Knesset snubs bid to recognize Palestinians of 1948 land as minority
The Israeli Knesset on Wednesday voted against a proposal to recognize the Palestinians of 1948 occupied territories (Green Line) as a national minority.
Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) vilified in the Knesset plenum the proposal by MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint Arab List) to recognize the Arab minority as a national minority.
“The proposed law wishes to innovate a new constitutional hierarchy in which the Arab citizens of Israel will have a collective national veto right over decisions by state institutions,” claimed Shaked in her opening words.
Shaked added that “In the limitation clause which is characteristic of basic laws, the laws’ proponents intentionally seek to make a dramatic change. Whereas regarding the basic law: Human dignity and liberty, the law emphasizes that laws which harm people’s basic rights for a necessary goal would still comply with Israel’s values as a Jewish and democratic state, the present proposal speaks of democracy and intentionally omits Israel’s status as a Jewish state.”
Shaked turned to the Arab MKs and said “Ben Gurion would turn over in his grave (if he knew of this law). My friends who proposed this law: You are confused. This will never happen. The national definition of the State of Israel is the one and only state of the Jewish nation.”
“National rights for Arab minorities can be attained in our neighboring Arab countries. Whoever wishes to realize his national rights as an Arab is invited to leave to these countries. I can’t promise that he will continue to enjoy the conditions he receives in our villa,” she further stated.
MK Zahalka, the initiator of the law, responded to Shaked’s words by saying: “I didn’t think that the justice minister would tell me to leave the country as if she is the master and we are her slaves. We are citizens and will fight for full citizenship and for our full rights despite the efforts of racists and fascists like Shaked.”
Zahalka added that the bonds of the bid are derived from the international treaty on the rights of minority groups and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, among other international treaties.
Member of the Joint Arab List and 18 Mks from the left-wing Meretz Party voted in favor of the bid in the 120-member Knesset while the rest of parliament blocks voted against.
The Palestinians of 1948 Occupied Palestine are the Palestinian citizens who have remained on the land which was seized by the Israeli occupation forces in 1948.
Making about 20% of the overall population in the territory, the Palestinians of 1948 occupied land have been subjected to racist laws and discriminatory politics pursued by the Israeli occupation government and authorities.
(Source / 09.11.2016)