Arab group petitions Israel court over Jewish nation law

10 Agosto, 2018, 10:24 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Critics of Israel's Nation-State Law Misunderstand the Country's Constitutional System

Israeli Arab leaders on Tuesday filed a almost 60-page-long petition against the newly enacted Jewish Nation-State law, calling the legislation "racist, massively harmful to fundamental human rights" and in contradiction to worldwide law.

The petitioners run the gamut of Arab Israeli representative groups, including the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, the umbrella body of Arab Israeli organizations; lawmakers of the Joint List in the Knesset; and the committee of Arab council heads and mayors.

Petitioners said the legislation reeked of colonialism because it was "based on the principle of ethnic superiority [and] imposed a constitutional identity on all groups". "There is also no single constitution in the world that does not include the right to equality for all its citizens and residents".

Arab citizens account for some 21 percent of Israel's more than 8.8 million population; they have equal voting rights, freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly, but many have long complained of discrimination.

"The accusations about the new law's effects on Israeli democracy have no connection to the actual content or context of the law", Sara Greenberg wrote in an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post.

Ma'an reported that, according to the Times of Israel, during an interview with the official Israeli Army Radio, Shaked said that the Israeli High Court has no right to strike down the law on constitutional grounds, because it was passed as a Basic Law.

The Palestinian leadership in Israel took legal steps on Tuesday to bring down the new Jewish Nation-State Law, which they say is racist and discriminates against the original Palestinian Arab population in Israel.

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Greenberg addressed critics of the law who say that it infringes on religious freedom, saying that the law "relates only to the national rights of the Jewish people and does not address religious questions or prescribe an official religion".

On Saturday, tens of thousands opposing the law had demonstrated against it in Tel Aviv, calling for its annullement to ensure equality for Israel's non-Jewish minorities.

The legislation was passed as a so-called basic law, which, similar to a constitution, underpin Israel's legal system and are more hard to repeal than regular laws.

Since the law was passed in July, at least three petitions have been submitted to the Israeli High Court, demanding that the justices overturn the law for its discriminatory nature.

"The state of Israel is the national state of the Jewish people".

"The Nation-State Law prevents, for example, the exploitation of the family reunification clause under which very, very many Palestinians have been absorbed into the country", he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday said he intends to form a special ministerial committee in his bid to appease the Druze community's outrage over the law.

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