Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, has passed a law that will make it easier to revoke the citizenship of its Palestinian citizens, primarily on the grounds of them committing serious security violations.
The law that was initiated by MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov from the neo-Fascist Yisrael Beitenu party enables the court system to revoke the citizenship of anyone convicted of spying, treason or helping the enemy during times of war.
The bill was passed by a vote of 37 to 11 at a late-night session on Monday. After the law was passed, Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the Yisrael Beitenu party said, “Another promise by Yisrael Beitenu to its voters has been completely fulfilled.”
The law, he said, “would help deal with the phenomenon by which people use democracy to undermine it, and so-called citizens cooperate with the enemy. Unfortunately, we have witnessed cases like this even among members of the Israeli Knesset.”
During the Knesset session, Arab MK Hanin Zouabi said, “There is a clear fascist trend [in Israel]. What is happening today shouldn’t surprise any of us. Someone has already constructed the political, mental and ideological infrastructure for revoking citizenship. Someone thinks that you can jump from democracy to fascism in one go.”
She said that “racist laws are not initiated only by the right wing, but also by the centre left,” with the Small Rural Communities Law being a case in point, which she described as an apartheid law.
Arab MK Jamal Zahalka said that the law specifically targets Arab citizens and noted that when he asked the Judicial Counsellor whether the new law applies to Yigal Amir, who assassinated former PM Yitzhak Rabin, the response was “no.”
He added that the Shabak had opposed the bill because it was not about security; rather it was a political, ideological, racist, and fascist game aimed at issuing another racist law against Arabs.
Zahalka also said; “Who do you consider a loyal citizen? A loyal citizen is someone who gives up their rights. As soon as I demand my rights, I’m no longer a loyal citizen… international law states that a man cannot be left without citizenship. Even when a person is executed in the US – his citizenship is not revoked. Now a party comes along that re-invents the racist wheel and puts revoking citizenships in the law book.”