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citizenship law

  • The roots of Israel's most racist law

    Israel's most draconian laws may have been passed by the current right-wing government, but the stage was set long ago by the Israeli Left. With a majority of 65 votes, the Knesset approved last week the extension of an order to prevent family reunification in Israel. Of Palestinian families, of course. Jews are welcome to continue and reunify as much as they please. [tmwinpost] As always, the pretext for approving this draconian law, which deprives Palestinian citizens who fell in love with a Palestinian from the occupied territories (not to mention a Syrian, Lebanese, or Iranian citizen) from living with…

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  • Apartheid or not, separation is the reality

    After nearly 50 years of occupation, it has become impossible to differentiate between Israel's 'security concerns' and flat-out apartheid policies. By Hagai El-Ad "So far as the issue is security, these considerations are relevant and the role of the minister of defense indeed is to defend Israeli citizens. And I also realized that he said he did not give that kind of directive, so it's all okay [...] but I realized that it's the result of pressure from settlers who do not want to travel with Arabs on the bus. I read what was said at the Knesset committee discussion,…

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  • Israel's newest Supreme Court justice and rule of law in Israel

    Menachem 'Meni' Mazuz’s recent appointment to the Supreme Court reveals, yet again, that the borders of the rule of law lie only with those who are considered part of the 'Jewish nation,' not all of Israel’s citizens. By Salah Mohsen The appointment of Menachem “Meni” Mazuz to the Israeli Supreme Court did not raise any debate within the Israeli public. If this was a truly democratic society, which emphasizes the importance of respecting the opinions and status of its national minority, this appointment would never have been made at all. There are many reasons why Meni Mazuz should not have been…

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  • What to expect from the Israeli Right after Protective Edge

    Progressive forces in Israel need to be prepared: The Israeli Right has yet to exhaust all of its options for dealing with the Palestinians. The alternatives to Netanyahu's status quo involve moves toward a Greater Israel and full segregation based on extreme nationalism and hatred. By Mati Shemoelof (translated by Rotem Nir) If there is one thing we should have learned from the past couple of months, it’s an appreciation of just how high the stakes are in Israel. The Israeli Zionist Left is not capable of leading this country to serious change; change will only come when the Right betrays its…

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  • New law would demote Arabic language in the name of 'social cohesion'

    Members of Knesset say law builds a 'collective identity' that will preserve the 'values of democracy.' By Orly Noy A group of MKs from Yisrael Beiteinu, Likud and Jewish Home recently submitted a bill that calls to rescind the status of Arabic as an official language in Israel. On its own, the bill is neither out of the ordinary nor surprising, as it joins a long list of draft laws that were brought before the Knesset plenum over the past years, including the Citizenship Law, the Nakba Law, the Loyalty Law, the Basic Law that declares Israel as the nation state…

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  • The burden, and wall, of Zionism

    Zionism has come to refer not to the many ways of building Israel, but to a litmus test. Any answer other than ‘I am a Zionist,’ is akin to being un-American in the 1950s. I didn’t join a Labor Zionist youth movement at 14 because I thought of myself as a Zionist. Actually I shied away from group identities, bouncing among social cliques at school and staying away from team sports. My parents just didn’t know what to do with me one summer and they heard about a nice Jewish camp, not too expensive. The Habonim-Dror camp turned out to…

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  • Complicated justice: Must occupation be the litmus test for the Left?

    While many remember Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, who passed earlier this month, for concluding that there is no occupation of the West Bank, Ofer Sitbon says we must see Levy as an activist judge with a strong sense of justice for the underprivileged. By Ofer Sitbon Everyone had their own Edmund Levy. Since passing away at the age of 72 two weeks ago, the former Supreme Court justice has received myriad obituaries highlighting his extraordinary judicial personality. There were those who longingly emphasized his ruling regarding Israel's disengagement from Gaza, in which he wrote unprecedented political lines in Israel's legal…

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  • Knesset extends legislation that facilitates torture

    The Knesset has extended temporary legislation under which interrogations of security prisoners are exempt from requirements to visually record the investigation, Haaretz recently reported. The security establishment pushed hard to make the law permanent; Haaretz reports that opposition by two of the democratic-leaning Likud members, Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan, as well as human rights organizations like ACRI resulted in the compromise of a temporary extension. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel wrote in a statement that: In security-related offenses, full documentation is all the more necessary. This, both because of the increased concern for wrongful pressure in such…

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  • Edmond Levi: Israel’s one-state justice

    Retired Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levi was always considered a 'conservative' and 'rightwing' judge - but a closer reading of his verdicts reveals the constitutional basis for a 'one state justice.' By Itamar Mann Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levi issued his last opinion in January 2012, before retiring. In an important case, the Court upheld provisions of the Citizenship Law banning Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza from entering Israel to live with their Israeli spouses. The ink on Levi’s minority opinion may have already dried; but it’s safe to assume that the blood that froze in the hearts…

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  • Citizenship Law prefers discrimination over human rights

    Recent rejection by the Israeli High Court of the final petitions against Israel's Citizenship Law – which denies status in Israel to Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens – was described as a "watershed" ruling. Watershed indeed, but how exactly? By Hagai El-Ad Justice Asher Grunis, the Israeli supreme court judge who will become the court's next president in February, kept his opinion sufficiently brief for the bluntness-and-brevity to stick between the lines. He opted to air his opinion in the court's recent decision to reject the petitions against Israel's Citizenship Law, with the following succinct quote: "Human rights are not…

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  • New bill would condition Knesset electability on completion of military service

    Palestinian citizens cannot be expected to serve an institution that protects the Jewish identity of the state. If Israel prohibits its Palestinian citizens from participating in elections, it would cease to function as a democracy, and it would lose its case against claims of apartheid. By Fady Khoury The media reported this week that MK Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beiteinu) has introduced a new bill prohibiting citizens who have not completed military, national or civil service from being elected to the Knesset. This bill joins an array of several other bills proposed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, which condition…

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  • Two pseudo-states is not a solution for flailing Israeli democracy

    By Hagai El-Ad The two-state solution? Instead of an end to the occupation, September might bring us not just more of the same, but worse: an occupied pseudo-State of Palestine, alongside a deteriorating pseudo-democracy in Israel The expected UN General Assembly decision on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state was perhaps supposed to usher in a new spirit of optimism among advocates of human rights and democracy. Self-determination for Palestinians and an end to the Occupation ought not only to have heralded a dramatic improvement in the human rights situation in the territories; it could also shift resources previously…

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