Monday, November 24, 2014

The pending "Jewish nation-state law" in Israel

There is a law pending in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) that's known as the "Jewish nation-state law." If passed, it would seemingly be a significant step toward creating a formal apartheid-like type of government.

The Israeli paper Haaretz provides a summary of the pending law in Israel's Jewish nation-state bill: a primer 11/25/2014:

The legislation, which was originally drafted by right-wing MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), is an attempt to resolve the tension between the country's dual Jewish and democratic character, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

It does that by defining Jewishness as the default nature of the state in any instance, legal or legislative, in which the state's Jewishness and its democratic aspirations clash.

The bill defines the State of Israel’s identity as "the nation-state of the Jewish people.” That not only means that the country's national holidays are Jewish religious holidays or that the flag is the Magen David; it also means that Jewish law will be the inspiration for Israel's legal system and it enshrines the automatic citizenship granted by the Law of Return.

Crucially, while the bill affirms “the personal rights of all [Israel's] citizens according to law,” it reserves communal rights for Jews only. In other words, individual Arabs are equal in the eyes of the law, but their communal rights are not recognized.
It isn't law yet. It's apparently not any kind of done deal. Haaretz notes, "both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni have proposed watered-down versions of the bill. At this stage, it's not clear which version will be brought to vote in the Knesset plenum."

Euronews reports on the proposed law in Israeli cabinet backs bill which critics describe as 'undemocratic' 11/23/2014:

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