Israel’s parliament (Knesset) has this July passed its Nationality Law by sixty two votes to fifty five. In brief, it enshrines, and in effect crows about, Israel’s status as an apartheid state.
The law confirms that ‘Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it’. Note ‘exclusive’. In addition, the Arabic language is downgraded from its co-equal status as an official language with Hebrew to a lesser ‘special status’. By way of reminder, Israel’s Palestinian Arabs number some 1.8 million, about 20 percent of the nine million population.
The law also affirms that ‘The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment.’ Note ‘Jewish’. Note, too, ‘settlement’, which in fact refers to the construction of Jewish-only colonies built on historic Palestinian land cleared by Israel in an unrelenting programme of house demolitions, land seizures, and crop destruction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and in (illegally annexed) East Jerusalem. Continue reading