Legal segregation: an update (and a good word for Ehud Barak!)

Posted: December 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, racism, The Left | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

The threat of an amendment to the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom which I’ve been following here has been lifted for now. The amendment was supposed to make the “Citizenship Law” – which prohibits Palestinians married to Israelis from obtaining citizenship – a part of the Israeli constitution, thus making it impossible to challenge the law in court, as some NGOs are trying to do these days.

As I explained both here and here, the Citizenship Law severely hurts the Israeli Arab minority’s basic right to family life. MK David Rotem (Israel Beitenu), who initiated the amendment to the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom, declared Sunday that his goal is to limit the growth of the Arab minority “through the use of marriages for a Palestinian ‘return’ to Israel.”

On Sunday, Labor ministers prevented the coalition from backing this racist bill.

It should be noted that the Citizenship Law is still applied in Israel, but as a temporary order and not as a part of the “Basic Laws”, which are the closest thing Israel has for a constitution. The fate of the order lies now in the hands of the Supreme Court, which is expected to issue a new ruling on the matter in the next few months.

For now, Labor deserves a good word for the work they are doing against the current surge in anti-Arab legislation. I have been objecting – and I still am – to Ehud Barak’s decision to enter Netanyahu’s government, but one must admit that from time to time, he has been backing the right causes quite efficiently (and at the same time, some of Kadima’s members were actually backing MK Rotem’s amendment! Not to mention the fact that they initiated and supported the National Biometric Database legislation. Altogether, Kadima appears more and more like a dangerously cynical party).


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