Israeli Knesset passes controversial Jewish Nation-State bill

PNN/ Ramallah/

The Israeli Knesset today voted on the new version of the nation-state bill, which passed with 48 votes in favor, while 41 lawmakers voted against it.

The bill revokes Arabic as an official language, holds that Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people” and that the right to realize self-determination in the state is unique to them.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted in favor of the bill on Sunday. Avi Dichter (Likud), the sponsor of the new version of the bill, called the decision “a major step in establishing” the Jewish identity of members of the faith in Israel and around the world, Haaretz reported.

If the nation-state bill is enacted, it would become a basic law, joining the central body of legislation that equivalent to Israel’s constitution.

While Israeli prime minister defended the bill saying it does not contradict equality, the Israeli opposition criticized it, calling it  “a declaration of war against Israel’s Arab citizens and against Israel as a democratic and properly governed society.”

Khaled: Israel redefines itself as a state of racial discrimination

Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) & Head of the Palestinian Expatriate Affairs Department, Tayseer Khaled has described the ratification of the bill as  a step by which Israel redefines itself as a state of racial discrimination.

“Racism of this law is also reflected in the fact that it considered “the language of the state is the Hebrew language” and in changing the status of the Arabic language from an official language to a language with a special status in the state, just as the Russian language used by Russian immigrants in Israel and the Palestinians were not the indigenous population, generation after generation, before and after the establishment of the State of Israel.

“The new bill, one of a series of racist laws, which the Benjamin Netanyahu government has legislated through the Knesset in recent years, goes beyond its goals and objectives to enshrine Israel as an apartheid state and racial discrimination in an attempt to push the Palestinian side toward recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, as a precondition to return to the negotiating table in an attempt to resolve the outcome of the negotiations in advance in a number of files of final settlement negotiations, Khalid added: ”

He stressed that this is part of political maneuvers and the tricks , adopted by Netanyahu and the Israeli leadership and that the response to such maneuvers must be clear by refusing Netanyahu’s procrastinations and preconditions to return to negotiations and that any negotiations must be based on a clear basis by which Israel committed itself to unconditionally suspend all its settlement activities in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2334, and by abiding by international legitimacy resolutions related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as the sole basis for a comprehensive and balanced political settlement that will provide security and stability for all the peoples and countries of the region, including the State of Palestine on the borders of June 4, at the heart of which is the city of East Jerusalem and safeguarding the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were displaced by brutal military force.