Protests Expected after Nation-State Bill Passes Israeli Parliament
Although Israel’s controversial Nation-State bill was passed by the parliament after the most problematic clauses had been removed, opponents are nevertheless gearing up for an aggressive campaign of public protests, insisting the legislation is racist and anti-Democratic. Apparently, the mere declaration expressing the Jewish right to self-determination is sufficiently offensive to members of the political parties representing Arab Israelis that protests are being organized. What had been removed from the original text is the ability to have “Jews only” communities and language lauding the creation of Jewish communities on West Bank land Palestinians seek for their state-in-waiting. Arabic-speakers are confused and angered by a provision of the bill that removes the language as an official language of Israel and instead designates it a having “special” status but not explaining exactly what that means. Non-Jews serving in the Israeli army are expressing their concern that the angst generated by the bill will put an end to army service by Bedouins, Druze and Christians who have always been considered among the most dedicated and effective fighters. Demonstrations are being planned to be held opposite the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem until the bill is rescinded.