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Israeli lawmakers kill ‘equality for all citizens’ bill before it is even introduced

Israel/Palestine
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Israel is an apartheid state, but you don’t have to take my word for it. All you have to do is take a look at the actions of the lawmakers in the Israeli Knesset, the national legislature of Israel.

On June 5, the Knesset issued a press release stating that its Presidium (a group consisting of the speaker and deputy speakers) voted to disqualify a proposed bill that called for Israel “to be defined as a state of all its citizens” to be placed on the Knesset’s agenda.

By its own admission, the Knesset mentioned that this was an “unusual move,” since it is the “first time proposed legislation has been disqualified before being discussed in the plenum (the entire assembly of Knesset members) during the past two Knesset terms.” This means that such a swift shooting down of legislation has not occurred in at least five years.

This begs the following question: what content in this bill was so shockingly offensive that Israeli lawmakers could not even allow it to be discussed in the full Knesset session? The bill’s major offense lies within its simple objective, which is “to anchor in constitutional law the principle of equal citizenship while recognizing the existence and rights of the two, Jewish and Arab, national groups living within the country.”

The proposed bill also called for “separation of religion and state, while guaranteeing the freedom of worship for all.” Since Israel defines itself as a democratic state, it should therefore be a state providing equality for both its Jewish and Arab (Palestinian) citizens.

Unfortunately, despite the surplus of Israeli and Zionist propaganda claiming that Israel is a lone beacon of democracy in the Middle East, describing it as a “unique sanctuary of democracy, freedom and pluralism” that protects its citizens’ rights, reality says otherwise.

For starters, at least 4.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem are effectively under Israeli control, but as stateless people, they are neither citizens of Israel nor of any other state. This means that about half of the people living in territories that Israel “administers” (or blockades, in the case of Gaza) are not entitled to many of the same fundamental rights and protections that it claims to respect. These people are routinely subjected to restrictions on their movement, unequal access to basic services such as water and electricity, imprisonment without charges, collective punishment, extrajudicial killings, and many other unacceptable human rights violations.

To make matters worse, the roughly 1.7 million Palestinians that do hold Israeli citizenship face “institutional, legal, and societal discrimination,” as noted in a 2010 US State Department report on human rights. One example of this is the Admissions Committees Law passed in 2011, which allows residents of small towns to prevent individuals “who do not suit the lifestyle and social fabric of the community” from residing in these towns. In practice, this law primarily targets Palestinian citizens of Israel. Promoting laws that essentially entrench racial segregation goes directly against the so-called common values that Israel claims to share with liberal democracies.

The Afrikaans term “apartheid” literally translates into “apartness” or “separateness.” Zionist propagandists frequently try to discredit the notion that Israel is an apartheid state, based on semantics and technicalities, since apartheid was a unique term used to describe the system of racist policies and segregation used by the white South African minority to rule over the nonwhite South African majority.

Although apartheid refers to the previous South African structure, it is undeniable that Israel also engages in a similar system of racism. In fact, South African (and even Israeli) intellectuals and leaders describe Israeli policies as worse than South African apartheid. In the 21st century, where else can one find segregated roads like the ones that exist in the West Bank? Where else can one find a state that allows its towns to pick and choose which ethnic and religious groups can live in their communities? It would be very difficult to find any other state besides Israel.

In his response to the bill that was proposed and why it was rejected, the speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, described it as “a bill that aims to gnaw at the foundations of the state” which must not be allowed in the Knesset. Ironically, this statement is completely true. This law would indeed destroy the foundations of such a racist state, and it would eliminate the superiority that Israelis maintain over Palestinians, which is totally unacceptable to Zionists. Until Israel changes its prejudiced and bigoted system, it will never escape the label of an apartheid state.

About Mohamed Mohamed

Mohamed Mohamed is the Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development in Washington DC. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, where he majored in Political Science and completed his senior thesis on statelessness and its practical implications on Palestinians living in the refugee camps of Lebanon. He also earned an M.A. in International Relations and an M.S. in International Political Economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. Follow him on Twitter at @mykm47

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18 Responses

  1. eljay
    June 6, 2018, 12:05 pm

    Israel: Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

  2. Citizen
    June 6, 2018, 4:22 pm

    #Israel’s lawmakers kill ‘equality for all citizens’ bill before it is even introduced https://shar.es/anhv7d
    What Patrick Little’s Defeat Means: Over 53,632 people in CALIFORNIA (with 90% of precincts reporting) voted for an openly National Socialist, brazenly WN candidate who had all the PTB against him: https://theroperreportsite.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/what-patrick-littles-defeat-means/ via @wordpressdotcom

    What’s the nexus between these two developments?

  3. Maghlawatan
    June 6, 2018, 4:56 pm

    https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-the-kidnapping-and-the-denial-of-zionism-1.5252612
    “A great majority of the time, for most of the Jews here, the Palestinian suffering is completely denied. When it is not documented on video it interests almost no one, and when it is documented it is repressed as a conspiracy. What significance is there to the display of mutual responsibility of these days if when they see the Palestinian baby who survived a premature birth and a car accident, but did not survive a live bullet fired at his upper body, in light of the documentation of his death we do not become angry and give our hearts out to him and his family; and instead we ask with estranged cynicism and in arrogant contempt: “Why don’t they show us what happened earlier?”

    Yeshayahu Leibowitz understood this already 60 years ago, when he wrote in his seminal essay “After Kibiyeh” (collected in “Judaism, Human Values, and the Jewish State,” edited by Eliezer Goldman, Harvard University Press 1995) of “the fear of losing religous-moral supremacy, which is easy to hold on to when there is no risk to it and difficult under other circumstances.”
    Less than six years after the creation of a sovereign state with a powerful army, Leibowitz wrote that the “real religious and moral meaning of our political rebirth and the return to our hands of the use of force” would be a severe test for Jews who were too accustomed to being victims. “Can we prove capable not only of suffering for these values we exalted, but also acting upon them?” he asked. “It’s easy to suffer, physically and materially for values, even to sacrifice our lives: that necessitates only physical courage which exists in surprising quantities among all human gatherings. It’s difficult to suffer for values, when this suffering means also giving up things which are also seen as values.”
    In the decades after 1967, Leibowitz would be excoriated by the right wing for his fierce criticism of the occupation which he, perhaps inexcusably, described as “Judeo-Nazi.” But he was speaking as a fervent Zionist who was one of the first to see how the success of Zionism meant we had to realize we were no longer victims and that victory came with a moral price. It was “the great test we are faced with by national liberation, political independence and sovereign power — as a nation, a society and a culture which for generations had the privilege of mental and spiritual enjoyment in exile, foreign-rule and self-impotence.” “

  4. mondonut
    June 6, 2018, 6:23 pm

    It is truly shocking that a bill designed to make the Jewish State no longer the Jewish State is not considered by the Jewish State.

    • eljay
      June 6, 2018, 7:04 pm

      || mon donut: It is truly shocking that a bill designed to make the Jewish State no longer the Jewish State is not considered by the Jewish State. ||

      It’s not at all shocking that a bill designed to make a supremacist state no longer supremacist is not considered by the supremacists-in-charge.

    • Mooser
      June 6, 2018, 7:36 pm

      Gee, I wonder if America is still America after passing the Civil Rights Acts. Some people would say it was more so.

    • Cliff
      June 7, 2018, 6:28 am

      exactly, the Jewish State is inherently anti-democratic, racist, and xenophobic.

      it cannot survive without discrimination

    • Misterioso
      June 7, 2018, 10:48 am

      @mondonut

      However, the racist , apartheid entity known as “Israel” is NOT a “Jewish state.” Well over 20% is non-Jewish and ever increasing.

      For the record:

      Ronnie Kasrils, a key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence and a devout Jew: “The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the ‘Jewish state’, and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid].” (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
      EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

      Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyyUvxHLYr4

      In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel [published in 2016] and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

      “Construction, Not Destruction”
      “While Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of the population, Arab communities’ jurisdictions occupy just 2.5 percent of the state’s land area, and the process of approving new construction in Arab towns takes decades.” (Haaretz Editorial, April 4, 2017)

    • Shingo
      June 7, 2018, 4:26 pm

      It is truly shocking that a bill designed to make the Jewish State no longer the Jewish State is not considered by the Jewish State.

      It is truly shocking that a bill designed to put an end to apartheid would be considered a threat to the Jewish State. Maybe that’s when South Africa took a wrong turn?

  5. johneill
    June 6, 2018, 10:27 pm

    zionism cannot survive democratic equality, let alone debate about it.

  6. Marnie
    June 6, 2018, 11:06 pm

    No surprises here and no room for anything else.

  7. RoHa
    June 7, 2018, 1:59 am

    The idea of a Jewish State is an ethnically based state, run for the benefit of a single ethnicity. To be “Jewish”, the state cannot give equal rights to non-Jews. Otherwise it would be just another state, albeit one with a lot of Jews.

    Insofar as being “a Jewish state” implies that the state will support the supremacy of one ethnic/religious group over another, being “a Jewish state” is a breach of fundamental morality.

    The concept of a land for a specific ethnic/religious group is inherently unjust. It is always wrong for a state to privilege one ethnicity over others.

    (And don’t start maundering about how other states privilege this or that ethnicity. It’s still wrong, even if everyone does it.)

  8. RoHa
    June 7, 2018, 2:06 am

    And it is truly depressing that to make my latest two comments I only had to lift bits from a comment I made in 2015.

    • Maghlawatan
      June 7, 2018, 3:44 pm

      I think the typical goy view of Israel has deteriorated not insignificantly since 2015.
      I used to think Israel was ruthless and unstoppable.
      Now I think it is incompetent.

      • inbound39
        June 7, 2018, 7:26 pm

        They seem in a panic to me and unable to stop the effect of the non violent process which is exposing Israeli faults wide open. We now know with certainty,wide open in public view, that Israel is undemocratic and definitely Apartheid. It is there for ALL to see and clarified by the Knesset itself. The Settlers have blown it and cannot get the momentum back so tempers are fraying…..in other words,Panic.

  9. Maghlawatan
    June 7, 2018, 3:16 pm

    This is another idea that prolly makes perfect sense in Hebrew but has all the class of the vilest racism in English.

    Israelis do not understand how the goys see all of this shit .

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