Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Israel approves law to become a Jewish nation

Israel approves law to become a Jewish nation

The "nation state" law says Jews have a unique right to national self-determination there and puts Hebrew above Arabic as the official language.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said: "The Jewish nation-state law passed by the Israeli parliament today disregards norms of universal law and ignores the rights of Palestinians".

Israel's parliament on Thursday passed into law a controversial bill that defines the country as an exclusively Jewish state.

"The Israeli Apartheid law speaks of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Occupying Power, which clearly encourages colonial activities in the occupied lands", a statement by the PM's office said. "We call on the global community to react against this injustice that happened before the eyes of the whole world", he said to Anadolu Agency, also rejecting "the efforts of the Israeli government to form an apartheid state".

"While the democratic State of Israel facilitates freedom of religion and affords people of various backgrounds the right to visit and reside there, the reality is that Israel is inherently a Jewish state and affirming that fact does not contravene the liberties that it benevolently bestows to individuals of other faiths", it continued. Israeli-Jewish politicians backed the move amid fears that "the founding principles of Israel's creation, as a state for Jews in their ancient homeland" was under threat "and could become less relevant, or obsolete, in the future".

"It is certainly not possible to accept this racist step that shows its effort to legally erase the Palestinian people from their homeland", presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a tweet.

Among its 11 provisions, it describes Israel as "the national home of the Jewish people" and states the right to exercise national self-determination there is "unique to the Jewish people".

Arab Israelis make up a sizeable minority out of the country's population of nine million people.

"The goal of this law is discrimination".

Many Jewish Israelis are also angry claiming that the law is pushing Israel towards an extreme ethnic nationalism and away from the ideal of universal human values. Second, the law creates a situation in which the Arabs participate, under coercion, in promoting the discrimination against them.

Israel has no constitution but instead passed over time a series of Basic Laws which have constitutional status. The first system is the state's domestic legal system, which should be based on equality before the law and the rule of law.

American Jewish organisations also expressed disapproval of the law.

It said it "seeks to maintain a regime in which one ethnic-national group controls an indigenous-national group living in the same territory while advancing ethnic superiority by promoting racist policies".

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