Israeli Arab minority groups launch struggle against Nationality Law

Members of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel has taken the first legal steps against the controversial Nationality Law.

Members of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel on Tuesday announced the launch of their own struggle against the Nationality Law, demanding its cancellation.

The organisation turned to the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, demanding them to intervene and support the cancellation of the law.

“We’re saying these things not on behalf of a party or a movement in the Arab population, but on behalf of the general Arab public,” said former MK Mohammad Barakeh, the head of the High Follow-up Committee.

The committee intends to meet with representatives from the UN as they believe that the Nationality Law threatens the possibility of finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The law undermines the solution to the Palestinian issue because it refers the ‘Land of Israel’ as a Jewish owned territory, which cancels the possibility for a two-state solution, Barakeh said.

This was followed by actions from Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel filling a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice against the Nationality Law.

According to Maan News, Adalah said that the law has distinct apartheid characteristics and denies civil and national rights of Palestinians in their homeland.

The Nationality Law, which was passed last month, was immediately met with criticism internationally. By the end of July, the European Union expressed concerns over the law that was approved by the Israeli Knesset.

Before the bill was even passed Maja Kocjiancic, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherinis spokesperson stated that EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Areas it occupied in 1967 and does not consider them Israeli territories.

The law defines Israel as the Jewish nation-state, Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Hebrew as the official language and downgrades the Arabic language to a special status. Furthermore, the law enshrines the right of return for Diaspora Jewry.

According to critics, the law marginalises the country’s Arab minority, while supporters say it ensures the Jewish character of the state for generations to come.

The law divides the Palestinian status into two aspects; incomplete individual citizenship for Palestinians in the 1948 territories and all collective rights of Palestinians in general in Palestinian lands shall be abolished, mainly their right to political self-determination, and settlement construction all over Palestine.

Source: Palestine Monitor