Shaked Warns High Court against Revoking Jewish Nation-State Law

Critics of Israel's Nation-State Law Misunderstand the Country's Constitutional System

Opposition to Israel nation-state law grows

"MK Ahmad Tibi said the law only served to widen the divide between the rights of Israel's Jews versus those of non-Jews, adding that "'there is only one mention of Arabs in this law, and it's negative-canceling the status of the Arabic language".

The petition argued that by declaring Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people alone, the law excludes the rights of its Arab citizens who make up around 20 percent of the population.

Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel filed a petition against the new Jewish Nation-State Basic Law at the Israeli High Court.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who has been pushing to curb the powers of Israel's Supreme Court, has said that if the high court strikes the law down, it will be an "earthquake" that would begin "a war between branches of government".

Israel has come under global criticism since passing the Basic Law, which has also come to be known as the "Jewish Nation-State" law. Among those signing the petition were the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, the umbrella body of Arab Israeli organizations; lawmakers on the Arab Joint List in the Knesset; and the committee of Arab council heads and mayors, the Times of Israel reported.

The petitioners stress that "a law that denies the civil and national rights of Palestinians in their homeland is racist, colonialist, and illegitimate". "There is also no single constitution in the world that does not include the right to equality for all its citizens and residents". It has prompted particular outrage from Israel's Druze minority, whose members say the law's provisions render them second-class citizens.

Tens of thousands of Druze and their supporters rallied in central Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against the legislation.

The legislation was passed as a so-called basic law, which, similar to a constitution, underpin Israel's legal system and are more hard to repeal than regular laws.

"The state of Israel is the national state of the Jewish people".

Last week, the left-wing Meretz party petitioned the court against the law, claiming it violated a basic law passed in 1992 that guarantees "human dignity" for all citizens of Israel.

Greenberg noted that prior to the passage of the nation state law as a Basic Law with quasi-constitutional status there were laws to protect individual freedoms and to define the various branches of government, but despite the fact that the "open, free and democratic nature of Israel was enshrined in law" there was none "defining the identity and goal of the state".

"The real question is who is for and who is against the Declaration of Independence, and why is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the Declaration of Independence?"

On Sunday, two Bedouin former IDF officers also called on the High Court to either change the formulation of the law so it applies equally to all Israelis or abolish it completely.

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