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The Coalition Against Racism: The Nationality Law Is A Racist Law, Oppositional And Damaging

first Published  : 17/05/2017   Last Updated: 17/05/2017 

   

On Sunday, May 6, 2017, the Ministers’ Legislative Affairs Committee approved the proposal of “The Nationality Law,” which was presented by MK Avi Dichter of the Likud, and others. The Law will be brought to the Knesset for an initial reading and will be returned for discussion in Committee during the current Knesset session ...
 
The suggested law decrees that “the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people” and also that “the right to actualize national self-definition in the State of Israel belongs solely to the Jewish people.”  Likewise, the proposal addresses, among other things, the matter of language and holds that Hebrew is the sole official language.  In the language of the proposal: “Hebrew is the language of the State.” [It also] changes and demotes the status and position of Arabic from an official language to a language with special standing: “Arabic has a special position in the State.”   The proposal also addresses the matter of separate living, that is, the proposed law holds that a group from a particular community that lives in a settlement comprised of that particular community can prevent people from another community from coming to live in their community because of their belonging to a different community, according to the language of the law: “The State is allowed to permit a community, especially those of the same religion or the same nationality, to establish a separate community-based settlement,” meaning here to give the seal of approval in a Basic Law to discrimination in housing and in the right to equality in housing.
 
We at the Coalition Against Racism declare that the Nationality Law is a racist law, oppositional and damaging, because it comes to damage the legal position of Arab citizens of Israel and to broad a message of exclusion and distancing of Arab citizens of Israel.  We are speaking of a law being added to the legal corpus that, instead of binding together the various parts of Israeli society, creates divisiveness and alienation between various communities, and between them and the country.  A law whose damaging effect is far greater than its benefit.