UN investigation into Israel’s ‘nation-state’ law
06 August 2018|23 Dhul Qa’dha 1439|Middle East Monitor
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, has started official proceedings to investigate a complaint against Israel, submitted by the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel regarding the recent ‘Nation-State’ law.
In May, de Varennes participated in the Second Human Capabilities Conference, organised by the Follow-Up Committee in the city of Tayibe. The conference discussed the threats posed by the of the ‘Nation-State’ bill to the Arab citizens of Israel, as an indigenous community. After the bill became law, the Committee submitted an official complaint against Israel which focused on the ‘Nation-State’ law’s discriminatory and exclusionary articles against the Palestinian people in general and especially against the Arab citizens of Israel.
Knesset Member Dr Yousef Jabareen, head of the International Relations Committee in the “Joint List” bloc, said that the Nationality Law threatens the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in their homeland, as well as the situation and rights of Arab citizens of Israel. He mentioned that the Arab citizens of Israel are a national and ethnic minority. International treaties guarantee their collective, national, cultural, linguistic and religious rights, which the ‘Nation-State’ law has violated, flagrantly.
The complaint addressed the discriminatory and racist articles in the ‘Nation-State’ Law, by explaining the downgrading of the status of the Arabic language and Apartheid legislation in housing, through the article that encourages Jewish settlement in the country and considers it a “Jewish national value”. The articles violate the principle of equality, grant Jewish citizens superiority against the country’s original population, and creates a state of hierarchy and classification in citizenship.
The Chairman of the Follow-up Committee, Mohammad Barakeh, said that the decision of the Special Rapporteur is a positive sign. In the upcoming weeks, and after setting up the required measures, the UN, its affiliated bodies and the European Union will be requested to pressure Israel and its government to abolish the law.
At its recent meetings, the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel decided to take international action against the Israeli Nationality Law. It has started scheduling meetings to be held in the United Nations and its international affiliated bodies, as well as meetings with the European Union and countries around the world. Adding to that, the “Joint List” bloc, which represents the active parties among the Arab citizens of Israel, announced it would hold a meeting with the European Union in early September.