The Israeli government has just passed a fundamentally racist new law enshrining the exclusive right to self-determination to Jews only ("The Nation State Law"). The population is at least 20% Arab, so their rights are now officially inferior to those enjoyed by Jewish citizens - even though both are equally Israeli. Since the formation of Israel in 1948 the country has had two official languages - Hebrew and Arabic. From today forward, Arabic is no longer to be considered an official language. All of this comes on the back of increasing evidence for official Israeli racism against blacks who claim Jewish ancestry. Much of it is driven by the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox religious nut-jobs who are in the ascendency.
What is really happening is that Israel is preparing itself - and the world - for the obvious conclusion to its illegal behaviour as occupiers and settlers of Arab land over the decades, namely, that the "Two-State" solution is dead in the water (see States of Mind passim) and the inevitable One-State solution will be anything but democratic i.e; it will be an apartheid state with Jews lording it over Arabs. This new law is part of the process whereby the anachronistic notion of a Jewish Democracy (always an insult to the word democracy which necessarily includes pluralism as a core - and not an optional -value) morphs into an open racist Jewish State with full rights only for Jews. Significantly...."Unlike previous drafts of the nationality bill, the version that passed omits any mention of democracy or enunciation of the principle of equality in what critics called a betrayal of Israel’s foundational document, its Declaration of Independence." And there you have it. So we can expect more of the same to come.
As the New York Times said (in an article tucked away at the bottom of the screen) "The law, pushed through just before the Knesset, or Parliament, went into summer recess, has been advanced as a flagship legislation of the most right-wing and religious governing coalition in Israel’s 70-year history." Quite.
It goes on...“This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said soon after the vote early Thursday. “We have determined in law the founding principle of our existence. Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, and respects the rights of all of its citizens.” This is a lie. From now on Arabs are clear second class citizens with fewer rights.
"Moments after the vote, Arab members of Parliament ripped up copies of the bill while crying out, “Apartheid!” Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List of predominantly Arab parties, which holds 13 seats and is the third-largest bloc in Parliament, waved a black flag in protest. Members of the right-wing governing coalition applauded."
“The end of democracy,” declared Ahmad Tibi, a veteran Arab legislator, charging the government with demagogy. “The official beginning of fascism and apartheid. A black day (another black day),” he wrote on Twitter.
Adalah, a legal center that campaigns for Arab rights in Israel, said in a statement, “This law guarantees the ethnic-religious character of Israel as exclusively Jewish and entrenches the privileges enjoyed by Jewish citizens, while simultaneously anchoring discrimination against Palestinian citizens and legitimizing exclusion, racism, and systemic inequality.”
Yael German, a lawmaker from the centrist opposition party Yesh Atid, said before the vote that the law was “a poison pill for democracy.”
"Empowered by the ascendancy of a friendly American administration led by President Trump, and increasingly allying itself with illiberal democracies in Europe, Mr. Netanyahu’s government has sought to exercise more control over the news media, curtail the authority of the Supreme Court and undermine the police amid attempts to thwart or minimize the effect of multiple corruption investigations against the prime minister. The police have already recommended that Mr. Netanyahu be charged with bribery in two cases."
Some Israelis protest against the Nation State Law - placards say: "This house belongs to all of us."