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Israel High Court cancels petition against ‘racist’ Nation State Law

December 31, 2018 at 10:45 am

Thousands of demonstrators from the Druze community stage a protest against the “Jewish Nation-State” law that was approved last month by the Israel’s parliament, at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 04, 2018 [Daniel Bar On / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli High Court yesterday cancelled a petition filed by the National Democratic Assembly (Balad) in the Israeli Knesset against the Nation State Law, Safa News Agency reported.

The petition requested that the court order the head of the Knesset to accept the bloc’s proposed modifications to the “racist” law, changing Israel’s depiction as a “Jewish state” to “a state for all its citizens”.

Party head Jamal Zahalka said: “This issue is a principle for us, not a procedural measure. Therefore, the High Court should have approved or disapproved the petition, not cancelled it.”

“We will continue highlighting Israel’s racist laws. The most prominent issue in 2018 was the approval of the Nation State Law and cancelling the law.”

In July, Israel adopted the so-called Nation State Law, declaring that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it.” The controversial law also stripped Arabic of its designation as an official language alongside Hebrew, downgrading it to “special status” despite its use by almost two million Palestinian citizens of Israel who live in the country, one-fifth of the population.

The law was lambasted by many inside Israel, with Israel’s minority Druze community calling the law a “betrayal” and several Palestinian MKs resigning. Prominent Israeli figures also condemned the law, with best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari refusing an honour by the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles in protest. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was also critical of the law, reportedly saying he would sign the document in Arabic.

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