This vile law shames Israel’s so-called democracy
This vile law shames Israel’s so-called democracy
The quality and integrity of a democratic system is not determined by how it protects the rights of the majority, but by how it protects the rights of minorities. By this yardstick, Israel is failing miserably, with increasingly overt racism entrenched in law.
If you want an example, look no further than the euphemistically named Citizenship and Entry Law which has little to do with the regulation of who can obtain Israeli citizenship or who can enter into it. Israel, but specifically targets Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who marry. Israeli citizens and deprives them of permanent resident status or citizenship in Israel.
Israel has made a habit of wrapping its discriminatory and racist laws with security excuses. Since the law has never suggested that suspected security-threatening spouses should be barred from living in Israel, whether or not they have the rights of residents or citizens makes no difference to the security of the country and its territory. population. Anyone with bad intentions towards the Jewish state will not be deterred by their inability to vote in elections or access social benefits.
In 2018, according to the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, since 2001, only a very small minority of those who obtained residency due to marriage through family reunification were engaged in terrorist activities at one. any title, which is far from justifying draconian measures against around 9,200 families.
Israel has made a habit of wrapping its discriminatory and racist laws with security excuses.
On too many issues, Israel acts as if international law is optional at best, and not something it is committed to. Under international human rights law, the family is recognized as the fundamental unit of society and has the right to protection and support. Article 16, paragraph 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and has the right to the protection of society and of the State. In addition, there is a recognized right to marry and found a family, since the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination guarantees the right of everyone regardless of “race, color or origin. national or ethnic, to equality before the law, in particular in the enjoyment… of the right to marriage and to choose a spouse.
Israel will not prevent its citizens from marrying Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, but will not grant them the same rights as those who marry someone from most other places in the world. Instead, he condemns them, without proof of any fault, to a life of uncertainty, deprived of social and political rights in perpetuity, for one reason and one reason only: their place of origin – and that is. outright wrong! Herein lies another irony, in the daring of the Israeli authorities to further abuse the people who, before moving to Israel, had suffered under its oppressive military occupation and blockade, by punishing them again.
If security is not the real issue, since the security establishment does not view family reunification as a major threat and Israeli courts have mainly supported it only as a temporary measure, why is Israel sticking to it? to this law? It’s not that hard to grasp … it’s the demographics, and the fear, to paraphrase the contemptible warning from a recently ousted Israeli prime minister, that Palestinians would migrate “en masse” to Israel, and change the demographic balance between Jews and Israeli Arabs. Given the compulsive approach of Israeli society and its representatives in the Knesset, including most of the new coalition government, one might be forgiven for thinking that the Jewish majority within the Green Line is on the verge of collapse. get lost in favor of the Palestinians, and not that three-quarters of the population are Jews while Arabs make up only one-fifth of all Israelis.
Making this loathsome legislation temporary from the start suggests the very unease of those who originally supported it, and a realization on some level that a democracy cannot espouse discriminatory practices against minorities, or worse. still enshrine them in law. With the exception of rabid extremist nationalists, religious fanatics and populists whose politics are grounded in this kind of racism, the others worryingly embrace a disturbing and unsustainable contradiction when they support discriminatory measures against citizens. Arab-Palestinians from Israel, but still fervently claim that their country is a democracy in its own right.
The Citizenship and Entry Law and the Nation-State Law, among other pieces of legislation in addition to institutionalized racist discourse, go in the opposite direction. After all, any Jew in the world can marry whomever they want – well, almost, as long as they are not a Palestinian from the West Bank or Gaza – and their spouse would almost instantly become a full resident and citizen. law. This is where a so-called democracy is lacking in its citizens, and this is what fuels the view that Israel is becoming an apartheid state. This shameful racism promotes a very particular and vicious interpretation of Judaism and Zionism, and continues to erode Israeli democracy.
- Yossi Mekelberg is Professor of International Relations and Associate Member of the MENA Program at Chatham House. Twitter: @YMekelberg
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