Palestinian leadership in Israel takes legal action against Jewish Nation-State Law


Palestinian leaders in Israel petitioned the High Court on Tuesday over the new Jewish nation-state law, the latest addition to Israel's Basic Law, that passed in the Knesset last month. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said in a statement on Tuesday that the law "has distinct apartheid characteristics" and denies "civil and national rights of Palestinians in their homeland".

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.

Shaked restated her support for the controversial law, which has been overwhelmingly labeled as a racist policy against non-Jewish minorities. Opponents say the law legitimizes discrimination against Israeli Arabs, who make up roughly 20 percent of the population.

"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.

The petition says that the law is "racist, massively harmful to fundamental human rights and contravenes worldwide human rights norms, especially those forbidding laws that constitute a racist constitution".

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On 19 July 2018, the Israeli Knesset voted 62 to 55 to approve the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law that constitutionally enshrines Jewish supremacy and the identity of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. The law, however, would not require making state services accessible in Arabic.

Tens of thousands of Druze and their supporters rallied in central Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against the legislation. Critics of the law raised concerns that it will permit the exclusion of various populations, based on nationality or religion, and allow the illegal establishment of Jewish settlements and communities only.

Defending the bill Netanyahu said, "No one has harmed them [the Druze] and no one intends to harm, but without a nation-state law it is impossible to fortify Israel's status as a Jewish state".

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.

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.