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nation-state law

  • Why the Israeli Left can't reconcile with the most Zionist law

    For seven decades, those on the Zionist Left have been reluctant to grapple with Israel's history of discrimination against its Palestinian minority. With the Jewish Nation-State Law, they have no choice — and that's what really hurts. By Meron Rapoport It is difficult, if not impossible, to find Palestinians who support Israel’s new Jewish Nation-State Law. It is just as impossible to find Palestinians who are surprised by the law, which, in truth, does not tell Palestinians anything they did not know before: that the State of Israel is the state of the Jews, and the Arabs who live here are…

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  • How one law exposes what Israel has always tried to hide

    From the moment it was established, Israel granted its Jewish citizens privileges at the expense of Palestinians. The 'nation-state bill' reveals the choice Israelis have to make about the future of their country. Years ago, American journalist Ted Koppel hosted a fascinating televised debate between Rabbi Meir Kahane, the far-right anti-Arab leader, and Ehud Olmert, then a fresh-faced Knesset member from the Likud party. As the Israeli parliament is set to approve the Nation-State Law, which would enshrine discrimination against non-Jews in Israel, it is worth going back and paying close attention to the debate. [tmwinpost] Kahane laid out his political vision without qualms. “Israelis,…

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  • When racism and segregation are perceived as 'legitimate rights'

    Protests against Arab families moving into Jewish cities are a reminder that until everyone is free to choose where they want to live, the Israeli regime will remain segregationist and racist at its core. By Suhad Bishara Jewish residents of the northern Israeli city of Afula protested last week against the sale of a home to an Arab family and the possibility that the city would have a mixed Jewish-Arab population. I have no doubt that every person who believes in freedom and justice will view this protest as an expression of pro-segregation racism reminiscent of South African apartheid. [tmwinpost]…

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  • 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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