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Zahalka: Israel's new law regarding loyalty to Israel is racist and anti-democratic

February 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm

The leader of the Arab parliamentary bloc in the Israeli Knesset, Dr Jamal Zahalka, has described the proposed law to make the “declaration of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state” a mandatory condition for Israeli citizenship as racist and anti-democratic. The new law is expected to be approved by the Israeli government during its coming session this Sunday.

Zahalka said that there was no country in the world which obligated a declaration of loyalty to its ideology as a condition for obtaining nationality and as such, Israeli racism had set a new precedent on the world stage.

He added that “This law is racist because it is directed against Arabs for being Arab. The Jewish state is the reserve of Zionism, and the new law imposes upon Palestinians, who are the victims of Zionism, that they declare their loyalty to it.” Dr Zahalka further explained, “This is a new attempt to put additional obstacles before the reunion of Palestinian families on both sides of the Armistice Line, and there are thousands of families that have been torn apart by the racist Israeli laws which separates husbands and wives; girls and boys from their fathers or mothers. There are thousands who have submitted requests for citizenship and residency in order to live with their families in Israel, and the new requirement firmly and completely locks the door to them because the signification of the issue is not simply racism, but rather the intention to prevent family reunion in every way.”

He said, “It is paradoxical to stipulate an anti-democratic law as the declaration of loyalty to a Jewish and democratic state; how can the state be democratic with a law of this kind.” Zahalka said he would be proposing a change to the definition of Israel as Jewish and democratic state and for it to be substituted with a clause that reflects its true reality; “A Jewish and non-democratic state.”

Zahalka noted that the law excludes those who obtained nationality through the Israeli “Law of Return” which means that Jews are not obliged to declare loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state. Moreover it ensures that Jews are not dissuaded from coming to Israel because they are not Zionist and there are numerous religious Jews who refuse to declare loyalty to Zionism.

Zahalka confirmed that the new law falls within the framework of a series of racist Israeli laws and constitutes part of the “Jewish state” psychosis in which Israel insists on being recognised as such as a condition for any settlement with Arabs outside of the state, and for Arabs within the state to obtain citizenship.

Source: Sama