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara, who filed the petition, added that: “The court’s decision seriously undermines its landmark decision in 1999 in the Ka’adan case. That case allowed an Arab family to move to the town of Katzir despite their rejection by the town’s admissions committee. This latest court decision illustrates the continued deterioration of the constitutional rights and legal protection of Palestinian citizens of Israel.” Attorney Bishara further stated that the new decision, “allows the principle of separation in residency based on national identity, and as such, 434 communities will be allowed to close their doors to Arab citizens.”

The Admissions Committees Law, enacted by the Knesset in 2011, gives “admissions committees” – bodies that select applicants for housing units and plots of land – almost full discretion to accept or reject individuals from living in these towns. The committees include a representative from the Jewish Agency or the World Zionist Organization, quasi-governmental entities. The Committees, in practice, filter out Arab Palestinian applicants and others from marginalized groups. While one of the provisions of the law states a duty to respect the right to equality and prevent discrimination, the law allows these committees to reject applicants deemed “unsuitable to the social life of the community…or the social and cultural fabric of the town,” thereby legitimizing the exclusion of entire groups. The law also authorizes admissions committees to adopt criteria determined by individual community towns themselves based on their “special characteristics”, including those community towns that have defined themselves as having a “Zionist vision.”

In the last hearing on the case before the Supreme Court on 4 December 2012, Attorney Bishara argued that, “the law marginalizes certain groups, creating a legal, constitutional, and legitimate basis for discrimination. The law allows for division of state land based on vague cultural and social standards – and not even the state can explain which criteria admissions committees could use to accept or reject candidates. The law will open the door to arbitrary decisions based on prejudices and personal grudges.”

Attorney Bishara added after that hearing that, “The law is functioning the same way it did previously as a policy, deterring many segments of the population, especially Palestinian Arab citizens of the state, from applying for housing in these towns for fear of rejection. The law has serious implications now and has had for many years, so it is not possible to say that it is not ripe for judicial ruling.”

This statement by Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund and the Palestine Center in Washington, DC, and Palestinian citizen of Israel, perfectly reflects why Israel, a state that gives legal preference to one ethnicity under the law, does not share U.S. values:

“The upholding of this law means that the Israeli court system, along with the state, supports the practice of segregation within Israel and against Israeli citizens of Palestinian origin. For state-sanctioned and partially controlled committees to be able to deny residence within communities to certain citizens effectively based on their religion, race or ethnic origin is unthinkable in the United States – such a racist law would be shot down by the US Supreme Court because of constitutional guarantees against discrimination. But it has now been approved by the highest court in Israel. The talk of ‘shared values’ grows more farcical and the mask covering the face of an Apartheid system falls further by the day, making the ugly reality easier for the world to see.”

For more history on the Israeli legislation and court decisions precipitating today’s court decision see this Mondoweiss post, The historical context of the Israeli land and planning law regime:

Only 2.5% of land in Israel is under the control of a Palestinian controlled planning authority. [31] Moreover, in spite of a sixteen-fold increase in the built-up areas of Palestinian communities since the British Mandate, the average area of jurisdiction of Palestinian cities and local councils has, in that time, decreased by 45%. [32] Therefore, as Bimkom has stated, most Arab localities are dependent on decisions made by planning commissions which are, for the most part, devoid of Palestinian representation. [33]

84 Responses

  1. DoubleStandard
    September 18, 2014, 11:20 am

    I haven’t read the actual court opinion nor a summary from a less politicized source so I don’t know how accurately this article interprets it. Assuming this article interprets it correctly,

    (1) Other countries do have laws privileging one group over another. Since many Israeli Jews are in fact Arabs, it’s religious discrimination, not racial.
    (2) Israel is still treating them better than they would treat Jews.
    (3) Is it so unreasonable for communities to want to remain religiously homogeneous and not admit citizens who are likely hostile toward the state? Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and is the only place invent world Jews are among their own kin. I don’t think Israeli Arabs want Jews moving to their towns. I’m currently in a “Jewish” part of Israel and there are plenty of Arabs walking around. The neighborhood is honestly a mosaic of Jewish and Arab houses. Nothing that screams apartheid.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 18, 2014, 11:38 am

      ds, for your edification: the legal definition of link to en.wikipedia.org

      The UN does not define “racism”; however, it does define “racial discrimination”: According to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,

      the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.[25]

      This definition does not make any difference between discrimination based on ethnicity and race, in part because the distinction between the two remains debatable among anthropologists.[26] Similarly, in British law the phrase racial group means “any group of people who are defined by reference to their race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin”.[27]

      Assuming this article interprets it correctly… it’s religious discrimination, not racial

      1) Adalah quoting the law: ” the law allows these committees to reject applicants deemed “unsuitable to the social life of the community…or the social and cultural fabric of the town,” ”

      that is not limited to “religious” read the blockquote above, it qualifies as racial discrimination.

      Other countries do have laws privileging one group over another

      that’s whataboutery, we’re not discussing “other countries”. the article references that israel does not share our values, that would be here in the U.S. and other civic national states (which israel is not).

      2) Israel is still treating them better than they would treat Jews

      LOL. and 3 is a joke, not worthy of rebuttal.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 18, 2014, 12:06 pm

      and i highly recommend “We Want a Quiet Community without Arabs”

      link to ha-makom.co.il

      Some voices called for order to return. “Guys, let’s not get too militant” Avi and Limor Malka wrote, “The father is a wonderful doctor giving good and professional treatment to our kids. We’re looking at a 13 year old boy that probably posted what he did without his father’s knowledge, and without giving it much thought. We should work to maintain the coexistence on the Gilboa. We have good neighbors, who want to live in peace and quiet just like us. Dr. Zuabi treats everyone with no religion, race or gender difference. Please respect him as well as ourselves”.

      read the whole thing.

      • amigo
        September 18, 2014, 12:20 pm

        Annie, did you take a quick look at DS archives.

        You have got a right one there , This poster believes Syrian Heights belongs to Israel and black is white and white is black and pigs fly and the Real estate guy in the sky gave Israel to the Jews.

        Yep, some mothers do ave them.

    • amigo
      September 18, 2014, 12:14 pm

      1) Other countries do have laws privileging one group over another. DS

      Can you provide us with a link to this stunning revelation.By the way , your response must refer to “Democratic nations”.

      (2) Israel is still treating them better than they would treat Jews.DS

      Does your mommy know you are using the pc.

      3) Is it so unreasonable for communities to want to remain religiously homogeneous and not admit citizens who are likely hostile toward the state?

      So you would also apply this rule to Secular Jews???.

    • amigo
      September 18, 2014, 12:53 pm

      “I don’t think Israeli Arabs want Jews moving to their towns.” ds

      So you wont complain if they quote this law and tell Israeli Jews to get lost and rent elsewhere.

      By the way, Israel is the State of the Israeli people ,Not the State of the Jewish people.
      Just like Ireland is the State of the Irish people –not the State of the Catholic people even though a large proportion of Ireland is Catholic.Separation of Church and state laws require that in true democracies.

      Israel is no where close to being a democracy.It never was and never will be, which is why in it,s present makeup , it will collapse.

    • eljay
      September 18, 2014, 1:02 pm

      >> Israel is the state of the Jewish people …

      An Israel that is a state primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews is a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      What Israel should be is an Israeli state – a state of and for all its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally.

      >> … and is the only place invent world Jews are among their own kin.

      No it’s not. If by “their own kin” you mean:
      – other Jews, Jews are “among their own kin” in every country in which a Jewish community exists;
      – fellow citizens, Jews are “among their own kin” in every country whose citizenship they hold.

      • Mooser
        September 21, 2014, 11:52 am

        Gee, I must be a very lucky Mooser. Wherever there are people, I am among “my own kin”

      • Mooser
        September 21, 2014, 12:22 pm

        And anyplace I hang my head is home.

    • oldgeezer
      September 18, 2014, 6:36 pm

      Truly an astounding post. It’s hard to believe anyone can hold views such as those and, also feel that they are in any way reasonable in this day and age.

      1. Well that makes it alright then. Issue solved.

      2. Assumes facts not in evidence. Given the propensity of the GoI to use violent measures to control it’s Arab population while letting it’s Jewish thugs run amok not only unopposed but often with support of armed stated officials I don’t think your proposition is a given. I bet a number of dead Arab Israelis would loved to weigh in on the topic.

      3. Yes it is. It is one thing for a group of like minded people to band together and set up a commune/kibbutz provided they live within the laws set by the appropriate authorities at the federal, regional or local level. It is an entirely different thing when that collection of individuals are operating as an agent of government which is what local authorities are generally considered to be. This has to be your most shocking response.

      Granted I’m sure it makes life easier for the Israeli state which provides lower levels of funding for Arab towns. They’d have to find a new racist scheme if people actually lived together.

      The extent of racism you display is astounding but not half as mind boggling that you clearly don’t even see it.

      Hopefully Israel will someday become a democratic state. It takes a lot more than voting.

    • RoHa
      September 18, 2014, 7:25 pm

      “(1) Other countries do have laws privileging one group over another. ”

      That doesn’t make it right for Israel to do it.

      “Since many Israeli Jews are in fact Arabs, it’s religious discrimination, not racial.”

      Still wrong.

      “(2) Israel is still treating them better than they would treat Jews.”

      Until Israel treats them in the same way as Israel treats Jews, Israel is still acting wrongly.

    • Talkback
      September 19, 2014, 8:27 am

      What can we learn from “DoubleStandard”, if we take his nickname seriously?

      It is totally ok to discriminate Jews, because they are not Gentiles. And it is totally ok to exclude them from living together with Gentile in communities, especially in Nonjewish countries which are the states of Nonjewish people and in which the people wants to live among their own kin.

      You gotta love this Hasbarats. They always end up legitimizing Antisemitism and even Nazism in the long run.

      • Mooser
        September 21, 2014, 12:25 pm

        “They always end up legitimizing Antisemitism and even Nazism in the long run.”

        Yeah, see, that’s because we have a deep-seated and almost unshakeable fear of persecution.
        That’s why it’s very, very important to Zionist Jews that inequalities or bigotries worth killing over are preserved and even enhanced.

        Oh, wait, did I get that right?

    • talknic
      September 19, 2014, 11:43 am

      @ DoubleStandard “(1) Other countries do have laws privileging one group over another.”

      Know where this is from? “it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; ”

      ” Since many Israeli Jews are in fact Arabs, it’s religious discrimination, not racial”

      Know where this is from? “it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture”

      “(2) Israel is still treating them better than they would treat Jews”

      25,000 Iranian Jews chose to stay in Iran rather than move to Israel. Approximately 50% of our fellows have not bothered moving to Israel … the reason?

      “(3) Is it so unreasonable for communities to want to remain religiously homogeneous and not admit citizens who are likely hostile toward the state?”

      They are already citizens of the state, it’s their state too

      “Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and is the only place invent world Jews are among their own kin”

      Nonsense. There are numerous Jewish communities where we are amongst our fellows

      “I don’t think Israeli Arabs want Jews moving to their towns.”

      Little wonder. Past experience shows Israeli Jews taking over, pushing non-Jews out supported by amongst other things the courts. You have read the article? Yes?

      ” I’m currently in a “Jewish” part of Israel and there are plenty of Arabs walking around.”

      “walking around” tells us nothing

      The neighborhood is honestly a mosaic of Jewish and Arab houses. Nothing that screams apartheid.”

      This law changes that. Your refusal to acknowledge it enables it

    • Sibiriak
      September 19, 2014, 7:37 pm

      DoubleStandard: “Since many Israeli Jews are in fact Arabs, it’s religious discrimination, not racial. ”
      —-
      I don’t think Israeli Arabs want Jews moving to their towns. I’m currently in a “Jewish” part of Israel and there are plenty of Arabs walking around”

      ————-

      You first make a distinction between religious and racial identity, then go on to completely ignore that very distinction, talking about “Israeli Arabs” and “Arabs walking around” is if they could not be Jews.

    • Sibiriak
      September 19, 2014, 7:53 pm

      DoubleStandard: “Israel is the state of the Jewish people”
      ————–

      Yes, that is the common Zionist contention, but in any case, the “Jewish People” is defined primarily in ethnic/genetic terms, not religious ones (though religion plays a role). One doesn’t have to believe in or practice any form of Jewish religion to be a member of the Jewish People. The operative expression is for good reason the “JewishPeople,” NOT “Adherents of the Jewish faith” . A “state of the Jewish People” , therefore, inescapably involves discrimination against non-Jews on ethnic as well as religious grounds.

      • Mooser
        September 21, 2014, 11:58 am

        “Yes, that is the common Zionist contention, but in any case, the “Jewish People” is defined primarily in ethnic/genetic terms,”

        WOULD YOU PLEASE, KINDLY DO ME THE FAVOR, I AM BEGGING YOU, OF TELLING ME (and everybody else) WHAT THE “ETHNIC/GENETIC” CHARACTERISTICS OF “THE JEWISH PEOPLE IS??

        Should be fairly simple, since these ethnic/genetic” characteristics can identify a Jew anywhere, so what are they? Please, I’m all ears.

        No, not what other people think the Jews “ethnic/genetic” are (that’s called “anti-Semitism, you see) but what they actually are. You are the one who says we’ve got ’em, so please, tell me what they are?

    • can of worms
      September 20, 2014, 2:59 am

      “I’m currently in a ‘Jewish’ neighborhood and there are plenty of Arabs walking around.”
      Wow, kol hakavod! “Arabs” are actually allowed to walk around? Without leashes?

      Psst. I’m currently in a ‘Jewish’ neighborhood and there are plenty of Palestinians (well, not plenty; actually, there is, occasionally, one or another) walking around, looking in the Jewish “tzfardea” (trash bin) for things to bring home.

      Why, “DoubleStandard”?

      • can of worms
        September 20, 2014, 3:20 am

        Exclusionary covenants — which specifically barred real estate sales to Blacks, Jews, and other minorities – were legal in the United States from the mid-19th century until the civil rights era. I’m sure you’d long to have those restrictive covenant days back in America, ‘DoubleStandard’. You can’t, but, luckily, you can move to Israel where they are now legal.

    • traintosiberia
      September 27, 2014, 5:49 pm

      Do those nations get US monetary ,intelligence,diplomatic one way supports? Do those countries get Dolphin Submarine? Do those countries try to influence presidential election in order to divert the foreign policy more in their favor including the policy of military engagements to the enemies of those countries?

    • traintosiberia
      September 27, 2014, 6:14 pm

      Other countries have laws that discriminate one group over another. Hindus in Pakistan,Muslim in Mynamar,Muslim in China,Christian in Pakistan,Iraq,Saudi Arab,and Gypsies in Spain,Italy,France,
      But those countries won dare to discriminate indigenous Jews. The hell will break loose . America has. Department that monitors antisemitism and applies appropriate sanctions, France cn shut down the show of the black rapper and can demand prosecution for Jews did not like his hand gestures .Austria has to replace Haider for Jews wanted . British Labor party and Liberal Democrat have to force resignation on those MPs and party members who expressed opinion that Jews did not like.
      So you are partially right but the crux of the matter is missed. Jews stand part from that interracial conflicts in demanding and obtaining what’s desirable to them .other has to ” get over it ” .

  2. eljay
    September 18, 2014, 11:28 am

    Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed a petition by Adalah … , effectually facilitating the Judaization of more Palestinian owned land inside Israel. According to Adalah, the court’s decision holding up Israel’s Admissions Committees Law, “entrenches racial segregation; 434 small communities in Israel, or 43% of all residential areas, will be allowed to close their doors to Palestinian Arab citizens of the state.” Much of the land in question was originally confiscated from Palestinian refugees, and the court’s decision will result in the continued concentration and containment of the Palestinian population in Israel.

    Another example of blatant injustice and immorality in supremacist “Jewish State”. It warms the Zio-supremacist heart.

    • DoubleStandard
      September 18, 2014, 12:03 pm

      Besides, Arabs don’t serve in the the army or pull their fair share in the country. As a general rule, civic rights shouldn’t be contingent upon responsibility, but when a population – admittedly not monolithically, but by a sizeable majority – makes clear it doesn’t want to participate in the life of the state, who are they to demand equality? Citizenship and rights are a 2 way street.

      • oldgeezer
        September 19, 2014, 2:21 am

        Ah yes… Clearly when all members of a group don’t feel the same way about something it’s only appropriate that the entire group be held to account and punished somehow.

      • RoHa
        September 19, 2014, 5:28 am

        When the state was founded against the wishes of the majority of the population, and then drove out a large proportion of that majority, leaving the rest a minority, stole the land and property of the expelled, held the remainder under martial law for years, and set up a system which branded them as second class citizens, it is not really surprising if they regard the state with modified rapture.

      • eljay
        September 19, 2014, 7:11 am

        >> DoubleStandardeee: … when a population … makes clear it doesn’t want to participate in the life of the state, who are they to demand equality?

        A population that is part of a state should not have to demand equality – it should already be equal. The fact that the population of non-Jews in Israel is not equal to the population of Jews in Israel underscores the fact that Israel is a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

        Thank you for making my point.

      • Talkback
        September 19, 2014, 8:59 am

        @ DoubleStandard

        ROFL. As if the “JEWISH state” WOULDN’T discrimante against them inherently, but treat them equally, if they would join the IDF. Have you even realized what this article is about?

        And your first comment in this thread is even about your implicit support for discriminating them anyway and exclude them from living amongst them in (predominantly) Not-for-Jews communities.

        Do you think that only a Not-for-Jews-sign would reveal the segregational hafrada policies of your Apartheid Junta?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 19, 2014, 10:29 am

        when a population – admittedly not monolithically, but by a sizeable majority – makes clear it doesn’t want to participate in the life of the state

        but the state targets perfectly innocent human beings knowingly, and makes their lives miserable:

        If anyone interests us, we’d collect information on his or her economic situation and mental state. Then we would plan how we can perform an operation around this individual, in order to turn them into a collaborator or something of the sort….

        Any information that might enable extortion of an individual is considered relevant information. Whether said individual is of a certain sexual orientation, cheating on his wife, or in need of treatment in Israel or the West Bank – he is a target for blackmail.

        ……..

        The period during which I collected information on people who were accused of attacking Israelis, trying to attack Israelis, the desire to harm Israelis, thinking of attacking Israelis, in addition to collecting information on completely innocent people, whose only crime was that they interested the Israeli defence establishment for various reasons. Reasons they have no way of knowing. If you’re homosexual and know someone who knows a wanted person – and we need to know about it – Israel will make your life miserable. If you need emergency medical treatment in Israel, the West Bank or abroad – we searched for you. The state of Israel will allow you to die before we let you leave for treatment without giving information on your wanted cousin.

        Any such case, in which you “fish out” an innocent person from whom information might be squeezed, or who could be recruited as a collaborator, was like striking gold for us

        – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        aren’t you blaming the victim here? or don’t you think the state is culpable at all? of course this is merely one example. but what moral person would “want to participate in the life of the state” if that participation includes ones own persecution if one knows one is innocent?

        doesn’t it then become the duty of the citizen to consciously work towards improving the state by rooting out these kinds of inequities, not perpetuating them.

      • Sibiriak
        September 19, 2014, 8:02 pm

        DoubleStandard: ut when a population – admittedly not monolithically, but by a sizeable majority – makes clear it doesn’t want to participate in the life of the state, who are they to demand equality? .

        But non-Jewish Israelis DO wish to participate in the life of the state–and they ARE participating in the life of the the state through their very actions to change the Israeli state’s undemocratic, discriminatory, ethnic-supremacist and theocratic features. To me, fighting for democracy within a state is the very essence of good citizenship.

      • bryan
        September 22, 2014, 3:51 am

        DS In most most grown-up, liberal democracies military service is a voluntary activity. In Britain recruitment is overwhelming from the unskilled industrial proletariat of cities like Glasgow, Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle, and hardly at all from the elites who attend Oxbridge and then become merchant bankers in the City of London. No one has ever suggested however that the 1% should face discrimination or second-class citizenship because they were born with silver spoons in their mouths and placed personal advancement ahead of national service. I believe a similar situation applies in the USA.

  3. talknic
    September 18, 2014, 11:36 am

    How is this not apartheid?

    • just
      September 18, 2014, 4:01 pm

      It is dirty, filthy state- sanctioned APARTHEID.

      And Elizabeth Warren and the other 534 in Congress support it without reservation.

      So do a lot of folks in our government and in our neighborhoods.

      Great article Annie! Huge props to Yousef Munayyer for his excellent statement.

      Thanks to Adalah for their persistence and dedication for these past 3 years and in the future.

  4. DaBakr
    September 18, 2014, 12:12 pm

    In the second paragraph: I think you mean to say ‘in the latter’ not “in the former” as its a bit confusing. not a big deal but still….the nakba law is a different matter.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 18, 2014, 12:56 pm

      you are so right! i don’t know why i keep getting that wrong. i actually thought about it and thought i finally knew this and didn’t have to look it up again. i must have some mental block because i thought it meant the opposite of what one would think. anyway, i edited it. thank you.

  5. amigo
    September 18, 2014, 12:29 pm

    This needs to be front page news on every major newspaper worldwide.

    This is pure and simple racism and consequently , Apartheid in intent.

    Imagine the uproar if Jews were denied access to rental facilities because they are Jews.Holy hell, the proverbial s–t would hit every fan on this planet.

    We now can be certain that the rot that is zionism has gotten inside Israel,s supreme Court.

  6. seafoid
    September 18, 2014, 1:07 pm

    “facilitating the Judaization of more Palestinian owned land inside Israel”

    Judaization is not the right word. Judaism is to Zionism as a normal relationship is to abusive porn.

    The actor and comedian David Schneider wrote on Twitter: “As a Jew, Israel’s like a close family member who’s hooked on heroin and you just don’t know what to do with them any more.”-

    • eljay
      September 18, 2014, 1:26 pm

      >> “As a Jew, Israel’s like a close family member who’s hooked on heroin and you just don’t know what to do with them any more.”

      His feeling of helplessness can’t compare to that of:
      – the non-Jewish Israeli who is a second-class citizen in his own country;
      – the non-Israeli Palestinian.

    • RoHa
      September 18, 2014, 7:33 pm

      “Judaization is not the right word”

      What word could we use for the process of transferring land to Jewish owners?

      ‘The actor and comedian David Schneider wrote on Twitter: “As a Jew, Israel’s like a close family member who’s hooked on heroin and you just don’t know what to do with them any more.”-‘

      And there is part of the problem. He imagines that, just because he is a Jew, there is some special connection between him and Israel.

      • seafoid
        September 19, 2014, 7:52 am

        I don’t class settlers as jews, they are deluded members of a mob that has no respect for property rights.

      • Mooser
        September 20, 2014, 12:16 pm

        “I don’t class settlers as jews, they are deluded members of a mob that has no respect for property rights.”

        Wow, dig deep enough in anybody who calls them selves “Jewish” and it’s amazing what you find.

  7. James Canning
    September 18, 2014, 1:41 pm

    Fascinating, and not surprising. “Jew” in Israel have rights that non-Jews do not have. The non-Jew can be white, and the Jew brown or black. But the Jew has rights the non-Jew lacks.

    • Mooser
      September 21, 2014, 12:02 pm

      “But the Jew has rights the non-Jew lacks”

      FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, WHAT GIVES HIM THOSE RIGHTS IS HIS (or her) ISRAELI IDENTITY CARD!!
      NOT ANYTHING ABOUT THE PERSON. “JEWISH” (in Israel) IS WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYS.

      Please tell me how you would tell them apart without the card?

  8. HarryLaw
    September 18, 2014, 1:59 pm

    I am glad they have made this official, a huge own goal, it seems they have a dead wish.

  9. seafoid
    September 18, 2014, 2:03 pm

    I met Mary Robinson once in Ramallah. She was in town for some visit with the UN. We asked her if she could do anything to make the plight of the Palestinians better understood in the world of power. She replied by saying Aharon Barak of the Israeli supreme court was a wonderful judge.

    He wasn’t. The Israeli supreme court runs YESHA as much as all the other Israeli institutions.

    There is no justice in Judistan.

  10. Kay24
    September 18, 2014, 2:24 pm

    The Israeli Supreme court is ruling according to the zionist plans, and plays an important role in aiding and protecting the zionist governments in their crimes. It also shows arrogance when it disregards international condemnation. These once homeless and unwanted people have become parasitic in the region, having been rudely dumped there by the UN and Western nations, they have now become a menace stealing all it wants, depriving the indigenous people of their lands and resources. It is their sense of entitlement in their crimes, that makes it all disgusting.
    It seems the Israeli courts are unable to be fair and balanced in their rulings. There is no justice for these poor Palestinians.

  11. Annie Robbins
    September 18, 2014, 7:15 pm

    this is the result/purpose of appointing grunis president of the supreme court. link to en.wikipedia.org

    not sure if anyone remembers, but they changed a law in the knesset on how judges are appointed to get him in. read
    Asher Grunis discriminates his way to the top of the Israeli Supreme Court

    link to mondoweiss.net

    Grunis’s path to the chief judgeship was recently cleared with the help of the “Grunis bill,” a handy bit of legislative intervention that did away with the rule preventing judges with less than three years until retirement from being appointed chief justice. Under the old law, Grunis, who has less than three years until he retires, would be ineligible. But Grunis had strong backers among National Union types like Yaakov Katz, who were only too eager to massage the process and secure the top judicial spot for a fellow conservative traveler with a long record of judicial passivity. As a former Supreme Court justice told Haaretz, “It is no secret that Grunis holds rigidly to the idea of reducing the powers of the Supreme Court, and that is why ‘wild weeds’ on the right want him as president. He is their ‘favorite son.’”

    With Grunis’s ascent, Israel’s Supreme Court officially ends its so-called “liberal-democratic” phase (though, truth be told, it was neither liberal or democratic) and enters what might be called its radical-fanatical right-wing phase. Just last month, the court got its first settler-judge, Judge Noam Sohlberg — that’s right, a man who regularly violates international law is now a member of the highest court in the land, as Eyal Clyne pointed out — and Grunis will have vast authority over future judicial appointments.

    more at the link

  12. marcfeldman
    September 18, 2014, 8:17 pm

    Doesn’t this law also include the following clause?:
    “The admission committees do not refuse a candidate based on race, religion, gender, nationality, disability, personal status, age, parenthood, sexual affiliation, country of origin, political conviction or political-party affiliation”

    Funny how everybody seems to skip that part.

    • Walker
      September 19, 2014, 2:11 am

      They skip it because it’s obviously a lie.

    • Shmuel
      September 19, 2014, 2:29 am

      The Old Fuddy-Duddy Misogynist White Christian MEN’S! Club reserves the right to bar membership candidates who do not suit the lifestyle and social fabric of the community.*

      *The membership committee does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion or age.

      Funny how everybody seems to skip the disclaimer.

      • Shmuel
        September 19, 2014, 2:54 am

        Ms. Johnson, I am absolutely shocked by your allegations. Of course you weren’t fired from the Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Corporation because you got pregnant. Gasp! That would be against the law. By the way, are you recording this? You simply no longer suited the lifestyle and social fabric of our community.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 19, 2014, 9:42 am

      Doesn’t this law also include the following clause? – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net
      not that i know of. where did you get your quote? could you please link to your source. it seems to contradict the section that allows for exclusion based on ““social/cultural fabric”

      please explain what “social/cultural fabric” is, other than “race, religion, gender, nationality, disability, personal status, age, parenthood, sexual affiliation, country of origin, political conviction or political-party affiliation” what other conditions might determine “social/cultural fabric”?

  13. Gene Shae
    September 18, 2014, 9:39 pm

    Nice try Annie. A for effort and I am sure lots of the regulars will enjoy the misleading headline because the first rule of MW is that anything that can be twisted against Israel will be.
    Now to burst your bubble:
    Upholding private individuals’ right to discriminate is not apartheid. The same thing is legal in America. You think co-op boards aren’t allowed to do the same thing, in buildings that got tax breaks or other public assistance for their development? As you fail to mention, the ruling allows discriminate against a lot of different groups; gays, straights, religious, secular, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, not just Arabs. That’s not apartheid – not even close – and I think that you know this to be true. Cynical adventurism on your part.

    • Walker
      September 19, 2014, 2:14 am

      Gene, are you saying that Palestinians in Israel have a reciprocal right to prevent Jews from buying property in their communities? Where?

      • Gene Shae
        September 20, 2014, 4:49 pm

        They do, but why would they want to?

    • RoHa
      September 19, 2014, 5:32 am

      “The same thing is legal in America.”

      Are you, with a straight face, offering America as an example of a just society?

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 19, 2014, 6:34 am

      RE: Upholding private individuals’ right to discriminate is not apartheid. The same thing is legal in America . . .“ ~ Gene Shae

      MY COMMENT: Might I inquire as to where you studied law, Mr. Shae?

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 19, 2014, 6:49 am

        P.S. SEE: “Donald Sterling: Slumlord Billionaire”, Dave Zirin, thenation.com/blog, April 26, 2014

        [EXCERPT] . . . Sterling is also the Slumlord Billionaire, a man who made his fortune by building low-income housing, and then, according to a Justice Department lawsuit, developing his own racial quota system to decide who gets the privilege of renting his properties. In November of 2009, Sterling settled the suit with the US Department of Justice for $2.73 million, the largest ever obtained by the government in a discrimination case involving apartment rentals. Reading the content of the suit makes you want to shower with steel wool. Sterling just said no to rent to non-Koreans in Koreatown and just said hell-no to African-Americans looking for property in plush Beverly Hills. Sterling, who has a Blagojevichian flair for the language, says he did not like to rent to “Hispanics” because “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building.” He also stated that “black tenants smell and attract vermin.”

        The Slumlord Billionaire has a healthy legal paper trail, which creates a collage of someone very good at extorting rents from the very poor. In 1986, the spiking of rents in his Beverly Hills properties—the so-called “slums of Beverly Hills”—led to a large march by tenants on City Hall.

        In 2001, Sterling was sued successfully by the City of Santa Monica on charges that he harassed and threatened to evict eight tenants living in three rent-controlled buildings. Their unholy offense that drew his ire was having potted plants on balconies. Talk about “hands on.” How many billionaires drive around their low-income housing properties to look for violations? That’s Donnie Tokowitz in action. Two years later, Sterling was effectively able to evict a tenant for allegedly tearing down notices in the building’s elevator.

        In 2004, Sterling led a brigade of other landlords to smash Santa Monica’s ultra-strict Tenant Harassment Ordinance. The ordinance stated that issuing repeated eviction threats to tenants was a form of harassment. Sterling and his crew believed that they should be allowed to harass to their hearts content. There are only so many potted pants a man can stand!

        That same year, an elderly widow named Elisheba Sabi, sued Sterling for refusing her Section 8 voucher to rent an apartment. Sterling emerged crowing and victorious. (That had to feel good. Damn elderly widows.)

        And in 2005, Sterling settled a housing-discrimination lawsuit filed by the Housing Rights Center, which represented more than a dozen of his tenants. He paid nearly $5 million in legal fees for the plaintiffs—a staggering amount—along with a reportedly massive, albeit confidential, sum. Not all the plaintiffs, though, lived to see their windfall. Court documents state that on July 12, 2002, “Kandynce Jones was under threat of eviction by [Sterling] even though she had never missed a rent payment. Ms. Jones, who is a senior citizen and a person with a disability, suffered a stroke caused by the stress [of Sterling’s] housing practices. On July 21, 2003, Ms. Jones passed away as a result of that stroke.”

        Amidst all that was described above, there are a web of lawsuits and complaints leveled against Sterling that suggest he is willing to suffer endless financial penalty and legal embarrassment if it means he can have control—always control—over who gets to live in his property.

        As sports columnist Bomani Jones wrote, “Though Sterling has no problem paying black people millions of dollars to play basketball, the feds allege that he refused to rent apartments in Beverly Hills and Koreatown to black people and people with children. Talk about strange. A man notoriously concerned with profit maximization refuses to take money from those willing to shell it out to live in the most overrated, overpriced neighborhood in Southern California? That same man, who gives black men tens of millions of dollars every year, refuses to take a few thousand a month from folks who would like to crash in one of his buildings for a while? You gotta love racism, the only force in the world powerful enough to interfere with money-making. Sterling may have been a joke, but nothing about this is funny. In fact, it’s frightening and disturbing that classic racism like this might still be in play.” . . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to thenation.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 19, 2014, 7:55 am

      RE: “Upholding private individuals’ right to discriminate is not apartheid. The same thing is legal in America . . .“ ~ Gene Shae

      FAIR HOUSING CASE LAW [from The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), a regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in the 101 cities and towns of Metro Boston]:

      The judicial system’s interpretation of the rules and regulations governing fair housing establishes court precedents that serve as important guidance for municipalities and developers striving to affirmatively further fair housing.

      • Buchanan v. Warley: 1917

      Key Finding: The court declared racially biased zoning unconstitutional.

      • Shelley v. Kraemer: 19487

      Key Finding: The court found the state enforcement of restrictive covenants unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.

      • Mount Laurel I:1975 and Mount Laurel II:19837

      Key Finding: The decisions in Mount Laurel I and Mount Laurel II represent the first time a state Supreme Court held that zoning ordinances, which make it physically and economically impossible to provide low and moderate income housing, were unconstitutional, according to the state constitution. The decisions also established requirements for the state of New Jersey and its municipalities to provide affordable housing opportunities.

      • Village of Arlington Heights v. Metro Housing Development Corporation: 1977

      Key Finding: The U.S. Supreme Court established a test to determine the presence of discriminatory intent under the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. On remand the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that at least under certain circumstances, a discriminatory effect alone can establish a Fair Housing violation.

      • Town of Huntington v. Huntington Branch: 1989

      Key Finding: The court found that a municipality’s restrictive zoning for multi-family housing had an unjustified disparate impact on African Americans in addition to perpetuating segregation. It was on these bases that the court determined the municipality had violated the Fair Housing Act.

      • City of Edmonds v. Oxford House, Inc. : 1995

      Key Finding: The U.S. Supreme Court found that the definition of family, prescribed in zoning, is subject to challenges by the Federal Fair Housing Act.

      • Olmstead, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Human Resources, et al. v. L.C.: 1999

      Key Finding: The court’s ruling required states to eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities and established the principle that people with disabilities should receive benefits, services, and housing in the most integrated community setting appropriate to their individual needs.[17]

      • Dews vs. Town of Sunnydale, TX: 2000

      Key Finding: The court’s decision reinforced the standard that municipal zoning powers can be found discriminatory under the Fair Housing Act if the jurisdiction enacts zoning measures that exclude housing for one or more protected classes.

      • Tsombanidis v. West Haven Fire Department: 2003

      Key Finding: The court found that a municipality intentionally discriminated against a group home where the evidence showed that the residents’ disability was a motivating factor in code enforcement actions, and that the municipality failed to reasonably accommodate the residents when it denied a zoning variance.

      • Wisconsin Community Services Inc. v. City of Milwaukee: 2006

      Key Finding: The court found that the duty to make reasonable accommodations/modifications is an independent basis for liability under both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This duty applies to municipal zoning.

      • Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York v. Westchester County: 2009

      Key Finding: The case reinforced the principle that affirmatively furthering fair housing includes the obligation of HUD grantees to address racial and ethnic impediments to housing choice which is distinctly separate from the exploration of impediments based on income. The eventual reallocation of funds by HUD after Westchester’s failure to meet the terms of the settlement stands as an example of HUD’s actions in the face of noncompliance.

      • Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs: 2010, 2012

      Key Finding: The court held a state agency administering the Low Income Tax Credit program liable under the Fair Housing Act for creating a disparate impact through project siting decisions.

      • St. Bernard Parish Court Cases: 2008-2013

      Key Finding: The court held St. Bernard Parish responsible for a series of zoning actions taken by the Parish that had the effect of discriminating against protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.

      • Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action Inc. V. Township of Mount Holly: 2011

      Key Finding: This case called into question whether disparate impact is a violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), even if there is no discriminatory intent. On appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, the case was settled by the parties before the Supreme Court hearing was held. The settlement agreement provided some relief for current residents in exchange for allowing redevelopment of their homes.

      MASSACHUSETTS CASES

      • NAACP, Boston Chapter v.Boston Housing Authority (BHA): 1989

      Key Finding: The BHA’s tenant assignment practices were found to be racially discriminatory by the court.

      • Langlois v. Abington Housing Authority: 2002

      Key Finding: The local preference policy instituted by a group of Massachusetts housing authorities was found to have an unlawful disparate impact.

      • United States of America v. The City of Agawam, Massachusetts & others: 2002

      Key Finding: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Agawam’s zoning, which did not permit agricultural worker housing, was discriminatory on the basis of race, color and national origin.

      City of Worcester v. Bonaventura: 2002

      Key Finding: The court system affirmed the police power of municipalities to use the legal/biological concept in defining “family” in zoning matters not involving persons with a disability.

      • Eileen Standerwick et al v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Andover: 2006

      Key Finding: The Supreme Judicial Court found that the plaintiffs, in this case, lacked standing to challenge a comprehensive permit based on the diminution of property values.

      • John Boothryd & others v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Amherst & others: 2007

      Key Finding: The court found that a community’s fulfillment of their minimum affordable housing obligation under MGL Chapter 40B did not preclude the approval of additional comprehensive permits under Chapter 40B, and the creation of affordable housing.

      • Zoning Board of Appeals of Amesbury vs. Housing Appeals Committee: 2010

      Key Finding: The court established that the scope of local zoning boards to issue conditions on comprehensive 40B applications is limited to matters related to the siting and design of the development.

      • South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) v. the Town of Framingham: 2010

      Key Finding: “Discrimination under the Fair Housing Act includes delays in issuing permits that are caused in part by discriminatory intent, even if the permits are ultimately granted.”[44]

      SOURCE – link to mapc.org

      • RoHa
        September 19, 2014, 7:57 pm

        Dickerson, do you really think that merely quoting a pile of case law is going to change Gene’s mind about the legality? He’s a Zionist. Facts are irrelevant.

      • DICKERSON3870
        September 20, 2014, 4:11 am

        Yes, I’ve noticed that Zionists do not countenance facts any more than do Fox News and right-wing Republicans.

      • Mooser
        September 20, 2014, 12:18 pm

        Dickerson, it might not do any good with Gene, but I thank you, and heartily, for the exact right answer.

      • Mooser
        September 20, 2014, 12:22 pm

        RoHa, when you have the 2500 year-old blood of the Patriarchs in your vains, and a crazy old lady who ’embroidners’ all your genes, you can’t help being a bit imperious. j

      • Gene Shae
        September 20, 2014, 4:53 pm

        Mooser, I’m sure you read all this crap. Dickinhisson can write all he wants in the real world co-ops and private clubs can exclude whomever they want. I live in the real world. You live I. A world where you write erroneous names of mail and expect others to deliver to you. People like you are OK with longshoremen giving up a days wages and the Oakland police diverting a significant part of their assets to delay specialty food shops from getting Spanish olives and Greek chick peas.

      • Mooser
        September 21, 2014, 12:09 pm

        Oh my Gawwd, now Gene Shaes is starting the “muttering in the corner” schtick!!!

        I gotta say, to be fair, that as far as the craziness-and-fail-per-word count, that one from Gene is a topper!

        Spanish olives! Greek chick-peas! Mmmmmm….

    • talknic
      September 19, 2014, 5:32 pm

      @ Gene Shae “the first rule of MW is that anything that can be twisted against Israel will be”

      No need to twist anything. Israel does a fine job all on its own (the need for and ignoring UNSC res 252 and EIGHT reminders of UNSC res 252 are fine examples)

      ” The same thing is legal in America”

      Of towns? You can find an example, yes? Thx .. I’ll wait ……

      “As you fail to mention, the ruling allows discriminate against a lot of different groups; gays, straights, religious, secular, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, not just Arabs. That’s not apartheid “

      Correct, it’s blatant bigotry …. thx for pointing that out Gene …. keep up th’ good work!

      • Gene Shae
        September 20, 2014, 4:56 pm

        Right. And now many people care? Because it is nonsense. The Palistinians can have their state when they are willing to agree that israel shall have secure borders and they agree to not insist on messing with the current social fabric of Israel. That means Jewish state, no pRoR. Nothing happens until then. If you truly want a P state, stop insisting they suffer.

      • Mooser
        September 21, 2014, 12:12 pm

        “willing to agree that israel shall have secure borders”

        “Secure borders”? Where? What “borders” (I do, of course see some “boarders”) So Gene, are Israeli ‘borders’ like that oven I see advertized on TV? Did they “set ’em and forget ’em”?

      • tree
        September 22, 2014, 7:01 pm

        The Palistinians can have their state when they are willing to agree that israel shall have secure borders and they agree to not insist on messing with the current social fabric of Israel.

        It’s always instructive to note how many restrictions Zionists put on the Palestinians as regards to how they can “have a state”. So many rules to follow in order to please Israel. Israelis on the other hand, were allowed to simply declare one, continue with their ethnic cleansing (i.e, messing with the then current social fabric of Israel), and reap the rewards of their theft of property. And of course Israel never has to agree to recognize any secure borders of Palestine, or any borders at all, and gets to continue to mess with the “current social fabric” of Palestine ad infinitum.

      • talknic
        September 24, 2014, 11:08 pm

        @ Gene Shae “The Palistinians can have their state ..”

        They already have their state you stupid person. It has been recognized by the vast majority of the Comity of Nations and given observer status by the UN based on that recognition.

        What they don’t have is independence from an oppressive Occupying Power, Israel, a rogue state that illegally claims non-Israeli territory it occupies.

        “… when they are willing to agree that israel shall have secure borders”

        Israel had secure borders May 15th 1948, proclaimed and protected by the Israeli state. No Israeli territory has ever been taken by any one. Israeli demands for other folks territory for Israel’s defensive purposes, has no legal basis what so ever.

        Israel has no one to blame but itself . It’s idiotic lust and illegal acquisition of other folks territory is A) against the basic tenets of Judaism, B) against International Law.

        That Israel decided to ignore its own self proclaimed borders and maintain military forces in non-Israeli territory for 66 years is a legal ‘facts on the ground’ black hole Israel purposefully created and which it cannot now possibly afford to get out of without a negotiated settlement and enormously generous concessions by the Palestinians.

        “and they agree to not insist on messing with the current social fabric of Israel<"

        Like all idiots for a Greater Israel you’ll say anything no matter how stupid …. The Palestinians have never illegally acquired, illegally annexed, illegally settled, illegally instituted Palestinian civil law in any Israeli territory.

        It is the Jewish state who for the last 66 years has been occupying Palestinian territory, illegally annexing, illegally instituting Israeli civil law in non-Israeli territory, illegally settling in territory the Israeli Govt claimed was “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

  14. DICKERSON3870
    September 19, 2014, 5:29 am

    RE: “Israeli Supreme Court upholds law allowing housing discrimination against Palestinian”

    MY COMMENT: Israel is a garrison state (or “pale”) surrounded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall”, and topped by the US-funded “Iron Dome”, but its true Achilles’ heel is the lack of an ‘iron foundation’ in the form of a formal constitution that is not easily overridden.
    Israel failed to take advantage of its best opportunity to “guarantee” the basic rights to its citizens when it pretty much blew off the commitment made in its declaration of independence to formulate and adopt a formal constitution no later than 1 October 1948.
    Although some constitutional provisions are contained in Basic Laws passed by Israel’s Knesset, there is no clear rule determining the precedence of Basic Rules over regular legislation, and in many cases this issue is left to the interpretation of the judicial system.
    Consequently, at this point, it would be a stretch to say that rights of any of Israelis [Arabs, Jews or anyone else] are assured in the sense that Americans’ rights are “guaranteed” by its constitution, especially the Bill of Rights (which are very difficult to ammend). Considerably to the contrary, the current government of Israel is committed to having the Knesset pass a Basic Law subverting Israel’s democratic identity to its identity as the state of the Jewish people. When that is done, rest unsssured that all “Jews” will be treated equally, because inevitably some Jews will ultimately become “more equal than others”.
    Without a formal constitution, the government of a garrison state that is permanently at war (where national security is always a priority) will enevitably become more and more authoritarian.

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 19, 2014, 6:06 am

      RE: “rest unsssured” should have been ‘rest unassured’

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 19, 2014, 8:21 am

      P.S. ALSO SEE: Contradicting its own ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court legalizes segregated communities, By Amjad Iraqi, +972 Blog, September 18, 2014
      The Israeli Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed various petitions against the Admissions Committees Law, which allows admissions committees in hundreds of communities in Israel to reject housing applicants based on their “social suitability.”

      [EXCERPT] March 8, 2000 marked a unique moment in Israeli history. In a major decision, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that the town of Katzir, which was established on state land by the Jewish Agency, could not deny the right of the Arab Ka’adan family to live in the town simply on the basis that they were not Jewish. This was the first time that Palestinian citizens of Israel successfully challenged the legality of “Jewish-only” communities in the state, generating cautious optimism that it could set an important precedent for Palestinian rights in land and housing.

      Fifteen years later, on September 17, 2014, these hopes came to an abrupt end. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court dismissed various petitions filed by human rights groups against the Admissions Committees Law, enacted by the Knesset in 2011. The law allows admissions committees in 434 communities in the Negev and the Galilee (about 43 percent of all towns in Israel) to reject housing applicants based on their “social suitability” and the communities’ “social and cultural fabric.” In effect, these committees are now legally permitted to refuse residency based on any “undesired” identity, including Palestinian, Sephardic, African, gay, religious, secular and others.

      The Admissions Committees Law is the Israeli right wing’s response to the Supreme Court ruling in the Ka’adan case. Realizing that marginalized groups were increasingly challenging the state’s discriminatory practices, the Knesset under the 2009-12 Netanyahu government sought to turn Israel’s historical policies against these groups into law. Many Knesset members openly declared that the purpose of these laws was to subdue the “threats” posed by Palestinian citizens to the Jewish character of the state. The authors of the Admissions Committees Law even stated that, though deliberately written in neutral language, its main aim was to prevent Arab citizens from living with Jews.

      This objective of segregation is not a new phenomenon in Israel, and has in fact been a central, ongoing practice since the state’s establishment in 1948. Legislation ranging from the Absentees Property Law (1950) to the Negev Individual Settlements Law (2011), along with the policies of the Jewish National Fund, Israel Land Authority and the government itself, operate with the explicit goal of securing maximum and privileged control of land for Israel’s Jewish citizens – a process known as “Judaization.” This runs jointly with the state’s goal of minimizing and concentrating non-Jewish communities in Israel, resulting in the mass confiscation of Palestinian land and the containment of Palestinian towns through discriminatory planning, home demolitions and unequal resource allocation.

      However, what makes the admissions committees case significant is that the Supreme Court – the supposed bastion of Israeli democracy – has upheld this clearly discriminatory law, claiming that it could not determine yet if the law violated constitutional rights. Numerous petitions condemned the law from multiple angles, including nationality, race, religion and sexual orientation, but the court swept them aside. More importantly, the court directly undermined its own landmark ruling in the Ka’adan case, overriding one of the few legal decisions that set a precedent for minority rights in Israel and the struggle against state-sanctioned discrimination.

      The latest ruling instead illustrates the deteriorating status of Palestinian citizens of Israel at the hands of an increasingly right-wing government and high court. Rather than introducing laws that guarantee equal rights for all of Israel’s citizens, the Knesset has worked to deepen racial inequality and consolidate its discriminatory vision for the state. Meanwhile, the judiciary has allowed the government to carry out this program, choosing not to set precedents on critical cases affecting Palestinian rights. With more discriminatory laws being introduced – including the Prawer Plan Bill, the Contributors to the State Bill, and the Jewish Nation-State Bill – Palestinian citizens and others are left fearing that, despite their best efforts to overturn it, race will continue to be the prime determinant of their rights. . .

      ENTIRE POST – link to 972mag.com

  15. Mooser
    September 21, 2014, 12:17 pm

    Why don’t we cut all the crap about “ethnic/genetic” identity? A “Jew” (in Israel) is somebody who has a “Jewish” identity card. They are given by Israel.

    Can anybody find me any other consistent characteristic? All Jewish religion? Nope. All same language, customs? Nope. As far as “genetics” don’t make me laugh. Must have Jewish Mother? Nope, not really.
    So what is it? A freakin’ fraud is what it is.

    • Naftush
      September 23, 2014, 4:59 am

      A freakin’ falsehood is what it is. Israeli ID cards haven’t mentioned nationality since 2005.

      • Shmuel
        September 23, 2014, 5:19 am

        A freakin’ falsehood is what it is. Israeli ID cards haven’t mentioned nationality since 2005.

        I think you mean 2002 (following the HCJ ruling on registering non-Orthodox converts as Jews), and the nationality article was restored in 2011. Eli Yishai giveth and Eli Yishai taketh away.

      • Mooser
        September 24, 2014, 12:51 pm

        Thanks, Schmuel.

        Oh, by the way, Naftush, “Jewish is a nationality? What is this Jewish “nationality”?

  16. Nevada Ned
    September 22, 2014, 8:25 am

    The Israeli Supreme Court just legalized the “Admissions Committees”, which can reject requests of non-Jewish applicants to live in Jewish villages. If we’re looking for an analogy with the US, think about the “White Citizens Councils” (WCC) in the pre-civil-rights South. The WCC served to coordinate racial discrimination in housing, education, employment, and voting. For example, if a black man or woman somehow managed to register to vote, the WCC could arrange to have the troublemaker fired from their job or evicted from their apartment. Without the WCC, a landlord might not find out that a black person had registered to vote. Without the WCC an employer might not find out.

    By the way, some readers of Mondoweiss might think that the WCC is truly ancient history, and nobody has ever heard of any members.
    By now, the White Citizens Council has changed its name to Conservative Citizens Council. (The new name sounds better). One known member was Trent Lott, who became a US Senator from Mississippi. Lott was at one point the Senate Majority Leader, a powerful post at the national scale.

    • Mooser
      September 24, 2014, 1:02 pm

      For example, if a black man or woman somehow managed to register to vote, the WCC could arrange to have the troublemaker fired from their job or evicted from their apartment

      Isn’t it wonderful, how Zionism has turned a lot of American Jews into a sort of unreconstructed, pre-civil rights white southerners, with a side of schmaltz? And a love affair with a foreign country, too. Like embittered aristocratic emigrees.

  17. Leahj
    September 22, 2014, 9:55 am

    DS, You’re concerned that “Arabs don’t serve in the army or pull their fair share in the country”, yet ask for equal rights. Of course, Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Jews aren’t exactly known for their willingness to serve in the IDF, to follow the laws of the land, or to contribute much to the tax base. When they riot, they call the police “Nazis”, & their attitude toward the Israeli government generally seems to be hostile. Would you also say the Haredim should have been stripped of their civil rights?

  18. Naftush
    September 23, 2014, 5:10 am

    The article warps the issue to the breaking point. These “43% of Israeli towns” are largely kibbutzim. The entire kibbutz population adds up to no more than 2% of Israel’s population. The admission committees are vigilant mainly about an influx of Jewish Israelis who reject kibbutz ideology but are attracted by the rural surroundings and cheap housing. Such an influx can destroy a kibbutz by mere majority vote. Unlike MW and Adalah, the kibbutzim do not obsess about Arabs any more than Arab villagers obsess about an influx of Jews.

    • Shmuel
      September 23, 2014, 5:44 am

      Interesting theory, Naftush. However, not only does “kibbutz ideology” (assuming such a thing still exists) have nothing to do with it (in any event the law concerns homes on kibbutz “extensions”, not membership in the kibbutzim themselves), but all of the representatives of the kibbutz movement in Knesset (from Labour and Meretz) as well as the Kibbutz Movement itself have rejected the law — sponsored by members of Kadimah and Yisrael Beiteinu — as racist (Hebrew): link to kibbutz.org.il

      • Shmuel
        September 23, 2014, 5:46 am

        in any event the law concerns homes on kibbutz “extensions”

        To the extent that it does involve kibbutzim.

    • piotr
      September 23, 2014, 8:32 am

      I though that in a kibbutz you do not own the house, but the kibbutz does, and you need to be a member, so a kibbutz, an organization, simply has to decide membership. So kibbutzim do not need that law.

      What is peculiar about the law is that it allows to form committees, provided that the committees have a member of World Zionist Organization or district authorities, so they facilitate “territorial freedom of association” only if the association is sufficiently Zionist. Basically, “equal rights to all Zionists”. It seems rather authoritarian.

      The same trend could be seen in the projects of laws to regulate NGOs. If an NGO would pass a test of being sufficiently Zionist, it could get foreign donations, but otherwise, it would have to pay 40% tax on those donations. I guess it was a “liberal” variant of regulations in Belorus republic (which has excellent relationship with Israel, particularly with Israeli Foreign minister), although Belorus is not “ethocratic”, kind of “non-nationalist authoritarian”.

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