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nation-state law

  • Defying racist legislation: New bill seeks to turn Israel into a true democracy

    In the face of an onslaught of nationalist, anti-Arab laws, one lawmaker is proposing a simple alternative: transforming Israel into a state for all its citizens. A few years ago, my colleague Noam Sheizaf conducted a fascinating interview with the executive director of Adalah, Hassan Jabareen, in which the former raised the idea that the rise of nationalist and anti-democratic legislation was actually a response to the Palestinian-Israeli public taking its citizenship more seriously — both its rights and the obligations that that citizenship entails. Considering the conduct of the government, as well as that of the Arab public in Israel over…

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  • The slow death of Israeli citizenship

    As the Right consolidates its power over nearly every sphere of Israeli politics, it is slowly turning citizenship into a matter of ideology. Non-Jewish citizens aren't the only ones who will suffer. By Marzuq Al-Halabi The concept of citizenship in Israel has always suffered from significant inadequacies, whether due to the Law of Return or to state policies that make acquiring citizenship an extremely difficult feat. The current situation, for example, allows the state to claim that Bedouin citizens in the Negev aren't citizens at all and that their blue ID cards were issued to them by mistake, even if they…

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  • We'll always have Paris

    While the French gave the world a lesson in hope, democracy and standing up to fascism, the Israeli government advanced a childish, nationalistic law that declares: we are Jews, they are Arabs, we’re good, they’re bad. By Alon Mizrahi Europe and the world expect us to defend the spirit of the Enlightenment, under threat in so many places. They expect us to defend freedom everywhere, to protect the oppressed... They expect us to be just who we are. They expect us to bring a new hope, a new humanism to the world … they expect us, finally, to be ourselves.…

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  • Does Israel have a place in Jewish identity?

    The proposed 'Nation-State Law' and a wave of violence point to the urgency of questioning Israel's place in Jewish identity. Shlomo Sand's latest book, 'How I Stopped Being a Jew,' offers a starting point for such a discussion. When I left Palestine this summer, I was relieved to leave the Israeli flag behind. No more blue and white snapping at everyone who passes military checkpoints. No more Star of David standing high over the army bases. Saying goodbye to the Israeli flag, or so I thought, would also mean an end to my ambivalence about it. Upon seeing the flag,…

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  • The ‘Jewish Nation-State Law’: Turning liberal Zionism on its head

    Cementing the supremacy of national group rights over individual minority rights upends the precarious balance between Jewish and democratic, upon which liberal Zionism relies. For the 'Nation-State Law's authors and political patrons, however, this is just the beginning. Liberal Zionists of all stripes tend to have one thing in common: the belief — or at least the hope — that Israel can reconcile and balance being a Jewish and a democratic state, serving both as the realization of Jewish national self-determination and as a modern liberal state that guarantees equality to all its citizens regardless of their religion or ethnic…

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