Israel’s parliament approves controversial law protecting Jewish character

Israel’s parliament approves controversial law protecting Jewish character

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The law defines Israel as a national state of the Jewish people and no longer recognizes Arabic as an official language but only Hebrew. It also ratifies the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    
Jerusalem Altstadt Israelische Fahnen (picture-alliance / NurPhoto / A.Widak)

The Israeli parliament approved in the early hours of today (07.07.2018) the controversial “State-Nation” law, which protects the Jewish identity of Israel, which it calls the “national home” of the Jewish people, reserves the right to self-determination to this collective and leaves Hebrew as the only official language.

However, the original text of the “nationality law” was notably softened. Of the 120 deputies, 62 voted in favor and 55 against the new law, Israeli media reported. The remaining legislators were not present or abstained.

“Key moment” for Zionism and the State

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of a “key moment” in the history of Zionism and the State of Israel. On the contrary, Arab deputies protested loudly and in a symbolic gesture they broke the draft of the law. Arab deputy Ahmed Tibi said the law is “racist” and involves the “death of democracy” in Israel.

So far this mention of Jewish identity has been avoided by the opposition of some Jewish currents and the existence of minorities such as the Arab, the Palestinians who remained there after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and constitute 20% of its population.

“National State of the Jews”

The purpose “is to ensure the character of Israel as the national state of the Jews in order to codify in a basic law the values of Israel as a Jewish democratic state in the spirit of the principles of its Declaration of Independence”, states the Knesset on your website.

This includes the Hatikva hymn (adapted from a Jewish poem, about the return of the people to Israel), the white and blue flag with the Star of David in the center, a seven-armed menorah (Jewish chandelier) with olive branches in the extremes as a symbol of the country and Hebrew as the official language.

“The Arab will have a special category, every Jew will have the right to migrate to Israel and obtain citizenship according to the provisions of the law, the state will act to gather the Jews in exile and promote Jewish settlements in their territory and will allocate resources for this purpose, “states the new legislation.

Clause 7b, which protected “the creation of communities in the country composed by reason of faith or origin” and was criticized last week by the president, Reuvén Rivlin, as “discriminatory”, was revised for the final version.

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