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Israelis Mock US Criticism of "Jewish State" Legislation

November 26, 2014 


Israelis Mock US Criticism of "Jewish State" Legislation

Wednesday November 26, 2014 01:21 by IMEMC News & Agencies

Livni and Lapid urged to leave coalition

Israeli occupation government officials, on Tuesday, mocked US concerns about the controversial new "Jewish State" bill that was issued on Sunday, with the cabinet set to vote on and approve it Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

The bill was opposed by 7 ministers and approved by 15.

According to the PNN, Israeli occupation government PM, Netanyahu, is also planning to issue a new law which eliminates the Arab parliamentary MPs who support Palestinian resistance, as well as withdrawal of nationality from Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied lands, should they engage in resistance actions.

Israeli criticism of the United States' stand on the new legislation was reportedly voiced through Israeli lawmaker Zeev Elkin, who rebuked U.S. spokeswoman Jen Psaki for a statement demanding Israel act democratically and just to all of its citizens.

Mr. Elkin's response to her statements was that Israel does not need any advice, from across the sea, on how to handle its affairs.

The bill was opposed by Israeli ministers Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Ya'ir Lapid, from the Yesh Atid party.

Palestinian PM, Dr. Rami Hamdallah, declared that the bill paves the way for more discriminatory laws, especially with the spread of extremism and racism in Israel, in addition to policies implemented by Israeli authorities against Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem. He called on international organizations to interfere by sanctioning Israel and make it adhere to international law and human rights conventions.

The Israeli occupation government continues to insist on new discriminatory laws like the ones recently proposed by PM Netanyahu suggesting Israeli incitements of murder, home demolitions, ID withdrawal, job discrimination and numerous Israeli policies against Palestinians.

Strong denunciation of the Prime Minister's crusade of incitement was voiced from within the cabinet, while showing support for the efforts of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to prompt a Palestinian state recognition based on the 1967 borders, setting a just solution for Palestinian refugees according to UN Resolution 194, releasing all prisoners and setting East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

Furthermore, Israeli opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog has called on Livni and Lapid to leave Israel's coalition government, accusing PM Netanyahu of putting Israel's interests at risk.

"I call on [Justice Minister Tzipi] Livni and [Finance Minister Yair] Lapid and their parties to join us in changing the face of the country," Herzog said during a Labor Party meeting on Monday, according to World Bulletin.

"You can still repair the damage – leave the government as soon as possible," he added, saying additionally that Netanyahu had failed on the economic and security levels, and also in terms of the peace process with the Palestinians.

U.S. statements on “Jewish state” encourages racism, says Hamas

November 26, 2014,


Spokesman for Hamas Movement Sami Abu Zuhri said Tuesday that U.S. latest statements that Israel is a Jewish state will encourage racism.

“Such statements encourage racism and ignore all values of democracy,” Abu Zuhri charged, adding that “It eliminates the Palestinians' right of return.”

The Israeli government had on Sunday overwhelmingly voted in favor of approving the Jewish state law for the state of Israel. 

The decision created large controversy among Palestinians in Palestine 48 as it threatens their presence in their own lands.

Hamas said that Israel's decision aims to ignite a religious war in the region.

The Movement added, in the statement, that the law “sets off alarm bells for Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims about Zionist ambitions in the region."

Meanwhile, the Palestinian unity government said in a press statement that the Israeli government's approval of the law “paves the way for more racist laws in light of the escalated racist attacks against Palestinians.”

The law represents a clear declaration of Israel's adoption of the Apartheid system, the statement added.

The statement called on the international community and all the free world “to carry out practical steps not only to halt Israeli actions, but also to bring Israel to account.”

For his part, Palestinian MP Mushir al-Masri considered the Israeli law as a second Nakba (catastrophe) to the Palestinian people, and a new blow to those who still believe in the negotiation process.

In an exclusive interview with the PIC, MP al-Masri said that the law reinforces Israeli racist and arbitrary policies against Palestinians as it poses a real threat to a million and a half million Palestinians within the Green Line.

In his turn, Chairman of the Palestinian National Initiative MP Dr. Mustafa Barghouti also slammed Tuesday the law, saying that it “exposes Israel's racist image and Apartheid system.”

"This law reinforces our demands to boycott and impose sanctions on Israel", according to his statement.

Although a Knesset vote on the bill has been delayed until next week due to the government coalition crisis, Israel's premier Netanyahu has promised to push forward with the "Jewish state bill," with or without his coalition partners' backing.


Jewish-nation bill frays Israel's delicate social fabric

By Maayan Lubell

KAFR QASSEM, Israel Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:18pm EST

(Reuters) -

 Israel is poised to pass one of the most divisive laws in its 66-year history, a bill that would declare it the homeland of the Jewish people only -- and further alienate its Arab minority.

Political infighting over the measure is already threatening to tear apart Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition.

The legislation, which is seen as compromising equality by differentiating between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens in enshrining some symbolic rights to the Jewish people, could also have long-term practical ramifications for Israeli democracy and jurisprudence.

Netanyahu, along with other right-wing politicians pushing the law, say it is essential to protecting Israel's identity against those questioning its right to exist.

Some commentators say Netanyahu is going ahead now to court a key constituency of right-wing voters he has been losing to far-right parties in his already shaky coalition, with an eye to a possible early election next year should cracks within the government widen.

Centrists in his government argue such legislation is unnecessary, noting the 1948 Declaration of Independence already proclaimed a Jewish state. They accuse him of pandering to hardliners in his Likud party.

"There are many who are challenging Israel's character as the national state of the Jewish people," Netanyahu said on Sunday at a cabinet meeting. "The Palestinians refuse to recognize this and there is also opposition from within."

Palestinians say accepting Netanyahu's call could deny Palestinian refugees of past wars any right of return.

"The discussion on the nation-state (bill) puts obstacles in the way of peace," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday. "It has met fierce opposition inside the Israeli government, Knesset and among the Israeli people."

The bill was approved by Netanyahu's cabinet on Sunday, but political bickering has pushed back by a week, to next Wednesday, a preliminary ratification vote in parliament.

His draft of the bill -- two other versions are being considered and no final wording has been agreed -- pledges to "uphold the individual rights of all of Israel's citizens".

But it also says only the Jewish people have "national rights" -- the right to self-determination in Israel and to a flag, an anthem and free immigration. One draft proposed by a Likud legislator would remove Arabic as an official state language.

"With this law, the state will be less democratic and more racist," said Arab legislator Jamal Zahalka.

Israeli Arabs make up 20 percent of the population of 8.2 million and have long complained of being treated a second-class citizens. Law professor Mordechai Kremnitzer of The Israel Democracy Institute said the bill could open the courtroom door to discrimination.

"Judges could learn from this bill that the Jewish foundation overrides the democratic foundation and draw inspiration from it to hurt equal rights all citizens are entitled to, including the minorities," Kremnitzer said.


In the Arab town of Kafr Qassem, whose Arabic- and Hebrew-signed shops and garages are frequented by Israeli Jews, residents, some of whom saw themselves as Arab-Israeli or as Palestinian citizens of Israel, united against the bill.

"This is our country, our land," said Rasha, a 27-year-old teacher and mother of two at the local market. "Israel is a democracy for Jews only, not for Arabs."

Sitting outside a mosque, as the call for prayer sounded over loudspeakers, Ibrahim Issa, 68, said: "Israel is a strong state, what does it need all this for? Who are they afraid of? The Israeli Arabs?"

The controversy comes at a time of high tensions in Israel, the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, where a dispute over access to a religious site sacred to Jews and Muslims has ignited Palestinian streets protests and lethal attacks on Jews.

Violence has risen in Jerusalem since June, when Hamas militants abducted and killed three Israeli youths in the West Bank, triggering the murder by Jews of a Palestinian teenager.

Lawmaker Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party said the proposed law would not hurt minorities' rights. It is needed, she said, to ensure rulings of the Supreme Court -- often criticized by the right-wing as being left-leaning -- are balanced.

Shaked, who authored one of the drafts, said that once Israel's status as a Jewish nation-state was anchored in law, the court would be able to take into account Jewish values and national considerations in passing judgment.

"When the Supreme Court rules on whether a law is constitutional or not today, it only has the democratic leg to stand on," she said. "It does not have a Jewish foundation in its legal toolbox."

Rabbi Michael Melchior, a former cabinet minister from the Labour Party, said the law would distort both the Jewish and democratic nature of Israel. "It's one of the worst things ever done in Israel," he said.

(The story was filed to replaces "granting" with "ensrhining" in paragraph 3, capitalizes Jewish Home in paragraph 21)

(Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Giles Elgood)


Israel Further Discusses "Jewish State" Law, Repeals Arabic as Official Language in Pre-1948 Lands

Sunday November 16, 2014 21:57 by IMEMC News & Agencies

The controversial "Jewish State" legislation, which defines Israel as a national home of the Jewish people, is up for discussion by an Israeli ministerial committee, on Sunday.

According to the bill, the only language recognized in the pre-1948 occupied Palestinian lands will be Hebrew, with the Arabic language (considered an official language in Israel) will be given "special status", according to Al Ray.

It also reportedly provides that Jews can exercise their desire for self-determination in accordance with their claimed historical legacy. This right to exercise "national self-determination" will be provided to Jewish people only.

Israeli politicians noted that the characteristic of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people has never been enshrined in the Basic Laws of Israel.

The law supports the settlement expansion process and does not state any commitment for the construction works of Palestinians, who are rarely, if ever, given permits to build.

Israeli Justice minister Tzipi Livni asserted opposition to the law, saying that she will not, under any circumstance, allow anyone to compromise democratic values and subordinate them to exclusively Jewish ones.


Kerry Plan Includes Palestinian Recognition of Israel as Jewish State

Tuesday February 11, 2014 17:50 by Chris Carlson - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group

US Secretary of State John Kerry has approved that the drafted framework peace agreement, to be signed between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel, will include Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state, Maariv reported on Tuesday.

(PNN) According to Maariv, Kerry's plan is based on reciprocity between a state for the Jewish people and a state for the Palestinian people.

The agreement also includes land swaps based on the 1967 borders and the demographic changes that have taken place on the ground over the past decades.

Tzipi Livni, Israeli chief negotiator had also alluded, recently, to possible Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

On a different note, Israeli envoy to the United States, Ron Dermer, defended US Secretary of State John Kerry by saying, "I think he was making a descriptive statement." Dermer continued, "I don't think he was doing it in order to pressure Israel."

Dermer said, in a recent interview with TIME Magazine, that Kerry is opposed to the boycotting of Israel, something he made clear again this week.


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