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UN: Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law contravenes international pact 

November 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Human rights activists in New York hold banners as they protest against Israel’s occupation on Palestine on 25 October 2017 [Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency]

A UN body has announced that Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law contravenes international human rights laws ratified and adopted by Israel, Arab48 reported yesterday.

The news website reported that the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) released its observations in the fourth periodic report of Israel on 18 October and highlighted Israel’s violation of international law.

According to the website, the UNCESCR’s observations included a list of concerns, recommendations and actions that Israel must take in order to comply with its obligations in relations to the international human rights convention that it signed in 1966 and ratified in 1991.

Adalah – the Legal Centre for Minority Rights in Israel said that the findings and recommendations mark the first time that a UN monitoring body determining that the Jewish Nation-State Law “does not comply with a human rights treaty ratified by Israel.”

READ: Jewish Nation-State Law added to Israel high school curriculum

In response, Adalah attorney Myssana Morany sent a letter on 6 November to the Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit calling on him to change his opinion regarding the law.

The UNCESCR raised deep concerns in its release about the discriminatory effect of the law on Israel’s non-Jewish population including their rights of self-determination, non-discrimination and cultural rights.

So that, the UN body called on Israel to respond to its concerns regarding aggravation of already-existing ethnic segregation and increasing budgetary discrimination in other concluding observations.

On 7 August 2018, Adalah filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the law on behalf of the Arab political leadership in Israel.

READ: Israel’s ‘Nation-State Law’ merely confirms its lifelong racist nature

The law defines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people,” with Hebrew as its official language and Jerusalem as its capital.

The law states that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” thereby denying to Palestinians any national rights or existence.

Arabic is downgraded from an official language to one with “special status.”