Early today the Israeli parliament passed a law leaders have long put forward, to declare Israel the nation state of the Jewish people. The law says:
“Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”.
Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List (the Palestinian parties in the Knesset), released the following statement:
“Today, I will have to tell my children, along with all the children of Palestinian Arab towns in the country, that the state has declared that it does not want us here. It has passed a law of Jewish supremacy and told us that we will always be second-class citizens. But I will also say to them, and to all minorities in this country: we refuse to be second-class citizens; we will not allow the majority to humiliate and destroy us. Netanyahu’s regime is digging a deep pit of fear, racism, and authoritarianism to divide us from each other. But they can never erase us from the homeland we share. We know that the way forward, the struggle of our lifetime, is to build a future for all of us with democracy, equality, and justice.”
Mike Omer-Man of +972:
Arabic was an official language of the State of Israel for 70 years, 2 months, and five days.
The EU expresses concern that the move sets back hopes for peace.
“We are concerned, we have expressed this concern and we will continue to engage with Israeli authorities in this context,” a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini told a news briefing. “We’ve been very clear when it comes to the two-state solution, we believe it is the only way forward and any step that would further complicate or prevent this solution of becoming a reality should be avoided.”
Benjamin Netanyahu is triumphant. Times of Israel:
Netanyahu hailed the new law as “a pivotal moment in the annals of Zionism and the State of Israel.”
He said: “We enshrined in law the basic principle of our existence. Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, that respects the individual rights of all its citizens. This is our state — the Jewish state. In recent years there have been some who have attempted to put this in doubt, to undercut the core of our being. Today we made it law: This is our nation, language and flag.”
From the New York Times:
“This is a defining moment,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said shortly after the vote, the newspaper Haaretz reported. “Long live the State of Israel.”
Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli Arab lawmaker, speaking to reporters, vigorously denounced the legislation. “I announce with shock and sorrow the death of democracy,” Mr. Tibi said.
At least one Israeli Arab lawmaker ripped apart a copy of the bill after the vote.
The law also declares that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, sets the Hebrew calendar as the official calendar of the state, and recognizes Independence Day, days of remembrance and Jewish holidays. One clause of the bill downgrades the Arabic language from official to “special” standing, but also cryptically stipulates that “this clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.”
Israel’s parliament has passed into law a controversial bill that defines the country as an exclusively Jewish state…
It was passed after a stormy session in the Knesset that lasted more than eight hours. Sixty-two MPs voted for the bill, with 55 against.
A statement from the Zionist rabbis’ group, T’ruah says the law threatens the future of Israel:
The Nation State Bill just passed by the Knesset endangers Israeli democracy, legalizes discrimination against 20 percent of Israeli citizens, threatens religious pluralism, and threatens the very future of Israel.
More liberal Zionist anguish from Kenneth Bob of Ameinu, who says that the law will strain relations with Diaspora Jews, some of whom sought to stop the law or water down provisions.
“By distinguishing between the rights of Jews and all other citizens of Israel, this bill weakens Israel’s commitment to democracy and makes Israel less than a state of all of its citizens. While I am heartened to see that the bill only passed by a slim majority and proud of the work that was done by our allies in Israel to tone down the original language proposed in the bill, this is a sad day for Israel.”
In passing the #Jewish State bill the Israel has legislated annexation of #Palestinian land & establishment of an #apartheid system. Will this be the tipping point that finally moves liberal apologists to end their blind support & demand justice & human rights for Palestinians?
Jewish Voice for Peace also says Israel has confirmed its identity as an apartheid state. JVP Deputy Director Rabbi Alissa Wise:
“Today we put to bed once and for all the illusion that Israel is a democracy. The Nation-State bill that Israel passed today cements Israel as an apartheid state–from the West Bank to Gaza to Jerusalem to Haifa. Palestinians, no matter where they live, are controlled by an Israeli government and military that robs them of basic rights and freedoms.”