Arab rights group petitions Israel’s Supreme Court against Jewish nation law

10 August, 2018, 10:26 | Author: Carlos George
  • An arial view of the West Bank settlement Modiin Illit

Israel's Arab leaders filed a petition to the high court Tuesday against a controversial new "nation-state" law, adding to a deluge of opposition to the bill that critics brand an undemocratic betrayal of minority communities. Israel's nationalist government says the recently passed law merely reinforces the country's Jewish character.

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".

The petition further argued that the law was a violation of the laws of occupation outlined in the Fourth Geneva Convention and explicitly rejects the national rights of the Palestinian people. "Individual rights are anchored in many laws", Netanyahu said Sunday.

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. But the legislation has sparked a furious response both in Israel and internationally. What it has is a series of Basic Laws to which the Supreme Court unilaterally accorded constitutional status.

"This law has all the characteristics of apartheid", the statement asserts. The law, however, would not require making state services accessible in Arabic. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state.

The petition stated that "there is no single constitution in the world today that declares in its laws that it will act to advance the interests of the dominant group, particularly when it concerns public resources such as land".

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The Basic Laws of Israel are the constitutional laws that can only be changed by a super-majority vote in the Israeli Knesset, hence the constitutional underpinning of the Israeli justice system.

The other petitions were submitted by Druze MKs Akram Hassoun, Saleh Saad and Hamada Amar, representatives of the Bedouin communities and the Meretz party.

"Despite our unlimited loyalty to the state, the state doesn't consider us equals", Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muafak Tarif said in a speech at the rally.

It announces the country as a nation state of the Jewish people and makes Hebrew the country's national language.

"The High Court justices are very serious and professional people", she said. "There is a consensus about these values", Shaked told Army Radio. "The Knesset is the constituent assembly, which defines and determines the Basic Law".

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