The passing of the Nation State law codifies what have been racist policies and practices by Israel into law, and not just a regular law, but a Basic Law that defines the State.
JERUSALEM — After several days of rushing and intense debates, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had his wish come true. He urgently wanted to get the Nation State bill passed into law before the Knesset goes into summer recess on July 22, and for several days now the Knesset committee charged with ironing out the bill was delaying the process with long discussions. Now the law passed 62 to 55 and 2 abstentions. In an almost symbolic act of racism, the Palestinian members of the Knesset were kicked out of the chamber following the vote because of their vocal protests.
Now, with the haggling and the opposition members’ delay tactics over, the final version of the bill has been approved by the Knesset. This law, which has been described as the legislative “Flagship” of the current government, is officially named “Basic Law – Israel as The Nation State of the Jewish People” has become one of Israel’s Basic Laws — laws that, in the absence of a Constitution, have constitutional standing.
This law has been discussed for several years now; it has evolved, however, and has become extreme to a degree that even right-wing politicians like Benny Begin, the son of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and former Likud Defense Minister Moshe Arens, who originally supported the bill, now oppose it. …
The Nation State law codifies what have been racist policies and practices by Israel into law, and not just a regular law but a Basic Law that defines the State. Dr. Yusef Jabarin, member of the Israeli Knesset for the Joint Arab List wrote to me that even though some elements of this law already exist within Israeli law, codifying it as a Basic Law gives the discrimination constitutional standing, which means it will be harder to challenge the racist policies in the courts.