Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Arab rights group petitions Israel’s Supreme Court against Jewish nation law

Arab rights group petitions Israel’s Supreme Court against Jewish nation law

Palestinian leaders in Israel petitioned the High Court on Tuesday over the new Jewish nation-state law, the latest addition to Israel's Basic Law, that passed in the Knesset last month.

Among those signing the petition were the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, the umbrella body of Arab Israeli organizations; lawmakers on the Arab Joint List in the Knesset; and the committee of Arab council heads and mayors, the Times of Israel reported.

Three petitions have already filed against the law, the first by Israel's Druze community, a second by the left-wing Meretz party, and a third petition is set to be filed by Israel's Bedouin community.

The first hearing for the petitions is scheduled for January.

Adalah insists the legislation should be annulled, AP said. "There is also no single constitution in the world that does not include the right to equality for all its citizens and residents".

Adalah lawyers also argued that the Jewish nation-state law negates the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in violation of the United Nations charter, and that the law's application to East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights also stands in violation of worldwide law, which specifies that these areas are occupied by Israel.

Nevertheless, both sides in this dispute agree on one thing: each Basic Law is merely one article in Israel's constitution or constitution-to-be.

Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, warned of an "earthquake" that would occur, in the case that the Israeli High Court of Justice decides to overturn the controversial Jewish Nation-State law.

It is also argued in the petition that "countries that defined themselves as belonging to only one group - such as the United States in the 19th century and South Africa until the fall of apartheid - were perceived as colonialist because they were based on the principle of ethnic superiority, imposed a constitutional identity on other national groups, and excluded the indigenous population..."

It also describes the building of Jewish settlements as being in the Israeli national interest.

Protesters wave Israeli and Druze flags at a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the nation-state law, on August 4, 2018.

"The Nation-State Law prevents, for example, the exploitation of the family reunification clause under which very, very many Palestinians have been absorbed into the country", he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. Many people, myself included, disagree with that decision, inter alia because constitutional legislation should reflect a broad consensus, whereas many Basic Laws were approved by only narrow majorities or even minorities of the Knesset.

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