Retractors of new law says that Israeli Administration’s declaration of a “nation-state of the Jewish people” is racist and discriminatory.
On Thursday, Israeli Parliament voted into its legislation, a bill authorizing Jews with the legal right to enfranchise themselves throughout the nation, while excluding all others.
The Associated Press reported that the law encourages Jewish communities to expand and develop with preference for land allocation. Already, Jewish settlers receive over 90 percent of land grants in a country where 20 percent are Arabs who are mostly Muslim.
Another provision of the legislation, downgrades the Arabic language from an official language to “special status.”
At a press conference following the vote, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister said, “This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel.”
While Netanyahu and a right-wind dominant governing body celebrated a law favoring Jewish citizenship, Arab lawmakers vehemently disagreed saying that the law is racist.
Jamal Zahalka, an Arab member of the Knesset, the legislative body, told Al Jazeera, “The law will now give illegal Israeli settlements legal backing and officially get rid of any possibility of establishing a Palestinian state in the occupied territories.” Zahalka voted against the bill.
While the laws bolster the protection of Jewish citizenship and culture, there is a glaring issue of gross racial disparities. Even, Ethiopian Jews who live in Israel face hostilities. Complaints of police brutality and a host of inequalities such as poverty, homeless and disproportionately high incarceration rates plague the community that shares the same religion.
In January, government government announced that they were planning to expel 40,000 African migrants in a deportation agenda profiling Sub-Saharan migrants. According to the Israeli officials, Africans had 90 days to leave voluntarily or face jail time.
Previous measures show how Israel implemented progressively aggressive measures making it uncomfortable for Africans. Last July, Israel introduced a tax on African residents where money taken from their salary could only be accessed if they left the country.
Opposition of the right-wing Israeli government sees the new bill as a way to legalize land seizure of non in the West Bank, and promote anti-Arab treatment of Arabs who are now considered “permanent foreigners,” under the new law.