Israeli-Arab Committee launches legal steps against Nationality Law

10 Août, 2018, 10:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Critics of Israel's Nation-State Law Misunderstand the Country's Constitutional System

Consequently, it's ridiculous to claim that the nation-state law undermines democracy, equality, or minority rights merely because those terms don't appear in it, given that several other Basic Laws already address these issues.

The petition was submitted on behalf of all Arab political leadership in Israel, the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, the National Committee of Arab Mayors, the Joint List parliamentary faction and in the name of Adalah, against the Knesset, according to an Adalah press release.

Petitioners argued that the law was steeped in colonial ideology and "based on the principle of ethnic superiority" and served to impose a singular "constitutional identity" on all of Israel's diverse cultural groups.

The petition also claimed the law explicitly rejects Palestinian national rights, which, when applied to areas claimed by Israel beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, constitutes a violation of the laws of occupation contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention.

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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Adalah lawyers also argued that the Jewish nation-state law negates the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in violation of the United Nations charter, and that the law's application to East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights also stands in violation of worldwide law, which specifies that these areas are occupied by Israel.

The Basic Laws of Israel are the constitutional laws that can only be changed by a super-majority vote in the Israeli Knesset, hence the constitutional underpinning of the Israeli justice system. It has prompted particular outrage from Israel's Druze minority, whose members say the law's provisions render them second-class citizens.

On Saturday, tens of thousands opposing the law had demonstrated against it in Tel Aviv, calling for its annullement to ensure equality for Israel's non-Jewish minorities. Barakeh stressed that "we demand the unconditional cancellation of the law".

It is also argued that, in violation of the United Nations charter, the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law negates the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

Israel, which lacks a traditional constitution, holds its basic laws as preeminent, as they are meant to guide the judiciary and require a supramajority in parliament in order to be overturned.

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