Critics of nation-state law 'mistaken and misinformed,' Netanyahu advisor says

Critics of Israel's Nation-State Law Misunderstand the Country's Constitutional System

Opposition to Israel nation-state law grows

"Nobody has harmed - and nobody intends to harm - these individual rights but without the Nation-State Law it will be impossible to ensure for (future) generations the future of Israel as a Jewish national state".

"For the Druze public, which gives of its blood and its sons for the State of Israel, the nation-state law is spitting in our face", the petitioners said. Opponents say the law legitimizes discrimination against Israeli Arabs, who make up roughly 20 percent of the population.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said in a statement on Tuesday that the law "has distinct apartheid characteristics" and denies "civil and national rights of Palestinians in their homeland".

Greenberg addressed critics of the law who say that it infringes on religious freedom, saying that the law "relates only to the national rights of the Jewish people and does not address religious questions or prescribe an official religion".

Israel is a Jewish and democratic state.

The petition says that the law is "racist, massively harmful to fundamental human rights and contravenes global human rights norms, especially those forbidding laws that constitute a racist constitution".

Two Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike on northern Gaza Strip
However, Israeli media reported that an Israeli force came under fire near the borderline in northern Gaza . Israel has said they only opened fire in self-defence or on people trying to infiltrate its territory.


The nation-state law passed by the Knesset July 19 for the first time enshrines Israel as "the national home of the Jewish people", and says "the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people". "There is also no single constitution in the world that does not include the right to equality for all its citizens and residents". It also defines Arabic as a language bearing a "special" status, effectively downgrading it from its de facto status as Israel's second official language. "For Netanyahu, we are second-class citizens, not equal members in a democracy that works for the benefit of all its citizens". 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.

The Israeli High Court has made no moves to overturn Basic Law legislation to date, prompting fears that the petitions will achieve little more than media coverage. It is at least the thirds challenge filed with the Supreme Court over the law.

The nation-state law does not "contradict or supersede the basic laws that protect and guarantee individual rights of all citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender", she wrote.

On Sunday, two Bedouin former IDF officers also called on the High Court to either change the formulation of the law so it applies equally to all Israelis or abolish it completely.

The wave of criticism piles pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is already beset by corruption allegations.

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